ARIZONA, USA, May 12, 2016 (YogaDork): A recent study found that yoga, yes yoga, is better at keeping your memory sharp than all those puzzles and brain training apps you download to try and "exercise" the old noodle. In the "more good news" department, yoga was also found to relieve depression and anxiety in people who practiced regularly. The study was funded by the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation in Tuscon, Arizona. Through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans the researchers saw changes in the way the brain cells connect with each other, they were only statistically significant in the people practicing yoga. Science seems to be catching up to what a lot of us have been experiencing anecdotally. "Historically and anecdotally, yoga has been thought to be beneficial in aging well, but this is the scientific demonstration of that benefit," said lead researcher Harris Eyre, of the University of Adelaide. "We're converting historical wisdom into the high level of evidence required for doctors to recommend therapy to their patients."
For participants of the study, this regular practice not only improved memory capabilities, it improved mood and helped them better cope with stress, depression and anxiety, which is important for the emotional components of aging, or managing symptoms of Alzheimer's. Professor Helen Lavretsky of the University of California at Los Angeles, a co-author of the study says,"If you or your relatives are trying to improve your memory or offset the risk for developing memory loss or dementia, a regular practice of yoga and meditation could be a simple, safe and low-cost solution to improving your brain fitness," Lavretsky said.