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Contributions

Name
Neha Gothe, Wayne State University; Edward McAuley, University of Illinois; Arthur Kramer, Beckman Institute
Date
July 1, 2014
Country
USA
Profession
Marketing
Email
kellylati@yahoo.com

Title

Hatha Yoga Boosts Brain Function in Older Adults

Results

Practicing hatha yoga three times a week for eight weeks improved sedentary older adults' performance on diverse cognitive tasks relevant to everyday life.

Summary

This study involved 108 adults (aged 55-79). 61 attended hatha yoga classes - the others met for the same number and length of sessions for stretching and toning exercises. At the end of the eight weeks, the yoga group was speedier and more accurate on tests of information recall, mental flexibility and task-switching than it had been before the intervention. The stretching-and-toning group saw no significant change in cognitive performance. The differences were not the result of differences in age, gender, social status or other demographic factors. "These studies suggest that yoga has an immediate quieting effect on the sympathetic nervous system and on the body's response to stress," said one of the research directors. "Since we know that stress and anxiety can affect cognitive performance, the eight-week yoga intervention may have boosted participants' performance by reducing their stress." Researchers also noted that results involved a fairly short-term intervention, and follow-up research important.

Comments

Published Information

Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences

Citations

Links