Meditation for Brain Growth
Recently I read an article on meditation for Alzheimer’s prevention. A study at Harvard tested a group of people using ‘mindfulness’ meditation, when they did some easy yoga, and ‘body scanning’ over an 8 week period.
I’m not that familiar with yoga or its types. In case you aren’t either, part of a mindful meditative state involves focusing on precise areas of the body, concentrating on what it is sensing. In a class I once took, I was surprised how effective it was for relaxation, so I think I can see how it could benefit the brain as well.
In the study they did MRI scans before and after the 8 week course. At the end of the study the MRI actually showed an increase in grey matter in the brains of those who did the meditation, while none was seen in the group that didn’t.
I find it so remarkable that this sort of brain exercise can show such clear results. As with certain foods and exercise, we can make a difference in our risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Good for so much more
The other benefit is that yoga may benefit the entire body, not just the brain. Its benefits for increased muscle tone and flexibility also help protect against injury. It’s shown to be good for the circulatory system, the heart, and metabolism. Often there are videos and classes available for very gentle yoga too, so it is something more are able to do.