Effects of yoga on neural circuits in the brain decoded

Faculty in the News: Neha Gothe, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Community Health

Date

12/13/19

 

Regular practice of yoga can help enhance nerve connections in many of the same brain regions that benefit from aerobic exercise, according to a study reviewing 11 other previous research on Hatha yoga—which includes body movements, meditation, and breathing. Researchers said the brain health of participants were compared at the beginning and at the end of the intervention.

The other six studies measured cognitive differences between individuals who regularly practised yoga and those who didn't, using brain-imaging techniques such as MRI, functional MRI, or single-photon emission computerized tomography, they said.

The current findings, published in the journal Brain Plasticity, revealed some of the brain regions that consistently come up in the eleven studies.

The team, including those from the University of Illinois in the US, said five of the 11 studies engaged individuals with no background in yoga in one or more sessions per week over a period of 10-24 weeks.

"For example, we see increases in the volume of the hippocampus with yoga practice," Neha Gothe, study co-author from the University of Illinois, said.

Read more:  THE WEEK

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