Yoga Boosts Brain Gray Matter

Regular Practice Improves Mental Health




Research from the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University Medical Center has found that a regular hatha yoga practice increases gray matter within the brain, reversing the loss found among those with chronic pain. The researchers tested seven hatha yoga meditation practitioners and seven non-practitioners. Each of the subjects underwent tests for depression, anxiety, moods and cognition levels, along with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans.

The scientists found that the brains of the yoga meditation practitioners contained significantly greater gray matter by volume in key brain regions, including the frontal, temporal and occipital cortices, plus the cerebellum and the hippocampus, compared to the non-yoga subjects.

The yoga meditation practitioners also had more gray area in the prefrontal cortex regions that are involved in decision-making, reward/consequence, control and coordination.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Expecting Moms Need to Relax at Holidays

South Korean mothers-to-be whose first trimester occurred during the stressful New Year’s holiday delivered babies a third of an ounce lighter.

Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

A single mindfulness meditation session reduced anxiety levels for participants in a Michigan study, evident even a week later, and breath-based meditation enhanced mental clarity in an Irish study.

Blue Light Raises Cancer Risk

Spaniards exposed to the most blue light via white streetlight LEDs and screens on tablets and phones have up to twice the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Rosemary Lowers the Blues, Aids Sleep and Memory

Iranian students taking rosemary for a month saw their anxiety and depression drop and their memory and sleep improve.

Dark Chocolate Proven Healthier than Ever

Chocolate with at last 70 percent cacao can reduce stress and inflammation and boost infection-fighting cells and creativity.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags