Yoga for the Brain

by Christina on September 20, 2016

This morning I got up at 5:30am, made some coffee, and did a quick quiet yoga practice before my boys woke up. It was really refreshing to have my own space and quiet-time. And according to some recent research it likely will help my mood and memory too.

yoga

Here’s the actual study:

yoga-study

It’s a small pilot study, but suggests some interesting findings.

They looked at 29 middle-age people with mild cognitive impairment. They split them into two groups — one group did brain-training exercises for 15 minutes/day and a weekly 60 minute class. The other group did Kundalini yoga with a weekly 60 minute class and daily 12 minute meditation at home (Kundalini yoga focuses a lot on breathing and meditation, some poses as well but is not too physically intense). After 12 weeks, both groups has improved memory function, and those in the yoga group has improved depression scores as well as improved verbal and visuo-spacial memory performance.

It’s a small study but I think there are some take-aways if you want to improve your mood, memory, and cognitive function:

  • Have a yoga and meditation practice
  • Practice daily
  • It does not have to be too time-intensive or physically intense to have benefits

A lot of us sleep deprived moms feel like we some mild cognitive impairment — aka “baby brain.” Mothering young babies is one of the hardest times to do a yoga practice, but it also might be one of the times in our lives when we need it most.

But…  sleep is important too and I’m not sure I’ll be waking up at 5:30 again tomorrow.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris September 22, 2016 at 2:08 am

What a fascinating study!

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