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HomeHealthYoga enhances brain structures and functions, finds study

Yoga enhances brain structures and functions, finds study

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Washington : People are generally aware of the positive effects of yoga on the body but very few know about its effect on the brain. A review of the science finds evidence that yoga enhances many of the same brain structures and functions that benefit from aerobic exercise.
The review has been published in the journal Brain Plasticity. Focusing on 11 studies of the relationship between yoga practice and brain health.
Five of the studies engaged individuals with no background in yoga practice in one or more yoga sessions per week over a period of 10-24 weeks, comparing brain health at the beginning and end of the intervention. The other studies measured brain differences between individuals who regularly practice yoga and those who don’t.
Each of the studies used brain-imaging techniques such as MRI, functional MRI or single-photon emission computerized tomography. All involved Hatha yoga, which includes body movements, meditation and breathing exercises.
“From these 11 studies, we identified some brain regions that consistently come up, and they are surprisingly not very different from what we see with exercise research,” said University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Neha Gothe, who led the research with Wayne State University psychology professor Jessica Damoiseaux.
Though many of the studies are exploratory and not conclusive, the research points to other important brain changes associated with regular yoga practice, Damoiseaux said.

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