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J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Jan;15(1):9-14. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0008.

Cerebral blood flow effects of yoga training: preliminary evaluation of 4 cases.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Experienced practitioners of yoga have been shown to alter brain function, but this case series measured cerebral blood flow before and after a 12-week training program in Iyengar yoga (IY) for naïve subjects.

METHODS:

On the first day, each of the 4 subjects listened to the teacher speaking on the history and background of the yoga program while they were injected with 250 MBq of (99m)Tc-bicisate and received a single photon emission computed tomography scan (pre-program baseline). Subjects then had their first IY training and were injected and scanned with 925 MBq bicisate while they did their first meditation (pre-program meditation). Subjects then underwent a 12-week training program in IY and then underwent the same imaging protocol with a postprogram baseline and postprogram meditation scan. Baseline and meditation scans, before and after training, were compared using paired t tests.

RESULTS:

There were significant decreases (p < 0.05) between the pre- and postprogram baseline scans in the right amygdala, dorsal medial cortex, and sensorimotor area. There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) in the pre- and postprogram percentage change (i.e., activation) in the right dorsal medial frontal lobe, prefrontal cortex, and right sensorimotor cortex.

CONCLUSIONS:

These initial findings suggest the brain experiences a "training effect" after 12 weeks of IY training.

PMID:
19769471
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3155099
Free PMC Article

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