THIS STUDY FOUND THAT YOGA PREVENTED AGE- RELATED BRAIN DETERIORATION
It is well documented that, as we age, grey matter basically shrinks in many areas of the brain. Astoundingly, this Canadian study found that yoga protected seasoned practitioners from this expected deterioration.
It always exciting when research gives us evidence of the benefits of yoga. We’ve broken it down for you and you can check out the original study in the USA’s National Journal Of Medicine.
WHAT THEY DID
The study used magnetic brain imaging equipment, know as MRI scanning, to measure the volume of grey matter across different area of the brains of participants in two comparison groups. They compared yogis with a control group of healthy adults who did not practice yoga. The control group showed a decline in grey matter across the whole brain, that worsened with age whereas the yogi group did not show this decline.
WHAT IS GREY MATTER?
Grey matter is a type of tissue which is an essential part of the brain and spinal cord. Approximately 40% of your brain consists of grey matter.
BRAIN AREAS THAT WERE LARGER FOR YOGIS
Different parts of the brain have different functions. So different feelings, movements and types of thinking, are processed in their own designated areas of this complex organ. These areas light up on scans when people are doing (or even thinking about ) certain things.
More weekly regular yoga practice was found to be linked with larger brain volume in areas used for attention/ concentration, visualisation, stress regulation and more.
MORE YEARS OF YOGA PRACTICE LEAD TO MORE CHANGES
The the more years the person had practiced, the larger were the size of brain areas related to;
* autonomic integration
* emotional processing and regulation
* certain types of memory organisation
* regulation of the body’s pain response
* feelings of peace and joy