Yoga vs. Aerobic Exercise: What's Better For Your Brain?

Featured Article, Fitness, News and Advice
on June 7, 2013

A recent study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health finds that one 20-minute Hatha yoga session significantly improves brain function better than a moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise of the same amount of time.

The study, led by graduate student Neha Gothe, tested 30 female undergraduates’ working memory and inhibitory control scores, which are two measures of brain function associated with the ability to maintain focus and take in, retain and use new information.

The yoga period included one 20-minute session of seated, standing and supine yoga positions that included isometric contraction and relaxation of various muscle groups and controlled breathing. For the aerobics session, subjects participated in 20 minutes of walking or jogging on a treadmill.

The participants’ reaction times in cognitive tasks immediately after the yoga session showed significant improvements, while no major improvements were shown in the scores taken immediately after the aerobic exercise.

If you want to get off the treadmill and give yoga a try, check out your yoga options in Spry’s Yoga Bible.