"Yoga provided a broader benefit than memory training because it also helped with mood, anxiety and coping skills" said Helen Lavretsky, the study's senior author and a professor in residence in UCLA's Department of Psychiatry. The participants of the study had previously reported issues with their memory – forgetting names, appointments and misplacing items. The study began and concluded with memory tests and brain scans with the control group receiving one hour per week of memory enhancement training followed by 20 minutes of practice per day – the current standard based on research-backed techniques.
The yoga group took a one-hour yoga class each week and practiced 20 Kirtan Kriya meditations at home for 20 minutes per day (more on these in our next blog entry). Kirtan Kriya has been practiced for hundreds of years in India as a way to prevent cognitive decline.
The results – both groups had similar improvements in verbal memory skills, however those who had practiced yoga had significantly larger improvements in visual-spatial memory skills, and a greater reduction in depression and anxiety. They also had improved coping skills and resilience to stress – important factors when dealing with memory loss which has been shown to cause anxiety.
If you feel that you or someone you love may benefit from yoga and are looking for yoga classes to suit your ability level give us a call on (07) 3157 3100. Our friendly staff are always more than happy to discuss different class styles and options and our highly trained teachers are specialists in working around all kinds of limitations and injuries.
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