The practice of yoga has been shown to help increase blood circulation to the brain, increasing alertness and awareness. This can help us to stay focused on the task at hand and improve our overall performance.
According to this article, yoga could be more effective in improving brain function than aerobic exercises such as running and cycling. In the study, 30 women participated in both a 20-minute yoga lesson and a running session on a treadmill. Researchers then compared the results of both to see which had the better effect on cognitive performance. Results indicated that yoga was significantly better at improving focus and memory when compared to the sessions on the treadmill.
In another study, the effects of yoga on medical students were tested, with researchers looking to see if there would be improvements in their focus, concentration, and memory, after 12 weeks of practice. The results were proven to be very promising, with significant improvements shown in all areas of the student’s cognitive functions.
Sleep is another important factor to take into consideration for living a healthy and rewarding life. Unfortunately, more and more of us are suffering from sleep disorders and are struggling to commit to a healthy relationship with sleep, due to work or habits at home.
Thankfully, there is some evidence showing that the practice of yoga could be useful in helping us to improve our quality of sleep.
In this study, the effects of yoga were tested on patients suffering from chronic insomnia - a debilitating sleep disorder which often leaves the sufferer unable to sleep for days at a time. Both participants showed a marked improvement in their sleep quality, stress levels, and severity of their insomnia after being given daily yoga sessions at home.
It is often the elderly who are affected the most when it comes to sleep issues. Because of this, there are many studies centered on how yoga could also help them.
For example, this study was focused on how yoga could potentially help older adults in care homes improve their quality of sleep. Patients were selected from various homes and divided into two different groups. One practicing yoga and the other on a waiting list. Once the test had concluded, the yoga group showed far better results in their quality of sleep compared to those on the waiting list.
Yoga positively affects our lives in many different ways. It can help us stay calm, become more mindful, and positively improve our mindsets. Putting it simply: the happier we are, the better life looks.
But what does science say about this?
According to this article, a study in India found that the regular practice of yoga and meditation raised levels of serotonin whilst also lowering levels of monoamine oxidase. Explained simply, higher levels of serotonin are associated with positive feelings, whilst higher levels of monoamine oxidase are associated with depressive feelings.
Children can often struggle with maintaining a positive outlook as they grow older. This is because they have to deal with such trying things as puberty, exams, peer pressure, and at times, the lofty expectations of their parents. Because of this, several studies have been exploring the possibility of applying yoga to school curriculums.
For example, in the study linked here, sixty schoolboys were selected and randomly assigned to a control group or an experimental group. The experimental group received yoga intervention, whilst the control group did not. The researchers aimed to measure the effects yoga would have on the children’s attitude towards violence, as well as their positive and negative emotions. After a month, the yoga group showed significant improvements in both areas, whilst the control group showed no improvements at all.
Yoga Boosts Memory and Focus More than Exercise
Role of yoga in attention, concentration, and memory of medical students
Sheela Joice P P, Khaleel Ahmed Manik, Sudhir P K
Yoga Nidra: An innovative approach for management of chronic insomnia- A case report
Karuna Datta, Manjaru Tripathi, Hruda Nanda Mallick
Effects of yoga intervention on sleep and quality-of-life in elderly: A randomized controlled trial
V R Hariprasad, P T Sivakumar, V Koparde, S Varambally, J Thirthalli, M Varghese, I V Basavaraddi, B N Gangadhar
Can You Prove That Yoga Work?
Timothy McCall, MD
Effect of 1-month yoga practice on positive-negative effect and attitude towards violence in schoolchildren: A randomized control study
Dipti Kale, Sony Kumari