Gwyneth Paltrow looks flawless on the red carpet at the 2nd Annual Bent on Learning benefit at NYC’s Puck Building on Wednesday (April 28).
Inner peace can do you a lot of good and more as yoga and meditation can help older adults with memory problems, a new study found. Neuroscientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that a three-month yoga and meditation course can help lower the emotional and cognitive issues preceding Alzheimer's disease as well as other types of dementia.
Findings also showed that these short yoga and meditation courses work even better than the cognitive enhancement exercises that are often deemed the top choices for mild cognitive problem management. For the study, the research team enrolled 25 participants who are all over 55-years-old and reported some memory problems. Eleven adults underwent 1-hour weekly memory enhancement drills as well as 20-minute daily memory exercises.
Fourteen adults were enrolled in a 1-hour weekly Kundalini yoga class and a daily 20-minute Kirtan Kriya meditation which they could do at home.
The meditation technique has been around in India for centuries and includes visualization, chanting and hand movements. At the end of the study, the researchers found that both groups' verbal memory skills improved, which helped them remember lists of words and names. However, the second group, who practiced yoga and meditation, had higher improvement rates when it came to visual-spatial memory skills, which helped them in better navigation and remembering locations. But that's not all, the group who took up yoga and meditation also showed higher improvements in reducing anxiety and depression.
The team also found that the second group improved coping and stress management skills better than the first group. Contrary to widely-held belief, there is very little stretching in a 75–90 minute Yin Yoga class.
The rest intervals between poses allow the tissue time to recover, hence less prone to over-fatigue or injury. Conversely, the connective tissues remain generally cool when exercised; it does not elongate much due to its plasticity element. As Clark exemplified in his book, imagine bending your credit card repetitively, it will snap pretty quickly!

According to Clark, when practicing Yin, there are only two reasons why a practitioner should move. Once the clock starts ticking, 5 minutes of Happy Baby may seem blissful, but if your hips are tight, that baby isn’t so happy anymore.
Discovering the right type of meditation can help the practitioner ease into the posture, find deeper relaxation in the body, and enter a space of spiritual tranquility. A person who is over-exercised may weaken their immune system and become prone to sickness overtime. Annie is cofounder and program director of All Yoga Thailand and Bali teacher training school.
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The participants completed brain scans and memory tests at the start and end of the study period. These enhancements can help them in coping with the emotional difficulties that come with cognitive problems. It was the first study to compare the effects of memory training exercises with the benefits of meditation and yoga. We can all benefit from slowing our lives down and taking some time for a deeper, slower practice.
From The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark, Bernie explains the difference between stretching and stressing. Our bodies are composed of muscles and connective tissues which may include ligaments, tendons, bones, joints and fascia.
A space has been created within the Yin tissue and invites the practitioner to move deeper.
If all we did were Power Vinyasa classes, the body would be overrun by too much Prana (or Chi), and we would experience difficulty sleeping and restlessness. It’s also safe to practice if you’re pregnant; however, it's always best to check with your doctor first. We calm our nervous system, have better concentration and in general, feel more blissful over time.

Annie leads teacher trainings and retreats internationally and has certified over 190 students worldwide. Stress occurs when we apply tension to our connective tissues, whereas stretch is the elongation of the tissue that results from stress. Through appropriate amount of weight bearing exercises, like walking up the stairs or lifting weights, bone calcium naturally depletes due to impact. So in Yin Yoga we’re not stretching the tissue but rather, stressing it, and then allowing time for rest and repair.
This is absolutely correct, but only if we’re applying repetitive Yang movements to the Ying tissues. Rather than dwelling over the painful sensation, you can engage in soft Ujjayi breathing or silently chant "So-Hum," a classic meditation technique. The mind might start to wander a million miles away, rather than staying focused on the present. We know them as the "Type A Personality." Funny enough, these are the people who may need Yin Yoga the most.
Through homeostasis, the body detects the depletion and increases calcium absorption through our food intake. Applying just enough pressure in any given area of the body can stimulate change in the long term.
They respond well to repetitive and rhythmic movements because their elastic qualities allow the muscle fibers to elongate when appropriately stretched.
Rather, we need to hold the poses for a long time and allow gravity to slowly work its way to the deeper Yin tissues. Same with our tissue, an appropriate amount of stress followed by rest strengthens the tissue, over time it becomes stronger.
I would recommend decreasing the amount of time spent holding a pose in Yin Yoga and put more emphasis on meditation and breathing.

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