To celebrate the International Day of Yoga 2022, we present the different branches of yoga and their impact on our health via a selection of our health articles, as well as the work of researchers specialized in the scientific understanding of the health benefits of yoga. . yoga and its associated practices.
Although the health benefits of exercise are well established, in recent years the active attentional component of the practice of breathing and meditation has attracted the interest of exercise neuroscientists. A review of studies examining the effects of yoga practice on the brain demonstrates a positive effect of yoga practice on the structure and/or function of the hippocampus, amygdala, prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex, and brain networks, including the default mode network.
The studies offer promising early evidence that behavioral interventions like yoga may hold promise for mitigating age-related and neurodegenerative declines, as many of the identified regions are known to show significant age-related atrophy.” – Dr. Neha Gothe, Associate Professor and Director of the Exercise Psychology Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Author of Yoga Effects on Brain Health: A Systematic Review of the Current Literature and Differences in Brain Structure and Function Among Yoga Practitioners and Controls.
My research on yoga for people aged 60 and over has shown that yoga is beneficial for improving balance and mobility. Another part of my research showed evidence that yoga improves health-related quality of life and mental well-being. I have also asked older people about their perceptions and acceptance of yoga and it has been viewed favorably.
I am currently conducting the first rigorous international trial to answer the important question: “Does yoga prevent falls in people aged 60 and over?” The trial is ongoing, so we don’t know the answer to the falls question, but initial interviews we’ve conducted with some of the research participants indicate very positive results as a result of the yoga program that we test.” – Professor Anne Tiedemann, Professor of Physical Activity and Health, University of Sydney.
A summary of Professor Tiedemann’s research on yoga and its potential benefits for preventing falls in older people can be found here: Does yoga reduce the risk of falls in older people?
What are the health benefits of yoga?
Among the health benefits, practicing yoga has been linked to several health benefits, including decreasing chronic pain, stabilizing blood pressure, and reducing stress. Supporting data also suggests that yoga improves strength, flexibility, breathing, balance, spine and mental health, as well as blood circulation.
Meditation and Health Studies
The first studies carried out in the 1950s and 1960s were poorly controlled and the results obtained were therefore not reliable. However, modern technology and experimental techniques have allowed researchers to dig deeper into the changes seen when people meditate, both short-term and long-term.
How can mindfulness meditation improve sleep?
A team of researchers has made a groundbreaking discovery about using the popular mindfulness meditation app, Calm, to improve sleep in adults with sleep disorders.
Can the simple act of breathing help your body and mind?
Deep abdominal breathing helps reduce stress, control emotions, increase focus, and improve overall well-being. Deep breathing controls heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. By diverting attention from distracting thoughts, it reduces stress and anxiety.
Peace of Mind: How Yoga Changes the Brain
Research has shown that the changes brought about by yoga and meditation have positive effects on the brain. Participation in these activities has been associated with better cognition and emotional well-being. Yoga triggers the release of the chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a neurochemical responsible for regulating nerve activity. The good news is that high levels of GABA lead to positive mood swings.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about maintaining conscious awareness of our thoughts and feelings, our bodily sensations, and our external surroundings in a way that doesn’t make us feel overwhelmed, but centers and keeps us in the present moment.
Sleep and yoga
Yoga does not directly affect our sleep. Yoga helps our mind and body to calm and relax, and when our body is relaxed and our mind is free from tension and anxiety, we tend to sleep peacefully. When we are stressed or anxious, our sleep cycle is disrupted.