Yoga is good for health. It brings great synchronization between mind, body and soul. A recent study has proved that even a single, 20-minute session of yoga can significantly improve brain function immediately.
In a study performed on 30 young and female subjects, a session of Hatha yoga significantly improved participants speed and accuracy on tests of working memory and inhibitory control, two measures of brain function associated with the ability to maintain focus and take in, retain and use new information.
"Participants performed significantly better immediately after the yoga practice than after moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for the same amount of time," said researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"Imaging studies in multiple types of chronic pain patients show their brains differ from healthy control subjects," said M. Catherine Bushnell, scientific director, Division of Intramural Research, National Institutes of Health (NIH), US. "Studies of people with depression show they also have reduced grey matter. Our research shows that grey matter loss is directly related to the pain when, we take depression into account," he added.
Researchers observed that yogis have more grey matter in multiple brain regions. Decreased grey matter can lead to memory impairment, emotional problems and decreased cognitive functioning. "Practising yoga has the opposite effect on the brain as does chronic pain," said Bushnell.
Experts suggest practicing yoga for at least 20 minutes a day. The practice of the postures (asans) strengthens the body, creates a feeling of well being and can even make you smarter.
The results were reported in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.