Yoga-based relaxation techniques improve memory and state of anxiety. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effect of two yoga-based relaxation techniques on memory scores and state anxiety.
Biopsychosoc Med. 2009;3:8. Epub 2009 Aug 13. PMID: 19674483
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A yoga practice involving cycles of yoga postures and supine rest (called cyclic meditation) was previously shown to improve performance in attention tasks more than relaxation in the corpse posture (shavasana). This was ascribed to reduced anxiety, though this was not assessed. METHODS: In fifty-seven male volunteers (group average age +/- S.D., 26.6 +/- 4.5 years) the immediate effect of two yoga relaxation techniques was studied on memory and state anxiety. All participants were assessed before and after (i) Cyclic meditation (CM) practiced for 22:30 minutes on one day and (ii) an equal duration of Supine rest (SR) or the corpse posture (shavasana), on another day. Sections of the Wechsler memory scale (WMS) were used to assess; (i) attention and concentration (digit span forward and backward), and (ii) associate learning. State anxiety was assessed using Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). RESULTS: There was a significant improvement in the scores of all sections of the WMS studied after both CM and SR, but, the magnitude of change was more after CM compared to after SR. The state anxiety scores decreased after both CM and SR, with a greater magnitude of decrease after CM. There was no correlation between percentage change in memory scores and state anxiety for either session. CONCLUSION: A cyclical combination of yoga postures and supine rest in CM improved memory scores immediately after the practice and decreased state anxiety more than rest in a classical yoga relaxation posture (shavasana).