Yoga effect on brain circuit

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Young woman practicing yoga on the beach.

Yoga enhances nerve connections in many of the same brain regions that benefit from aerobic exercise, according to a study reviewing 11 other previous research on Hatha yoga — which includes body movements, meditation, and breathing.

The researchers, including those from the University of Illinois in the US, said five of the 11 studies engaged individuals with no background in yoga in one or more sessions per week over a period of 10-24 weeks.

In these studies, they said, the brain health of participants were compared at the beginning and at the end of the intervention.

The other six studies measured cognitive differences between individuals who regularly practised yoga and those who didn’t, using brain-imaging techniques such as MRI, functional MRI, or single-photon emission computerized tomography, they said.

The current findings, published in the journal Brain Plasticity, revealed some of the brain regions that consistently come up in the eleven studies.

“For example, we see increases in the volume of the hippocampus with yoga practice,” Neha Gothe, study co-author from the University of Illinois, said.

According to Gothe, earlier studies looking at the brain effects of aerobic exercise have shown a similar increase in hippocampus size over time.Read More..

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