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Power of Yoga: International Yoga Day to bring Arvind Kejriwal and Narendra Modi on same stage

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New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a strong proponent of yoga, will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi among thousands to mark the International Yoga Day here Sunday.

Accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Kejriwal will reach Rajpath at 6 a.m., said a Delhi government official.

Like Modi, Kejriwal has been practicing the regimen for a long time.

The chief minister finds it a great “stress buster, and has gone for yoga retreats.

After the Delhi assembly elections campaign in February, Kejriwal had gone for Vipassana meditation. After assuming the office, the chief minister attended a naturopathy course in Bengaluru which included yoga.

Sisodia has taken up the yoga. He has also attended Vipassana meditation retreat.

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Modi, an ardent proponent of yoga, will himself be present at the mega early morning function at Rajpath.

While the main function will be at Rajpath, which has been placed under unprecedented security cover for the event that will see diplomats too joining in, the International Yoga Day events will be held across cities, towns and districts in the country.

Yoga day events are being held in 192 countries, including in the Arab world.

Indian missions abroad are all geared up the mark the occasion with some public events. (IANS)

 

 

 

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Yoga as Good as Aerobic Exercise for Super Brain Health

Yoga helps people with or without anxiety disorders manage their stress

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Yoga can lower your back pain and treat your insomnia as well. Pixabay

If you do not like or cannot perform aerobic exercise for some reason, try yoga to improve brain health as scientists led by Indian-origin Neha Gothe have found evidence that yoga enhances many of the same brain structures and functions that benefit from aerobic exercise.

The findings are based on a review focused on 11 studies of the relationship between yoga practice and brain health.

Five of the studies engaged individuals with no background in yoga practice in one or more yoga sessions per week over a period of 10-24 weeks, comparing brain health at the beginning and end of the intervention.

The other studies measured brain differences between individuals who regularly practice yoga and those who don’t.

Each of the studies used brain-imaging techniques such as MRI and all involved Hatha yoga, which includes body movements, meditation and breathing exercises, said the team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“From these 11 studies, we identified some brain regions that consistently come up, and they are surprisingly not very different from what we see with exercise research,” said Gothe, University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Neha who led the research with Wayne State University psychology professor Jessica Damoiseaux.

“For example, we see increases in the volume of the hippocampus with yoga practice,” she added.

Many studies looking at the brain effects of aerobic exercise have shown a similar increase in hippocampus size over time.

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As soon as you start doing asanas, you’ll know what the fuss is all about! Pixabay

The hippocampus is involved in memory processing and is known to shrink with age.

“It is also the structure that is first affected in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Gothe in a paper published in the journal Brain Plasticity.

Though many of the studies are exploratory and not conclusive, the research points to other important brain changes associated with regular yoga practice, Damoiseaux said.

The amygdala, a brain structure that contributes to emotional regulation, tends to be larger in yoga practitioners than in their peers who do not practice yoga.

The prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex and brain networks such as the default mode network also tend to be larger or more efficient in those who regularly practice yoga.

“The prefrontal cortex, a brain region just behind the forehead, is essential to planning, decision-making, multitasking, thinking about your options and picking the right option,” Damoiseaux noted.

“The default mode network is a set of brain regions involved in thinking about the self, planning and memory”.

The studies also find that the brain changes seen in individuals practicing yoga are associated with better performance on cognitive tests or measures of emotional regulation.

The discovery that yoga may have similar effects on the brain to aerobic exercise is intriguing and warrants more study, said researchers.

Yoga is an antidote to the fast pace of today’s technology. Pixabay

“Yoga is not aerobic in nature, so there must be other mechanisms leading to these brain changes,” she said. “So far, we don’t have the evidence to identify what those mechanisms are.”

Enhancing emotional regulation is a key to yoga’s positive effects on the brain.

“In one of my previous studies, we were looking at how yoga changes the cortisol stress response,” Gothe said.

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“We found that those who had done yoga for eight weeks had an attenuated cortisol response to stress that was associated with better performance on tests of decision-making, task-switching and attention.”

Yoga helps people with or without anxiety disorders manage their stress.

“The practice of yoga helps improve emotional regulation to reduce stress, anxiety and depression,” she said. (IANS)