Amnesia and dementia are perhaps the most awful things that aging brings around. But there is an activity that can prevent this. And we are not talking about mastering foreign languages and learning poems by heart (although these also work). We are talking about yoga.
The recent research conducted by the University of California compared the effect of memory enhancement training and yoga on people suffering from cognitive impairment. The 25 participants over 55 years old were complaining about forgetting names and faces the problems that often precede Alzheimer’s disease.
Part of the group spent 20 minutes per day doing memory exercises, plus, they took an hour of memory enhancement training every week. Another group were practising Kirtan Kriya meditation 20 minutes every day and went to Kundalini yoga practice once a week.
By the way, Kirtan Kriya meditation has long been known as a way to prevent cognitive changes caused by aging.
After 12 weeks of the experiment, both groups showed better verbal skills responsible for memorizing the lists of words. However, participants who had been doing yoga also demonstrated improvements in visual-spatial memory which one needs to navigate when walking and driving, to remember where objects are located. In addition to that, yoga-meditation group had a better resilience to stress after the experiment. That’s very important because first memory problems often cause anxiety that further deteriorates the brain function.
It’s planned to continue the research with a larger group of people over a long period of time. Hopefully, more details about yoga effect on the brain activity will be revealed.
Pass this information on to your nearest and dearest who start worrying about memory loss. Those taking part in the experiment saw improvements after 3 months of practice. And practicing yoga and meditation is safe, cheap, and has no side effects. Worth a try.