Study finds Hatha yoga to have more benefits than mindfulness meditation

Study finds Hatha yoga to have more benefits than mindfulness meditation

“Yoga, meditation improve brain function and energy levels, study shows” was posted by ScienceDaily.com on 9-6-17. This article reports on research comparing Hatha yoga, mindfulness meditation, and a control activity. Each activity was done for “just” 25 minutes, and the results found significant benefits from both the treatment interventions, with more benefit from the Hatha yoga.

Hatha yoga involves a combination of physical “postures,” breathing exercises and meditation. Mindfulness meditation does not include postures and focuses on observing thoughts, emotions, and body sensations with “openness and acceptance.” The control activity was reading quietly for 25 minutes.

Both interventions were found to provide benefits for executive functioning and energy, but hatha yoga was also found to provide more benefit for energy levels. 

The authors theorized, “there are additional benefits (compared to mindfulness alone) to Hatha yoga, including improvements flexibility and strength. These benefits are superior to meditation, in terms of overall health benefits.”

MHConcierge’s take: this article is part of an emerging tsunami of research support of the physical and, of particular interest to MHConcierge readers, mental health benefits of various versions of meditation and yoga. To get people to do “just” 25 minutes of this type of practice, however, may be challenging.

Entire article is available online without a subscription or fee.

 

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