A 20 Minute Yoga Effort Gives Immediate Brain Boost

Posted 07/03/2013 | By HealthCorps

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found that a single 20 minute Hatha yoga session improved participants’ speed and accuracy, on tests involving working memory and inhibitory control.  These two brain activities represent measures of brain function that are involved in the ability of the brain to focus, take in and retain information, and then use that information.  The study participants who performed the yoga, scored significantly higher than those who did not.

The researchers believe that it is Hatha yoga’s impact on not only physical movements and postures, but also regulated breathing and meditation, that contributed to the positive impact.  Yoga participants in the study were also compared to aerobic exercise participants, who worked out at 70% of maximum heart rate for 20 minutes – a pretty vigorous workout.  The yoga workout also beat the aerobic workout in terms of brain boost.

Maybe schools will begin to recognize the power of a little bit of yoga in their daily curriculum…..who knows??  Yoga is considered an essential component of the HealthCorps’ school curriculum.

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