Twenty-minute Hatha yoga boosts brain activity, helps concentrate, improves memory and thinking ability. It is healthier than a regular workout at the gym, The Telegraph reports.
In the study, 30 students of the University of Illinois in the United States performed sitting, standing, and recumbent postures of hatha yoga promoting the reduction and relaxation of different muscle groups and did breathing control exercises for 20 minutes. At the end of the lesson, they took a meditative pose, inhaled, and exhaled deeply and slowly.
Next, the participants performed aerobic exercise on the treadmill. Each of them independently chose the right speed and slope so that during the exercise their heart rate was maintained at 60-70% of the maximum.
As a result, hatha yoga volunteers better coped with cognitive ability tests than after aerobic exercise. They were better at remembering information, processed the received data and performed daily activities quicker. The author of the study, Neha Gothe, claims that breathing exercises and meditation techniques result in calming, let us forget about the problems and leave the body to its own resources.
According to her, the obtained results can be explained by the influence of many factors. One possible mechanism could be mind expansion, which is achieved through meditation. Moreover, breathing exercises reduce anxiety and stress.
Previously, scientists at Pennsylvania State University said that yoga helps to lower blood pressure.