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In case you're looking for another reason to hit the yoga studio, here's some interesting science that will get you rolling out your mat: According to recent research out of the University of Waterloo and published in the journal Mindfulness, practicing just 25 minutes of yoga can have positive effects on your brain function, mental health, and energy levels.
For the study, researchers asked 31 participants to practice hatha yoga for 25 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of meditation, followed by 25 minutes of reading quietly. The researchers found that the combination of yoga and meditation—but more so yoga—led to an increase in cognitive function, gave participants more energy, and helped them control impulsive emotional responses and habitual thinking patterns.
"There are a number of theories about why physical exercises like yoga improve energy levels and cognitive test performance," said lead study author Kimberley Luu. "These include the release of endorphins, increased blood flow to the brain, and reduced focus on ruminative thoughts. Though ultimately, it is still an open question."
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