A single, 20-minute session of yoga can significantly improve brain function, a new study led by an Indian-origin researcher has found.
University of Illinois student Neha Gothe and her colleagues found that a 20-minute session of Hatha yoga 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. The 30 study subjects were young, female, undergraduate students.
“Yoga is an ancient Indian science and way of life that includes not only physical movements and postures but also regulated breathing and meditation,” said Neha Gothe, who led the study while a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.