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Why yoga is better for your brain

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: June 10, 2013 - 6:23 PM


Doing yoga for as little as 20 minutes may be able to boost your brain power. Subjects who participated in a single yoga session had better speed and accuracy scores on working memory and inhibitory control tests than after they tried an aerobic exercise session of the same length. These tests are indicative of a person's ability to maintain focus, as well as absorb and remember new information, and aerobic exercises had previously been shown to boost scores in those areas.

"Yoga is an ancient Indian science and way of life that includes not only physical movements and postures but also regulated breathing and meditation," lead author Neha Gothe, a professor of kinesiology, health and sport studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, said in a press release. "The practice involves an active attentional or mindfulness component but its potential benefits have not been thoroughly explored."

According to the 2012 "Yoga in America" market study, 8.7 percent of U.S. adults or 20.4 million people practice yoga in the U.S. About 62.8 percent of American yogis are between 18 and 44, and the vast majority -- 82.2 percent -- are women.

Read more from CBS News

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