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A little bone for the yogis in the age old yoga versus exercise discussion? A small new study reveals 20 minutes of yoga beats out 20 minutes of aerobic workout for the old thinking noodle. (That’s your brain!)

Researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studied ‘The Acute Effects of Yoga on Executive Function’, or as the peer-reviewed short article was titled, and which usually implies yoga’s impact on cognitive procedures (working memory, reasoning, trouble addressing, attention, planning, and so on). The research which will certainly be published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health, involved 30 non-yoga exercising undergraduate women who participated in 20 minutes of Hatha yoga, accompanied with meditation and deep breathing along with 20 minutes of ‘aerobic activity’ which meant working on a treadmill.

What’s even worse than needing to run on a treadmill for 20 minutes? Having to take a test afterwards. Analysts had individuals do intellectual testing following both the yoga and the running workouts to measure working memory and inhibitory control (attention period). And guess exactly what? Yoga beat the pants off running when it came to brain function.

Lead analyst Neha Gothe (presently a teacher of kinesiology at Wayne State University) informed the Daily Mail:

“It appears that following yoga practice, the individuals were better able to concentrate their mental resources, process details swiftly, more precisely and also find out, hold and upgrade pieces of information better than after carrying out an aerobic exercise bout.”

As opposed to when the individuals “showed no significant improvements on the working memory and inhibitory control ratings” after the 20 minutes of jogging or walking on the treadmill.

And all the scientists lightbulbs brighten! Since this is cause for further research and examination. Edward McCauley, co-author of the research and director of the Exercise Psychology Laboratory where the research was performed, notes:

“This research is extremely timely and the outcomes will certainly allow yoga researchers to power and create their interventions in the future. We see comparable appealing findings amongst older adults as well.

Yoga study is in its nascent stages and with its increasing popularity across the globe, researchers need to adopt rigorous organized methods to analyze not just its cognitive however also physical wellness advantages across the life expectancy.”

Sure it’s a little research study, and there’s a lot more to be explored about the impacts of not simply physical yoga postures, but the meditation and breathing components of a lot of Western yoga practices (and for individuals, too). However, hi there, this is excellent information! That perhaps some of us already understood? And besides, it’s a wonderful conversation piece the next time your runner pals discuss how ah-MAZ-ing their runner’s high is and how they don’t truly need yoga cause, like, running is their meditation. You can simply nod your head and smile, then share with them simply how clever you are. (No offense, runners. We enjoy endorphins, too!)

The research study concludes that more study needs to be done on non-traditional, mind-body workouts like yoga (and tai chi, for example) and just just how much they permeate into the rest of our day-to-day activities when we are not knee-deep in virasana.

“The breathing and meditative exercises focused on relaxing the mind and body and keeping sidetracking thought and feelings away while you focus on your body, posture or breath,” Gothe told the Telegraph. “Possibly these procedures translate beyond yoga practice when you try to perform mental jobs or daily activities.”

A little like … living your yoga.

This might bode well for more research on the effects of yoga and autism and ADD/ADHD, along with psychiatric conditions or other brain-related conditions.