Although yoga has been practiced in the west for some time, studies into the effects it can have on cognitive functions are only just emerging. However, these studies have been providing evidence that is extremely promising.
For example, this study focused on the cognitive benefits of Raj Yoga in sixty-four healthy volunteers. The participants were split into two; a beginner group, and a practitioner group. All of the participants had prior experience with Raj Yoga, ranging from 1 month to 10 years, and this was taken into consideration before they were placed into their group.
After this, their psychological functions were assessed. Results suggested that the group who had been practicing for a longer duration had significantly better scores than the group who had been practicing for less time. These scores measured their cognitive functions, happiness levels, and any reductions in neurotic behaviors and symptoms they may have experienced.
Yoga could also prove beneficial for those suffering from mild cognitive impairments or dementia. In this review, researchers gathered up several existing studies and compared the results. The review came to the conclusion that yoga has a positive effect on cognitive functioning, with attention and verbal memory abilities also displaying improvements.
Pain is something we all experience in our lives at one point or another, and can often be difficult to deal with. It can negatively impact things like our mood, feelings, and outlook on life. However, the question is could yoga provide us with an effective means of managing that pain?
According to research, the answer is very promising. Yoga has already been shown to help patients dealing with neck and lower back pain, and studies are beginning to discover how effective it is in other areas of pain treatment, too.
In this review, researchers searched databases for clinical studies and analyzed the effects yoga had on pain and disability. All of the studies compared involved different areas of pain management; ranging from headaches, back pain, arthritis, and other conditions.
Once the review was completed, all of the studies involved were shown to have positive findings. This evidence indicated that yoga was a beneficial method in reducing pain in not one, but several varying pain-associated disorders.
Chronic stress in the western world is theorized to be one of the most serious threats to an adult’s health. In fact, in 2018, a staggering 74% of adults in the UK were said to have felt so stressed that they could barely cope. Because of this, many of us are on the hunt for new ways to de-stress and relax.
So, could yoga be one of the best ways of going about this?
In this study, 52 women were selected to take part in hatha yoga exercises and training sessions for 4 weeks. Each session was run by a specialist and lasted around 60 to 70 mins. The data was then analyzed by a group of researchers. They discovered that there was a significant decrease in the women’s stress levels after they had taken part in the yoga sessions, as well as in their feelings of anxiety and depression.
In another study, the effects of yoga on cortisol levels in patients suffering from chronic periodontitis were analyzed. Cortisol is a hormone in the body responsible for your body’s reaction to stress and works in tandem with the brain to control your mood. During the study, a total of 70 subjects were divided into 3 groups: one suffering from stress, one without stress, and one practicing yoga. At the end of the test, the group practicing yoga showed the best results, with high levels of cortisol reduction recorded amongst them.
Effect of Raj Yoga Meditation on Affective & Cognitive Functions
Nishi Misra, Arunima Gupta, Sarika Alreja, Om Prakesh
The Effects of Yoga on Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: A Scoping Review
Gretchen A. Brenes Ph.D., Stephanie Sohl Ph.D., Rebecca E. Wells M.D, Deanna Befus Ph.D., Claudia L. Campos, Suzanne C. Danhauer Ph.D.
Yoga: What You Need To Know
National Center For Complementary And Integrative Health
Stressed nation: 74% of UK “overwhelmed or unable to cope” at some point in the last year
Mental Health Foundation
The Effect of Yoga on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in Women
Masoumeh Shohani, Gholamreza Badfar, Marzieh Parizad Nasirkandy, Sattar Kaikhavani. Shoboo Rahmati, Yaghoob Modemeli, Ali Soleymani, Milad Azami
Association of yoga practice and serum cortisol levels in chronic periodontitis patients with stress-related anxiety and depression
Kishore Kumar Katuri, Ankineedu Babu Dasari, Sruthi Kurapati, Narayana Rao Vinnakota, Appaiah Chowdary Bollepali, Ravindranath Dhullipalla