Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

Dharma Singh Khalsa: Why are yoga and meditation often overlooked for healthy brain aging?

Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD

Dhar­ma Singh Khal­sa, MD

What is your cur­rent job title and orga­ni­za­tion, and what excites you the most about work­ing there?
As the Found­ing Pres­i­dent and Med­ical Direc­tor of the Alzheimer’s Research and Pre­ven­tion Foun­da­tion (ARPF), what excites me lead­ing the way in cut­ting edge research on the ben­e­fi­cial, anti-aging effects of yoga and med­i­ta­tion on cel­lu­lar health, brain func­tion and, specif­i­cal­ly, mem­o­ry.

Please tell us about your inter­est in applied brain sci­ence. What areas are you most inter­est­ed in? What moti­vat­ed you to pur­sue work in your field?
What inter­ests me the most is how life style influ­ences brain health dur­ing aging. What moti­vat­ed me was my life­long inter­est in holis­tic med­i­cine and my 35 years of prac­tice and study of stress, med­i­ta­tion, and mem­o­ry. I’ve looked at it from both sides; I’ve stud­ied mind/body med­i­cine with Dr. Her­bert Ben­son at Har­vard and Kun­dali­ni Yoga with­Yo­gi Bha­jan.

What is one impor­tant thing you are work­ing on now, and where can peo­ple learn more about it?
Per­haps the most promis­ing area we fund and study is about the effects on brain and mem­o­ry of a sim­ple 12 minute yoga med­i­ta­tion called Kir­tan Kriya. Cur­rent­ly we have stud­ies look­ing at how this med­i­ta­tion may effi­cient­ly improve capac­i­ty and slow the pro­gres­sion of Mild Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment into Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. Best place to learn more is the research sec­tion in our web­site.

What are 1–2 key things you’d like every per­son to under­stand regard­ing his/ her own brain and mind, that you think is com­mon­ly mis­rep­re­sent­ed or not addressed in the pop­u­lar media?
1. Drugs are not the answer. 2. Yoga and Med­i­ta­tion are under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed as a way to keep your brain sharp with age. They belong in the con­ver­sa­tion with diet, exer­cise and so on. It has been revealed that med­i­ta­tion not only has mul­ti­ple pos­i­tive effects on your brain and help reverse mem­o­ry loss but is also the fastest and deep­est way to cre­ate psy­cho­log­i­cal and spir­i­tu­al well-being, a crit­i­cal­ly impor­tant fea­ture of healthy brain aging. It’s easy and more peo­ple must seek it out.

Where do you see clear “low-hang­ing fruit” to enhance behav­ioral and brain health based on neu­ro­science and inno­va­tion
It is actu­al­ly quite sim­ple: put your brain health first. We shouldn’t wait until a prob­lem aris­es to try and fix it.

What would you like the 2013 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit to accom­plish?
I expect the Sum­mit to con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing lead­er­ship and inspi­ra­tion cut­ting across many tra­di­tion­al silos,  help­ing dis­cuss and advance the many approach­es that are becom­ing avail­able to pro­mote brain longevi­ty.

Final­ly, what do YOU do to stay sharp?
I make my health my num­ber 1 pri­or­i­ty. I try and eat well with a plant based diet. I exer­cise 4–5 X a week; both car­dio and weights etc. I do yoga and med­i­ta­tion every morn­ing. I have a rich spir­i­tu­al life. I read what inter­ests me and share my work. I take var­i­ous sup­ple­ments. I spend time and give love to my fam­i­ly and friends and have fun with my grand­son.

And final­ly, I nev­er stop search­ing for mean­ing and pur­pose in life.

2013 SharpBrains SummitThis con­ver­sa­tion is part of a new inter­view series with Speak­ers and Par­tic­i­pants in the upcom­ing 2013 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit (Sep­tem­ber 19–20th). You can reg­is­ter with a 20% dis­count using pro­mo­tion­al code: sharp2020

Leave a Reply...

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

Follow us and Engage via…

twitter_logo_header
RSS Feed

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives