A new study reveals that weekly practice of yoga and meditation may strengthen thinking skills and help stave off memory problems.
Most of us past the age of 40 experience some weakening in our mental function. But emerging science indicates that we may be able to slow down and mitigate the decline in mental function, particularly by practicing yoga and meditation.
Past studies had revealed that people who run, exercise, practice tai chi, etc have lower chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease than people who are not physically active at all.
There is now growing evidence that combining meditation with physical activity may amplify the benefits of both pursuits. One study found that people with depression who meditated before going for a run showed greater improvement in mood than people who didn’t combine these two activities.
However, several people don’t necessarily work out or go for a daily run. Hence the new study which was conducted by researchers at University of California – Los Angeles and other institutes decided to test whether practicing yoga, a relatively mild physical activity had a positive effect on mood and thinking. In effect, the study revealed that yoga and meditation had equaled and then topped the benefits of 12 weeks of brain training.
The study was overseen by Dr. Helen Levretsky, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA, who said she was ‘surprised by the magnitude of the brain effects. Movement involved in yoga also increases the levels of various biochemicals in the muscles and brain associated with improved brain health, she said.
The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. You can read more about it here.