An Analysis upon Impact of Different Yogic Exercises on Executive Functions | Original Article
Executive functioning (EF) is a multifaceted neuropsychological 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 to follow through with goals and plans, and (3) flexibly alter goals and plans in response to changing contingencies. Despite an increase in the prevalence of yoga exercise, research focusing on the relationship between yoga exercise and cognition is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an acute yoga exercise session, relative to aerobic exercise, on cognitive performance. Studies of the cognitive benefits of physical activity need to move beyond simple aerobic activities that require little thought (treadmill running, riding a stationary bicycle, or rapid walking) and resistance training. Many studies have looked at this in older adults, and the evidence points strongly to those activities having little or no cognitive benefit, certainly little or no improvement to the executive functions that depend on prefrontal cortex. There is encouraging evidence for other types of physical activity improving executive functions; however they have received far less study.