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Examining the Acute Effects of Hatha Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation on Executive Function and Mood

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The objective of this study was to compare the acute effects of hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation on executive function and mood. Using a within-subjects experimental design, 31 moderately experienced hatha yoga practitioners (mean age 27.71 ± 8.32) completed three counterbalanced sessions: hatha yoga (conscious movement and meditation), meditation (mindfulness of breath, emotions, thoughts, and body sensations), and a reading control task. Executive function was assessed using the Stroop task at baseline and at two follow-up points (5 and 10 min post-session). Self-reported mood was measured using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) at baseline and immediately following each session. Findings indicated that hatha yoga (p = .002) and meditation (p = .044) both resulted in significantly improved Stroop performance, though the two conditions did not differ significantly from each other (p = .728). The cognitive benefits in both cases were evident at the 10-min post-session delay but not at the 5-min post-session delay. With respect to mood outcomes, hatha yoga (p < .001) and meditation (p = .050) both resulted in significantly improved POMS total mood scores. Hatha yoga and meditation did not differ significantly from each other in regard to POMS total mood (p = .079), though hatha yoga showed significantly greater benefits on the vigor-activity subscale (p = .006). Overall, findings suggest that acute bouts of hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation benefit executive function and mood to a similar degree.
Examining the Acute Effects of Hatha Yoga and Mindfulness
Meditation on Executive Function and Mood
Kimberley Luu
&Peter A. Hall
Published online: 26 December 2016
#Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016
Abstract The objective of this study was to compare the
acute effects of hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation on
executive function and mood. Using a within-subjects exper-
imental design, 31 moderately experienced hatha yoga practi-
tioners (mean age 27.71 ± 8.32) completed three
counterbalanced sessions: hatha yoga (conscious movement
and meditation), meditation (mindfulness of breath, emotions,
thoughts, and body sensations), and a reading control task.
Executive function was assessed using the Stroop task at base-
line and at two follow-up points (5 and 10 min post-session).
Self-reported mood was measured using the Profile of Mood
States (POMS) at baseline and immediately following each
session. Findings indicated that hatha yoga (p= .002) and
meditation (p= .044) both resulted in significantly improved
Stroop performance, though the two conditions did not differ
significantly from each other (p= .728). The cognitive bene-
fits in both cases were evident at the 10-min post-session delay
but not at the 5-min post-session delay. With respect to mood
outcomes, hatha yoga (p<.001)andmeditation(p=.050)
both resulted in significantly improved POMS total mood
scores. Hatha yoga and meditation did not differ significantly
from each other in regard to POMS total mood (p=.079),
though hatha yoga showed significantly greater benefits on
the vigor-activity subscale (p=.006).Overall,findingssug-
gest that acute bouts of hatha yoga and mindfulness medita-
tion benefit executive function and mood to a similar degree.
Keywords Yog a .Mindfulness meditation .Exercise .
Cognition .Executive function .Mood
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice which traditionally aims to
cultivate mind-body awareness and higher states of conscious-
ness (Bryant 2009). Hatha yoga is the most common style of
yoga practiced in Western societies, and involves mindful
physical posturing, breathing exercises, and meditation
(Muktibodhananda 2012). A survey of a nationally represen-
tative sample estimated that approximately 21 million US cit-
izens practiced hatha yoga in 2012 (Cramer et al. 2016); this
represents a tripling of the number of hatha yoga practitioners
in a 15-year span (19982012; Saper et al. 2004). These sta-
tistics suggest that hatha yoga is becoming an increasingly
popular modality of exercise in North America.
Meditation is another common complementary practice
in Western societies (Clarke et al. 2015), and can be defined
as mental training which engages attentional and emotion-
regulation abilities through (self- or other-) guided focus on
specific objects, intentions, or internal and external envi-
ronments (Raffone and Srinivasan 2010;Tangetal.
2015). Mindfulness meditation specifically has been oper-
ationalized as the practice of non-judgemental observation
of present moment thoughts, emotions, and body sensations
with openness and acceptance (Bishop et al. 2004).
Mindfulness meditation can be practiced on its own or as
integrated with physical posturing, as is the case with hatha
yoga (Shelov et al. 2009).
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article
(doi:10.1007/s12671-016-0661-2) contains supplementary material,
which is available to authorized users.
*Kimberley Luu
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, BMH 1013, 200
University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada
Mindfulness (2017) 8:873880
DOI 10.1007/s12671-016-0661-2
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... Similarly, the recent research of Rusiñol-Rodriguez et al. (2020) highlighted the hypnotic, contemplative and relaxing nature of this activity. Since one major finding of the impact of AF mediation and mindfulness is their beneficial effects on EF in both adults (Moore and Malinowski, 2009;Gallant, 2016;Luu and Hall, 2017;Cásedas et al., 2019) and children and adolescents (Thurman and Torsney, 2014;Kiani et al., 2017), on may expect that knitting practice could be favorable for EF as well. The purpose of the present research was then to investigate this claim, that is, whether a non-academic activity like knitting could have an impact on schoolchildren aged 9-11 EF. ...
... The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of knitting on the cognitive sphere of school-age children. Considering together the likeness of knitting practice with AF meditation (Turney, 2009;Riley et al., 2013;Corkhill et al., 2014;Alhers and Thomas, 2019) and the influence of AF meditation on EF (Moore and Malinowski, 2009;Thurman and Torsney, 2014;Gallant, 2016;Kiani et al., 2017;Luu and Hall, 2017;Cásedas et al., 2019), two experiments were designed to test the assumption that knitting practice could optimized executive functions such as inhibition. Experiment 1 assessed the impact of an acute knitting bout on the pupils' motor cool inhibition abilities using a cool stop-signal task, while Experiment 2 examined its influence using both a cool and a hot stop-signal tasks. ...
... The results indicate an improvement in both cool and hot inhibition abilities, that is when inhibition operates either on neutral (i.e., Experiment 1) or emotionally charged stimuli (i.e., Experiment 2). More research is needed to examine whether an acute knitting boot may impact other executive functions, such as mental flexibility and the updating of working memory, as it has been observed for meditation (Moore and Malinowski, 2009;Thurman and Torsney, 2014;Gallant, 2016;Kiani et al., 2017;Luu and Hall, 2017;Cásedas et al., 2019). In addition, in keeping with the studies on aerobic exercise, determining whether EF is more sensitive to knitting practice when individuals undergo Frontiers in Psychology 10 ...
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Across two experiments, the presented research explored the impact of a knitting bout on elementary school pupils’ inhibition abilities. They proposed an accurate measure of the pupils’ inhibition abilities through the use of a stop-signal paradigm. In order to take into account, the differentiation between cool and hot inhibitions abilities, the emotional content of the stimuli was manipulated across experiments. Neutral materials were used in Experiment 1 when emotionally charged materials were in Experiment 2. The findings of both experiments highlighted a beneficial impact of the knitting bout on children’s inhibition abilities. While the results of Experiment 1 showed an optimization of inhibition abilities for the knitting session group in comparison to the control group, Experiment 2 revealed a disappearance of the effect of the emotional content on these abilities as well. Proposals as to why EF could be sensitive to knitting practice are discussed.
... In addition, previous studies measured only single indicators of executive function, such as inhibitory control (Luu & Hall, 2017), working memory (Bachmann et al., 2018) or cognitive flexibility (Shapero et al., 2018). Since executive functions are a family of cognitive processes (Diamond, 2013), this study aimed to investigate the effects of mindfulness training on all three subfunctions of executive function in youths with depression. ...
... The inhibitory control was measured by the Stroop task (Stroop, 1935), which is a reliable and valid measurement of inhibitory control (Luu & Hall, 2017). The difference in reaction time between the colorword congruent condition and the color-word incongruent condition (Stroop effect size) was used as an indicator of inhibitory control, with a lower Stroop effect size representing higher inhibitory control. ...
... In the post-intervention outcome of the inhibitory control task, the Stroop effect size was smaller in the MTG than that in the WCG, which is consistent with previous results regarding the effects of mindfulness training on inhibitory control (Luu & Hall, 2017). Mindfulness training has been studied to emphasize that it can facilitate individuals' deautomation processes, i.e., reduce the habituation of cognitive behaviors (Wang et al., 2012). ...
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Youth depression is often associated with impairments in cognitive function, especially in executive function. This study examines the effect of an 8-session-long mindfulness training that can improve executive function in youth with depression. Sixty youths (age range 15-27 years) with depression were selected as participants and were randomized into a mindfulness training group (MTG) and a waitlist-control group (WCG). The MTG received an 8-week mindfulness training while the WCG received no intervention. Both groups performed the Stroop, N-back, and More-odd shifting tasks at baseline and after eight weeks to examine inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility of executive function, respectively. The results showed that mind-fulness training significantly reduced the Stroop effect size for MTG (p < 0.001), but the effect on the switching cost was not statistically significant (p = 0.975). There was an age effect of mindfulness training on working memory. For young adults, mindfulness training improved accuracy on the N-back task (p < 0.01) and shortened reaction time, although this effect slightly exceeded the significance level (p = 0.075). However, mindfulness training failed to improve the working memory of adolescents with depression. In conclusion, mindfulness training improved inhibitory control in youth with depression. It also improved working memory in young adults with depression, but future studies with large samples are needed to validate the improvement in working memory.
... A third possible cofounding factor could be the difficulty to enter into a meditative state, i.e., the individual receptivity to the proposed MM intervention. In the current literature, this is often not measured at all (e.g., [22]), or through self-reported questionnaires, which are either validated and evaluating the mindful state reached by the participants during the MM session (e.g., [9]), or custom-made and evaluating the effort put by the participant's to follow the intervention (e.g., [11]). Such measures can under or over-estimate the individual intervention receptivity as they depend on the participants' ability to interrogate their mind and to their willingness to follow the instructions. ...
... The Stroop task involves mainly cognitive flexibility and attention allocation to select relevant information, as well as inhibition to avoid distraction [28][29][30]. It has been previously used in many MM studies to assess attention (e.g., [31]), and/or cognitive flexibility (e.g., [5]), and/or inhibition (e.g., [9,22]). ...
... Following both interventions, their cognitive performance was tested again (T AL after AL and T MM after MM). A ten minutes delay post-intervention was respected in order to optimize the chances of observing acute effects [22]. During the ten-minute break after the AL, participants were asked to summarize the content of the recording they just listened to. ...
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The present study investigated acute cognitive effects of mindfulness meditation (MM) compared to an active control intervention in meditators (n = 22) and novices (n = 20) using a within-subject design. We analyzed reaction times in a digitized Stroop task at baseline, after a 10-minute MM session with a fundamental breathing exercise, and after a 10-minute attentive listening intervention. Interventions order was randomized and a 10 min delay was respected before testing. Relative to baseline, meditators and novices showed faster reaction times after both interventions, but more so after MM for the congruent and incongruent Stroop task conditions that are associated with attention, inhibition and cognitive flexibility. Although the two interventions showed cognitive effects independent of previous meditation experience, MM appeared to induce larger benefits. Our findings are encouraging and support MM's potential as a means to enhance cognitive performance on the short-term without the need of any previous practice.
... After allocation, the participants were individually tested at baseline (T0) and after their respective 15-min intervention (T1). A 10-min delay post-intervention was respected before testing (T1) in order to optimize the chances of observing acute effects (Luu and Hall, 2017). During this break, the participant completed a short questionnaire to assess their engagement in the allocated intervention (TMS following the MM session, Control Quiz following the control intervention). ...
... When using separate tasks based on different frameworks, inconsistent results have been found following shortterm MM practice. For perceptual inhibition, some studies reported benefits [e.g., (Luu and Hall, 2017)] while others reported no effects [e.g., (Polak, 2009)]. Regarding motor inhibition, which has been scarcely investigated, studies reported short-term MM effects at the neural level (Andreu et al., 2018), but not at the behavioral level (Andreu et al., 2018;Jaiswal et al., 2020;Baranski, 2021). ...
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Introduction: Mindfulness meditation (MM) involves and benefits cognitive functioning, especially attention and inhibition processes, which are also implicated in the control of complex motor skills, such as bimanual coordination. Thus, MM practice could potentially enhance bimanual coordination control through its cognitive benefits. Accordingly, in this study, we investigated the acute effects of a brief MM session on bimanual coordination dynamics, attention, and inhibition abilities, as well as the mediation link between MM’s cognitive and motor improvements. Methods: Healthy meditation-naïve (novices, n = 29) and meditation-experienced participants (meditators, n = 26) were randomly assigned to either an active control intervention (attentive listening to a documentary podcast) or a MM intervention (breathing and open monitoring exercise), both lasting 15 min. In the motor domain, pre- and post-tests assessed participants’ ability to intentionally maintain the anti-phase coordination pattern at maximal movement frequency and resist the spontaneous transition to the in-phase pattern. In the cognitive domain, the participants’ attentional, perceptual inhibition and motor inhibition abilities were assessed. Results: Following both interventions, meditators and novices improved the stability of their anti-phase coordination pattern (p = 0.034, ηp2 = 0.10) and their attentional performance (p’s < 0.001, ηp2 > 0.40). Only following the MM intervention, meditators and novices improved their ability to intentionally maintain the anti-phase pattern by delaying or even suppressing the spontaneous transition to in-phase (p’s < 0.05, ηp2 ≥ 0.11), and improved concomitantly their motor inhibition scores (p = 0.011, ηp2 = 0.13). No effects were found on perceptual inhibition. The increase in motor inhibition capacities did not however statistically mediate the observed acute effects of MM on bimanual coordination control. Conclusion: We showed that a single MM session may have acute benefits in the motor domain regardless of the familiarity with MM practice. Although these benefits were concomitant to enhanced attentional and motor inhibition abilities, no formal mediation link could be established between the observed motor and cognitive benefits. This study paves the way for the investigation of the mechanisms underlying MM effects on motor control, as well as longer-term benefits.
... The difference between the studies may have occurred due to CHO consumption. Another study compared the acute effects of hatha yoga practice and mindfulness intervention on cognitive functions and mood (Luu and Hall, 2017). The researchers found that both interventions were effective in improving either cognitive task performance or mood levels at the same levelwhen compared to the control group. ...
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Introduction In this study, we examined the acute effects of a short video-based body scan mindfulness practice on the heart rate variability (HRV) and cognitive performance of professional female basketball players after the first half of a simulated basketball game. Methods In this crossover randomized controlled trial, nine professional athletes completed a physical loading protocol on two separate days. The protocol consisted of a 10-min Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 in the first quarter, followed by a 10-min basketball game in the second quarter. Immediately afterward, they were asked to engage in a 10-min mindfulness practice or watch a 10-min nature-based documentary as a type of mental intervention. Their HRV, Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task Load Index 2 (NASA TLX-2), and Go/No-Go test scores were recorded immediately before and after the physical loading and after the mental intervention. Results The physical demand, effort, and frustration level subscales of the NASA TLX-2 and the RPE scores were found to be significantly higher after the physical loading, and they returned to the baseline level after both types of mental intervention. The Go/No-Go test scores did not differ depending on the measurement time. All time- and frequency-domain heart rate variability parameters, except the low-to-high frequency ratio, were found to be significantly high immediately after the physical loading protocol. However, these parameters returned to their initial levels after both types of mental intervention. Discussion Completing the tests involved in the study protocol successfully induced physical fatigue, as evidenced by consistent measurement tools, but the one-time and short-term mindfulness practice had no additional benefits for the recovery of heart rate variability, cognitive tasks, or subjective assessment methods, such as RPE and NASA TLX-2, in basketball players with no previous experience of mindfulness practice.
... Exercising yoga produces healthy energy, vital for the immune system to work efficiently. Considering all the benefits of performing yoga by humans, the United Nations general assembly declared 21 June as "International Yoga Day." Another research by Luu et al., [4] showed that acute bursts of Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation are proven to enhance organizational performance and mood. Catherine Woodyards' et al., [5] study indicates that yogic activities increase muscle strength and body endurance, encourage, and strengthen respiratory and cardiovascular capacity and alcohol rehabilitation, alleviate fatigue, stress, depression, and chronic pain, enhance sleep cycles, and improve sleep general health and quality of life. ...
... In an assessment of the different parameters of mindfulness, research has examined how long the effects of an acute mindfulness exposure last, and whether the yoga practice that is included in many mindfulness interventions (e.g., MBSR and MBCT) contributes to the cognitive performance changes that have been noted in the literature. Luu and Hall (2017) had hatha yoga practitioners complete a yoga session, a mindfulness session, and a reading control task (in three separate visits to the research center). Each session lasted 25 min. ...
... Compared with inhibition control, there is increasing attention being paid to demonstrating the effect of a single bout of physical activity on working memory performance [16,26,62,63] and cognitive flexibility performance [26,41,64,65] in the preadolescent subpopulation. Specifically, Ishihara et al. [66] announced that working memory and inhibitory control achieved the best benefit after 50-min game-based tennis lessons compared to techniquebased lessons and watching TV. ...
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Background: Recent literature has demonstrated that acute physical activity benefits the transfer of executive functions. However, further studies indicated the type of variability in the effect of physical activity on executive functions. Therefore, this study initially explored the effect of a single bout of Chinese archery on subdomains of core EFs in preadolescent children; Method: Eligible participants were allocated either an intervention group (n = 36) or a control group (n = 36). The subjects in the intervention group received a 45-min Chinese archery session. The primary outcomes were the performance of core EFs (inhibition control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility) in preadolescent children, assessed with psychological paradigms (Fish Flanker Task, N-Back Task, and DCCS (Border version), respectively). Paired t-test and ANCOVA were used to analyze the mean difference in the performance of core EFs within and between subjects, respectively; Results: Considering reaction time and accuracy, we explored the impressive performance in three cognitive tasks with acute Chinese archery; Conclusion: The finding suggests that a single bout of Chinese archery benefited three subdomains of core EFs in healthy preadolescent children.
Writing about negative experiences can produce multiple benefits, including improvements in mental and emotional health. However, writing about negative experiences potentially be detrimental, as reliving and reexperiencing a negative memory can be painful. Although the emotional effects of writing about negative experiences are well established, the cognitive effects are less heavily explored, and no work to date has examined how writing about a stressful experience might influence episodic memory. We addressed this issue in the present study (N = 520) by having participants encode a list of 16 words that were organised around four semantic clusters, randomly assigning participants to write about an unresolved stressful experience (n = 263) or the events of the previous day (n = 257), and assessing their memory in a free recall task. Writing about a stressful experience did not influence overall memory performance; however, the stressful writing manipulation increased semantic clustering of information within memory for men, whereas the stressful writing manipulation did not influence semantic clustering of information within memory in women. Additionally, writing with more positive sentiment improved semantic clustering and reduced serial recall. These results provide evidence for unique sex differences in writing about stressful experiences and the role of sentiment in the effects of expressive writing.
Physical activity (PA) and mindfulness are independently associated with improved cognitive function; however, the effects of their combination on cognitive function are unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an acute bout of PA, mindfulness training, and combined PA and mindfulness training on changes in cognitive function and perceived cognitive ability. Using a repeated measures within-subjects design, adults (N = 29, M age = 28.6) completed three 20-minute counterbalanced conditions: a) mindfulness training (MIND); b) moderate-intensity walking (PA), and c) moderate-intensity walking while listening to PA-specific mindfulness training (PAMIND). Participants completed the NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery and PROMIS Applied Cognition Short Form before and after each condition. Within-subjects repeated measures ANOVAs revealed inhibitory control, working memory, task shifting, processing speed and the fluid composite score ( P < .01 for all) improved from pre-to post-condition for all conditions. Perceived cognitive ability declined across all conditions pre- to post-condition ( P < .001); decreases were largest in the MIND condition. Cognitive performance improved following acute bouts of general mindfulness, PA, and the combination of the two, but perceived cognitive ability declined. Future work is warranted to examine effects in other populations and as a result of different PA and mindfulness doses and interventions.
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Introduction: Recent reviews have documented the beneficial effects of seated meditation on executive function (EF). However, there has yet to be a comprehensive review on the effects of Hatha yoga, a moving meditation, on EF. Objective: To examine the empirical literature on the effects of Hatha yoga on EF. Methods: MEDLINE, Scopus, and PsycINFO databases were searched for experimental studies (between- or within-subject designs) testing the effects of Hatha yoga (acute bouts, short-term interventions, longer-term interventions) on EF. Results: A total of 11 published studies met eligibility criteria: Three studies involved healthy adults, 2 studies involved healthy older adults (n = 2), 1 study involved children and adolescents, and 5 studies involved medical (n = 4) or forensic (n = 1) populations. In healthy adults, 2 of 3 studies suggested that acute bouts of Hatha yoga improved EF; however, 1 study using a short-term intervention found no improvements in EF. Among healthy older adults, 1 study provided evidence that Hatha yoga improves EF. In child/adolescent samples, 1 study supported the contention that Hatha yoga improves EF after short-term interventions. Among medical populations, EF improved in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and in 1 of 3 studies involving patients with multiple sclerosis. The sole study involving impulsive prisoners showed positive effects on EF with a short-term intervention. Conclusion: Hatha yoga shows promise of benefit for EF in healthy adults, children, adolescents, healthy older adults, impulsive prisoners, and medical populations (with the exception of multiple sclerosis). However, more good-quality studies that evaluate the efficacy of Hatha yoga's effects on EF are essential to build on this evidence base.
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Meditation can be defined as a form of mental training that aims to improve an individual's core psychological capacities, such as attentional and emotional self-regulation. Meditation encompasses a family of complex practices that include mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, yoga, tai chi and chi gong 1. Of these practices , mindfulness meditation — often described as non-judgemental attention to present-moment experiences (BOX 1) — has received most attention in neuroscience research over the past two decades 2–8. Although meditation research is in its infancy, a number of studies have investigated changes in brain activation (at rest and during specific tasks) that are associated with the practice of, or that follow, training in mindfulness meditation. These studies have reported changes in multiple aspects of mental function in beginner and advanced meditators, healthy individuals and patient populations 9–14. In this Review, we consider the current state of research on mindfulness meditation. We discuss the methodological challenges that the field faces and point to several shortcomings in existing studies. Taking into account some important theoretical considerations, we then discuss behavioural and neuroscientific findings in light of what we think are the core components of meditation practice: attention control, emotion regulation and self-awareness (BOX 1). Within this framework, we describe research that has revealed changes in behaviour, brain activity and brain structure following mindfulness meditation training. We discuss what has been learned so far from this research and suggest new research strategies for the field. We focus here on mindfulness meditation practices and have excluded studies on other types of meditation. However, it is important to note that other styles of meditation may operate via distinct neural mechanisms
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Objective-This report presents national estimates of the use of complementary health approaches among adults in the United States across three time points. Trends in the use of selected complementary health approaches are compared for 2002, 2007, and 2012, and differences by selected demographic characteristics are also examined. Methods-Combined data from 88,962 adults aged 18 and over collected as part of the 2002, 2007, and 2012 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed for this report. Sample data were weighted to produce national estimates that are representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. adult population. Differences between percentages were evaluated using two-sided significance tests at the 0.05 level. Results-Although the use of individual approaches varied across the three time points, nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements remained the most popular complementary health approach used. The use of yoga, tai chi, and qi gong increased linearly across the three time points; among these three approaches, yoga accounted for approximately 80% of the prevalence. The use of any complementary health approach also differed by selected sociodemographic characteristics. The most notable observed differences in use were by age and Hispanic or Latino origin and race. All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.
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Introduction: Cognitive impairment is a highly prevalent, disabling, and poorly managed consequence of multiple sclerosis (MS). Exercise training represents a promising approach for managing cognitive impairment in this population. However, there is limited evidence supporting an optimal exercise stimulus for improving cognition in MS. The current study compared the acute effects of moderate-intensity treadmill walking, moderate-intensity cycle ergometry, and guided yoga with those of quiet rest on executive control in 24 persons with relapsing-remitting MS without impaired cognitive processing speed using a within-subjects, repeated measures design. Method: Participants completed four experimental conditions that consisted of 20 minutes of moderate-intensity treadmill walking exercise, moderate-intensity cycle ergometer exercise, guided yoga, and quiet rest in a randomized, counterbalanced order. Participants underwent a modified-flanker task as a measure of executive control immediately prior to and following each condition. Results: Repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) indicated general pre-to-post improvements in reaction time, but not accuracy, on the modified-flanker task for all three exercise modalities compared with quiet rest. However, there were additional, selective pre-to-post reductions in the cost of interfering stimuli on reaction time on the modified-flanker task for treadmill walking, F(1, 23) = 4.67, p = .04, η(p)2 = .17, but not cycle ergometry, F(1, 23) = 0.12, p = .73, η(p)2 < .01, or guided yoga, F(1, 23) = 0.73, p = .40, η(p)2 = .03, compared with quiet rest. Conclusions: The present results support treadmill walking as the modality of exercise that might exert the largest beneficial effects on executive control in persons with relapsing-remitting MS without impaired cognitive processing speed. This represents an exciting starting point for delineating the appropriate exercise stimulus (i.e., modality and intensity) for inclusion in a subsequent longitudinal exercise training intervention for improving cognitive performance in this population.
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Participants in previous studies of brief mindfulness meditation (MM) are often tested immediately following a meditation session, making it difficult to separate several days of training from one-session effects. The current study examined the effects of a single session of 25 min of MM compared with a sham meditation (sham M) and a book-listening control. One session of both MM and sham M had a significant effect on state mindfulness compared with the control. Several mood subscales as well as total distress score on the Profile of Mood States (POMS) were also significantly different from control. However, neither meditation condition had significant effects on any of the attention and working memory tasks. These results indicate that one session of meditation was not sufficient to affect the cognitive tasks used in this study. Both MM and sham M positively affected mood states and heightened state mindfulness.
Regular practice of yoga is implicated in the healthy development of the body, mind, and spirit, leading to a more fulfilling life. The present investigation was designed to study the influence of regular practice of yoga on cognitive skills and mental health. 19 regular practitioners of yoga were matched with controls on age, gender and education level, and compared on outcome measures of Digit Symbol Test, PGI Memory Scale and Mental Health Questionnaire. An expost-facto design using t-test for two dependent means was adopted. Results indicated regular practitioners of yoga perform significantly better on tests of attention and concentration, remote memory, mental balance, delayed recall, immediate recall, verbal retention of dissimilar pairs, visual retention and recognition; and have better mental health. The results were discussed in the light of available research. The limitations of the study were also discussed.
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence, patterns, and predictors of yoga use in the U.S. general population. Methods: Using cross-sectional data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey Family Core, Sample Adult Core, and Adult Complementary and Alternative Medicine questionnaires (N=34,525), weighted frequencies for lifetime and 12-month prevalence of yoga use and patterns of yoga practice were analyzed. Using logistic regression analyses, sociodemographic predictors of lifetime yoga use were analyzed. Analyses were conducted in 2015. Results: Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of yoga use were 13.2% and 8.9%, respectively. Compared with nonpractitioners, lifetime yoga practitioners were more likely female, younger, non-Hispanic white, college educated, higher earners, living in the West, and of better health status. Among those who had practiced in the past 12 months, 51.2% attended yoga classes, 89.9% used breathing exercises, and 54.9% used meditation. Yoga was practiced for general wellness or disease prevention (78.4%), to improve energy (66.1%), or to improve immune function (49.7%). Back pain (19.7%), stress (6.4%), and arthritis (6.4%) were the main specific health problems for which people practiced yoga. Conclusions: About 31 million U.S. adults have ever used yoga, and about 21 million practiced yoga in the past 12 months. Disease prevention and back pain relief were the most important health reasons for yoga practice. Yoga practice is associated with age, gender, ethnicity, SES, and health status.
Preface to the American Edition Preface to the Original Edition Introduction Patanjali and the Exegetical Literature Some Philosophical Concepts of Kriya-Yoga Overview of Topics Discussed by Patanjali Annotated Translation Chapter One: Samadhi-Pada Chapter Two: Sadhana-Pada Chapter Three: Vibhuti-Pada Chapter Four: Kaivalya-Pada Continuous Translation Word Index to the Yoga-Sutra Bibliography Guide to the Pronunciation of Sanskrit Index About the Author