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’20 minutes of yoga boosts your memory and focus’ – Daily Telegraph 7 June
A university study has found that a single short session of yoga significantly improves memory, mental speed and focus, more than regular workouts. The study involved students in a 20 minute progression of seated standing and supine postures that included contraction and relation of different muscle groups and regulated breathing. The session concluded with a meditative posture and deep breathing.
The 30 female undergraduates at the University of Illinois also completed on aerobic exercise session where they walked or jogged on a treadmill for 20 minutes.
The students showed greater improvement in their reaction times, and accuracy of cognitive tasks after yoga than the aerobic session, which showed no significant improvements on scores for working memory and inhibitory control which measures attention. After the yoga session participants were better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly and more accurately and also learn, retain and update information more effectively than after the aerobic exercise session. Professor Neha Gothe who led the study said “meditation and breathing exercises are known to reduce anxiety and stress, which in turn can improve scores on some cognitive tests.