An active lifestyle and meditation can help fight dementia and depression, according to one recent study. Gretchen Reynolds, whose article was published in early June in New York Timesfound an interesting study that confirms the effects of yoga on health in old age.
Researchers at the University of California collected 29 middle-aged and elderly people with mild cognitive impairment and divided them into two groups: one group did mental exercises and the other practiced kundalini yoga.
Twelve weeks later, scientists recorded increased brain function in both groups, but those who practiced yoga felt happier and scored higher on tests measuring balance, depth, and object recognition. Yoga and meditation classes helped them better focus and multitask.
The people in the study were concerned about potential age-related memory impairments, according to medical records. The researchers hypothesized that the combination of mindfulness movement and meditation in Kundalini Yoga could reduce participants’ stress hormone levels while increasing levels of biochemicals associated with improved brain health.
According to the study, the reason is probably some positive change in the brain. But I’m also sure that intense muscle work helps to increase mood.
Helen Lavretsky, a physician, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, and head of the study, said scientists were “a little surprised at the magnitude” of the effects seen in the brain after yoga. This is due to the fact that they still do not fully understand how yoga and meditation can cause physiological changes in the brain.
If you don’t know how to start meditating, try these simple ways.