An Assessment About Effects of Various Yoga Exercises on Executive Functions |
Executive functioning (EF) is a multifacetedneuropsychological construct that can be defined as (1) forming, (2)maintaining, and (3) shifting mental sets, corresponding to the abilities to(1) reason and generate goals and plans, (2) maintain focus and motivation tofollow through with goals and plans, and (3) flexibly alter goals and plans inresponse to changing contingencies. Despite an increase in the prevalence of yoga exercise,research focusing on the relationship between yoga exercise and cognition islimited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an acute yogaexercise session, relative to aerobic exercise, on cognitive performance. Studies of the cognitive benefits of physical activityneed to move beyond simple aerobic activities that require little thought(treadmill running, riding a stationary bicycle, or rapid walking) andresistance training. Many studies have looked at this in older adults, and theevidence points strongly to those activities having little or no cognitivebenefit, certainly little or no improvement to the executive functions thatdepend on prefrontal cortex. There is encouraging evidence for other types ofphysical activity improving executive functions; however they have received farless study.