The Acute Effects of Yoga on Executive Function.

Dept of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Journal of Physical Activity and Health (Impact Factor: 1.95). 05/2013; 10(4):488-495.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Background: Despite an increase in the prevalence of yoga exercise, research focusing on the relationship between yoga exercise and cognition is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an acute yoga exercise session, relative to aerobic exercise, on cognitive performance. Methods: A repeated measures design was employed where 30 female college-aged participants (Mean age = 20.07, SD = 1.95) completed 3 counterbalanced testing sessions: a yoga exercise session, an aerobic exercise session, and a baseline assessment. The flanker and n-back tasks were used to measure cognitive performance. Results: Results showed that cognitive performance after the yoga exercise bout was significantly superior (ie, shorter reaction times, increased accuracy) as compared with the aerobic and baseline conditions for both inhibition and working memory tasks. The aerobic and baseline performance was not significantly different, contradicting some of the previous findings in the acute aerobic exercise and cognition literature. Conclusion: These findings are discussed relative to the need to explore the effects of other nontraditional modes of exercise such as yoga on cognition and the importance of time elapsed between the cessation of the exercise bout and the initiation of cognitive assessments in improving task performance.


Available from: Neha Gothe, Mar 13, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: -The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of proprioception on working memory. It was also of interest whether an acute and highly intensive period of exercise would yield working memory gains. The training group completed a series of proprioceptively demanding exercises. There were also control classroom and yoga groups. Working memory was measured using a backward digit recall test. The data indicated that active, healthy adults who undertook acute, proprioceptively demanding training improved working memory scores compared to the classroom and yoga groups. One possible reason that the training yielded significant working memory gains could be that the training was proprioceptively dynamic, requiring proprioception and at least one other factor-such as locomotion or navigation-at the same time, which may have contributed to the improvements in working memory performance.
    Perceptual and Motor Skills 06/2015; DOI:10.2466/22.PMS.120v18x1 · 0.66 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: During recent decades numerous yoga-based practices (YBP) have emerged in the West, with their aims ranging from fitness gains to therapeutic benefits and spiritual development. Yoga is also beginning to spark growing interest within the scientific community, and yoga-based interventions have been associated with measureable changes in physiological parameters, perceived emotional states, and cognitive functioning. YBP typically involve a combination of postures or movement sequences, conscious regulation of the breath, and various techniques to improve attentional focus. However, so far little if any research has attempted to deconstruct the role of these different component parts in order to better understand their respective contribution to the effects of YBP. A clear operational definition of yoga-based therapeutic interventions for scientific purposes, as well as a comprehensive theoretical framework from which testable hypotheses can be formulated, is therefore needed. Here we propose such a framework, and outline the bottom-up neurophysiological and top-down neurocognitive mechanisms hypothesized to be at play in YBP.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 05/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00235 · 2.90 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using a quasi-experimental single-group design, this study examined the feasibility of older adults with Alzheimer's disease (AD)-type dementia to complete the Sit 'N' Fit Chair Yoga Program. Physical function of participants who completed the program was measured. The nine older adults with AD (mean age = 83) participated in the 8-week Sit 'N' Fit Chair Yoga Program. To measure physical function, the Six-Minute Walk Test, the Gait Speed Test, and the Berg Balance Scale were administered at pre-intervention, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 1 month after program completion. All participants completed the program. Positive changes were seen across all physical measures. Further study, using a larger sample and including a control group, is needed to fully determine the effect of the Sit 'N' Fit Chair Yoga Program on older adults with moderate to severe AD. [Res Gerontol Nurs. 20xx; x(x):xxx-xxx.].
    Research in Gerontological Nursing 02/2014; DOI:10.3928/19404921-20140218-01 · 0.61 Impact Factor