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Just 25 minutes of yoga can boost brain function, energy levels: Study

A combination of asanas, pranayam, meditation along with daily meditation for just 25 minutes

IANS  |  Toronto 

Yoga, health
Researchers said millions world over are benefiting from mind-body interventions like yoga and meditation.

Practising Hatha -- a combination of asanas, pranayam and -- along with mindfulness daily for just 25 minutes can significantly improve function and levels, according to a new study.

The findings showed that both Hatha or mindfulness everyday can boost the brain's executive functions, cognitive abilities linked to goal-directed behaviour and the ability to control knee-jerk emotional responses, habitual thinking patterns and actions.

"Hatha and mindfulness meditation both focus the brain's conscious processing power on a limited number of targets like and posing, and also reduce processing of nonessential information," said Peter Hall, associate rofessor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

"These two functions might have some positive carryover effect in the near-term following the session, such that people are able to focus more easily on what they choose to attend to in everyday life," Hall added.

Hatha yoga -- one of the most common styles of yoga practiced in Western countries -- involves physical postures and exercises combined with meditation.

Mindfulness mediation, on the other hand, involves observing thoughts, and with openness and acceptance.

In the study, published in the journal Mindfulness, participants completed 25 minutes each of Hatha yoga, mindfulness meditation, and quiet reading (a control task) in randomised order.

Mindfulness meditation and Hatha yoga were both found effective for improving levels, but Hatha yoga had significantly more powerful effects than meditation alone.

Yoga improves levels and cognitive test performance, because it helps the release of endorphins, increase blood flow to the brain, and reduce focus on ruminative thoughts, explained Kimberley Luu from the varsity.


First Published: Fri, September 08 2017. 04:09 IST