Scientific studies confirm benefits of Kundalini Yoga
If you are a regular practitioner of Kundalini Yoga and meditation, you have probably already experienced the positive effects of these practices and how good you can feel after a kriya or a few minutes of long deep breathing. But the benefits are not only experienced mentally or emotionally – but also physically.
Kundalini Yoga and meditation have an impact on the body and its functions, systems, biochemistry, organs, tissues, and even cells. They are powerful practices that can benefit the physical, chemical, and biological foundations of the human body, and this is confirmed more and more regularly by science.
A study published this September showed that the practice of Kundalini Yoga increases the size of the hippocampus in older adults. The study was a pilot randomized controlled trial to examine the possible neuroprotective effects of Kundalini Yoga in older adults.
Participants who practiced a mixture of Kundalini Yoga postures, pranayamas and meditation, showed a significant increase in the volume of the right hippocampus through MRI, confirming this type of yoga can benefit older adults neurobiologically.
The hippocampus is an important part of brain function, associated with memory, learning, the link between emotions and memories, and the regulation of spatial navigation. The ability to calculate spaces and distances is one of the first cognitive skills that people lose as they age.
Kundalini Yoga practice can also be useful for subsequent treatments for certain diseases, such as Lyme disease. A recent study approved by the New York State Psychiatric Institute Institutional Review Board at Columbia University Irving Medical Center showed that the 8-week practice of Kundalini Yoga was useful for some secondary symptoms of people suffering from the long-term effects of Lyme disease.
The Kundalini Yoga protocol consisted of light stretching with rhythmical movements, directed breathing, and guided meditation. Exercises included, among others, March in place (a variant from Yoguic march exercise), Shoulder lifts, Spinal Twist, Spine Flex, Breath of Fire sequence, and Guided Meditation to visualize a transformation of distress into healing.
Primary and secondary outcomes assessed pain, pain interference, fatigue, global health, multisystem symptom burden, mood, sleep, physical and social functioning, cognition, and mindfulness. Participants who practiced Kundalini Yoga reported improvement in multisystem symptoms and cognition over the course of the study.
As we can see, yoga, meditation, and spiritual practices are becoming increasingly present in scientific findings. These articles can be very useful to share the benefits of such practices with a scientific basis – and that gives people a certain level of security and knowledge about how they can be highly beneficial for health.
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