Yoga's Effect on Memory Might Surprise You
The benefits of yoga are innumerable. Increased flexibility, muscle tone, added energy, and weight reduction are just some of the pluses that come with practicing the ancient and now ubiquitous discipline.
But according to a new study from the University of California, yoga also has surprising benefits for memory, so much so that it can be a preventative measure for Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders.
The findings were unearthed by having two groups of 25 cognitively impaired adults, ages 55 and over, undergo a three-month yoga course or practice various tried-and-tested memory-strengthening exercises.
The researchers found that while both groups had relatively equal improvement in their verbal memory, those who practiced yoga saw more improvement when it came to visual-spatial memory.
Helen Lavretsky, a UCLA professor who helped conduct the study, explained that yoga has more wide-ranging benefits than the forms of memory-training that are typically used to combat degenerative memory diseases.
“If you or your relatives are trying to improve your memory or offset the risk for developing memory loss or dementia, a regular practice of yoga and meditation could be a simple, safe, and low-cost solution to improving your brain fitness,” he said.
So the next time you find yourself in Downward Dog, just know you’re doing as service for your mind as much as for your body.
Get your yoga on with this Grey Area x Eric Cahan Sunset Yoga Mat, and let us know if the study above will motivate you to practice more often.