Yoga for Your Brain

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A new study reveals that the benefits from a yoga session can include increased brain speed, mental agility, and memory. Researchers at the University of Illinois gave a group of 30 individuals a series of memorization and speed tests after doing nothing, after participating in a 20-minute session of yoga that included standing and sitting postures and meditative deep breathing, and after a 20-minute uphill treadmill workout. The result: The yogis were significantly quicker to answer the test and had better memorization skills overall. The aerobic group’s results weren’t discernibly different than when the participants did nothing. “The meditative exercises of yoga aim to help you focus and be aware by trying to keep distracting thoughts away,” says study coordinator Neha Gothe. “And these mental exercises in yoga seem to affect the way you think outside of yoga practice.”

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