What do you do to stimulate your brain on a regular basis?
If you’re practicing yoga, you might be doing more than you realize.
Neha Gothe, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, conducted a study in the university’s Department of Exercise and Physiology laboratory.
The purpose of the study was to systematically examine its health benefits – especially the mental health benefits yoga offers.
Here’s what they found:
The study’s subjects, all of whom were relatively active, included 30 female undergraduates at the university who participated in 20 minute sessions of aerobic exercise, monitored to produce a steady 60 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate.
Those same subjects, with no prior yoga experience, also participated in 20 minute yoga sessions that included standing, sitting, and supine poses (asanas) designed to incorporate isometric muscular contraction and relaxation combined with breathing techniques. They were guided by an experienced yoga teacher.
All 30 subjects scored better in cognitive tasking tests immediately after the yoga session than they did after the aerobic session. They also reported feeling more calm, centered, and relaxed, after the yoga session whereas they only felt a little tired after the aerobic session.
Twenty minutes is a short time for a yoga session. Most classroom group sessions are at least a half hour to 45 minutes, depending on the length of the session’s last and most important pose, the corpse pose or savasana.
How awesome is that? Waking up at crazy early hours to do our yoga practice is now scientifically proven to be even more beneficial than most of us ever knew. And, those corporate yoga classes might be more than just a touchy feely nice idea.
I don’t know about you but I’m kind of inspired try out a 20 minute session 3 times to see how it impacts my productivity!