Effects of Yoga on Cognitive Functions Among Adolescents

Lavya Shetty, BAMS; Gajjela Govardhan Reddy, MSc; Priyanka Krishnan, MPhil; Indu Toby, MPhil;
Shwetha TS, MPhil; Annapoorna K, BAMS, PhD (Yoga)



Context • Yoga is beneficial in enhancing mental health and consequently cognitive growth. Some studies have show that yoga practice can improve cognitive functioning in children.

Objective • The study intended to evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based yoga intervention on the cognitive abilities—attention and memory—of adolescents.

Design • The research team conducted a one-group, pretest-posttest study.

Setting • The study occurred at a rural residential school in Udupi, Karnataka, and South India.

Participants • Participants were a convenience sample of 36 adolescents, with a mean age of 12.19 ± 0.4 years, in the seventh grade at the school.

Intervention • A senior yoga expert prepared a structured, yoga-intervention module, which was implemented, with each session lasting one hour and occurring five days a week for 12 weeks.

Outcome Measures • The Digit Span Forward (DSF) and Digit Span Backward (DSB) tests and Letter-Number Sequencing (LNS) test were used by a trained research examiner to evaluate cognition.

Results • Comparing the mean DSB, total digit span score, and LNS at baseline and postintervention showed significantly higher posttest scores than pretest ones, with P = .005, P = .005, and P = .001, respectively.

Conclusions • Yoga training improves cognitive functions and is a simple, low-cost, and effective adjuvant modality.   (Adv Mind Body Med. 2022;36(2):4-7.)

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