“Historically and anecdotally, yoga has been thought to be beneficial in ageing well, but this is the scientific demonstration of that benefit…We’re converting historical wisdom into the high level of evidence required for doctors to recommend therapy to their patients.”
The form of yoga used in the study, known as Kundalini, focuses on breathing, meditation and chanting as well as poses designed to increase strength and flexibility.
It incorporates Kirtan Kriya meditation, which involves chanting, hand movements and visualisation of light, and has been used for hundreds of years in India to prevent mental decline in older adults.
Dr Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Exercise in general can bring important physical benefits as well as enjoyable social experiences, and has been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia…While there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that physical activity is beneficial for cognition, it’s still unclear what type and intensity of activity could be most important.”
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