Yoga’s role in slowing brain decline

YOGA STUDY db-webRHODE ISLAND: Supported by an Alzheimer’s Association grant, researchers in Rhode Island Hospital in Providence are studying whether regular practice of yoga can “help a brain in slow decline”.

It is “recruiting people with mild cognitive disorder” to study whether yoga can improve their condition. “Yoga is an ancient practice known to improve mental, spiritual and physical well-being among its practitioners”, a Hospital release says.

Led by Dr. Geoffrey Tremont, Neuropsychology Director at Rhode Island Hospital, the study will direct patients through a 12-week, twice-weekly yoga regimen. He hopes to enroll 70 patients in the study of yoga’s role in improving “cognitive conditions among people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment”.

“The yoga program involves meditation, physical postures, breathing exercises and relaxation”, the release says and adds, “Yoga has benefits for a variety of medical and psychiatric conditions”.

Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, is a mental and physical discipline for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces go back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization,
According to a recently released “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which includes many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image. Yoga is the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche.

Founded in 1863, awards-winning Rhode Island Hospital, whose tagline includes “Delivering health with care”, and whose Mission includes “We are seekers”; is “dedicated to being on the cutting edge of medicine and research”. It is the principal teaching hospital of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and home to Hasbro Children’s Hospital. A major trauma center for southeastern New England, it had over 148,000 emergency department visits in 2014. Dr. Margaret M. Van Bree is the President.

Indians have welcomed these efforts of Rhode Island Hospital and Alzheimer’s Association in exploring yoga’s role in cognitive health.

Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, says that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga is 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.

India Post News Service

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