As you age, your cerebral cortex may become thinner, and that's associated with cognitive decline. Now research from Brazil reveals that doing yoga might be a smart way to deal with it.
Looking at the brains of healthy women age 60 and older who were lifelong practitioners of yoga (twice a week and averaged nearly 15 years of practice), the researchers found that they had greater thickness in the left prefrontal cortex, which affects memory and attention, when compared with the brains of healthy older women who'd never practiced yoga.
The results, published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, suggest that doing yoga for the long term not only encourages flexibility, dispels stress, eases depression and builds muscle, but it can change brain structure and protect you from cognitive decline.
One of the researchers said that may be because, "Yoga has a cognitive component, in which attention and concentration are important."
To get started, explore the varieties of the discipline, from chair yoga to the highly individualized kripalu. Go to sharecare.com and search for "which type of yoga" to understand your choices.
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