Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of the popular TV show “The Dr. Oz Show.” He is a professor in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University and directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Mike Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, an award-winning author, and has been the doctor to eight Nobel Prize winners and more than 100 Fortune 500 CEOs.


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Tags: yoga | memory | brain | Dr. Oz

Yoga Boosts Brain Power

By and
Wednesday, 19 February 2020 12:30 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Baddha konasana, utthita parsvakonasana, prasarita padottanasana.

At first (or second or third) glance these phrases demand a lot of brain power to figure out just how to pronounce them — much less what they mean.

That makes some sense, say researchers from the University of Illinois, because they're names of yoga poses. And according to a review of 11 studies of Hatha yoga practitioners (both experienced and first-timers), brain imaging scans reveal that doing yoga causes an increase in the volume of the hippocampus, just like that seen from doing aerobic exercise.

The hippocampus is a part of the brain that is involved in memory processing.

Other preliminary findings show benefits from yoga include enlargement of the amygdala — which helps with emotional regulation — and a larger and more-efficient prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex, and default brain network. The prefrontal cortex is where you perform planning, decision-making, and multitasking; the default brain network helps with planning and memory; and the cingulate cortex is important for emotional regulation, learning, and memory.

One mystery about these findings involves the fact Hatha yoga isn't an aerobic exercise, so how does it bestow the same brain benefits as a step class or jogging a mile?

It's only a theory, but the exercise may regulate emotions, and that reduces chronic levels of stress hormones that cloud the brain, easing anxiety and depression. 

If you want to protect your brain and promote body-wide flexibility in joints and muscles, give yoga a try.

© King Features Syndicate

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According to a review of 11 studies of Hatha yoga practitioners, brain imaging scans reveal that doing yoga causes an increase in the volume of the hippocampus.
yoga, memory, brain, Dr. Oz
Wednesday, 19 February 2020 12:30 PM
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