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Science Review Confirms Yoga Benefits Your Brain

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March 25th, 2020

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

With a history spanning thousands of years, yoga (in a wide variety of forms) has proven its benefits experientially across generations. Modern science is also confirming its usefulness for people seeking improved mental and physical health and fitness conditioning.

Like many (if not most) other forms of exercise, yoga, though mild in comparison, has also been shown to support healthy brain function and stave off neurological decline.

Considering the skyrocketing prevalence of dementia, this is good news, as yoga is suitable for most people, regardless of age or fitness level.1 Some forms can even be done seated in a chair. As explained in a 2019 review2,3 of Hatha yoga’s effects on the human brain:4

“Yoga combines physical postures, rhythmic breathing and meditative exercise to offer the practitioners a unique holistic mind-body experience. While the health benefits of physical exercise are well established, in recent years, the active attentional component of breathing and meditation practice has garnered interest among exercise neuroscientists.

As the scientific evidence for the physical and mental health benefits of yoga continues to grow, this article aims to summarize the current knowledge of yoga practice and its documented positive effects for brain structure and function, as assessed with MRI, fMRI, and SPECT …

Collectively, the studies demonstrate a positive effect of yoga practice on the structure and/or function of the hippocampus, amygdala, prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex and brain networks including the default mode network (DMN).

The studies offer promising early evidence that behavioral interventions like yoga may hold promise to mitigate age-related and neurodegenerative declines …”

Psychologically, a regular yoga practice has also been shown to lower stress,5 reduce body image dissatisfaction6 and anxiety,7 and much more.

This in addition to a wide range of physical health benefits, including as weight loss,8 improved atrial fibrillation9 (irregular heartbeat), blood pressure10 and immune function,11 reduced risk for migraines12 and improved sexual performance and satisfaction,13,14 to name but a few.

CONTINUE READING:

Recommended articles by Dr. Joseph Mercola:

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