Yoga improves memory by reducing stress levels, per a University of Illinois study

“Yoga practice improves executive function by attenuating stress levels”, according to a study conducted by researchers at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in USA.

An abstract of the study posted online from the December 2016 edition of Biological Psychology journal, stated: An 8-week Hatha yoga intervention attenuated stress response in an older adult sample.

It concluded: Eight weeks of regular yoga practice resulted in improved working memory performance that was mediated by an attenuated response to stress.

According to UIUC News Bureau: Researchers found that eight weeks of hatha yoga classes moderated stress levels and led to better performance on challenging cognitive tests. This study, supported by National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health, was conducted at Exercise Psychology Laboratory of UIUC directed by Professor Edward McAuley.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, called the UIUC looking into the usage of multi-faceted yoga in stress levels and cognitive performance “a step in the positive direction”. Zed urged all major world universities to explore various benefits yoga offers.

Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.

Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.

According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to a “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.

According to Oxford Dictionary of Hinduism, hatha-yoga (yoga of force) is a form of yogic practice designed to bring about liberation and immortality in this life, through the purification and manipulation of the practitioner’s body.

UIUC, founded in 1867, claims to be a “world-class leader in research, teaching, and public engagement” and “pioneer innovative research that tackles global problems”. Robert Jones is the Chancellor.

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