If there were something that you could do for free, something that took less than a half hour per day, that was scientifically proven to boost energy and brainpower, would you do it? For most of us, that answer is a resounding YES! Unless itâ€™s hard or takes a lot of effortâ€¦
Well, I have newsâ€”it exists. Honestly, it could take as little effort as sitting silently and focusing on your breath for 25 minutes.
And thereâ€™s research to back it up…
Some new research shows that 25 minutes of Hatha yoga or mindfulness meditation every day can lead to a variety of benefits including improved brain function, better emotional control, higher energy levels, and much more!
In this recent study, 31 participants completed either 25 minutes of hatha yoga, mindfulness meditation, or quiet reading (this was the control group).
Let me back up a minute. For anyone wondering what â€œhatha yogaâ€ is, itâ€™s basically a general term thatâ€™s used to describe different styles of yoga that use a combination of yoga poses and breathing exercises. Typically these hatha yoga classes are slower paced and more relaxed, meant to help bring peace to the mind and body. This is the most popular yoga style in Western countries.
Continuing with the studyâ€¦ individuals that completed either yoga or mindfulness performed significantly better on executive function compared to those in the control group that read for 25 minutes. It was assumed that the meditation aspect of yoga, as opposed to the physical movements, were the cause of this.
The study also found these two groups had an increase in energy after their 25-minute practice. Although, the yoga participants had much higher energy levels than those in the meditation group.
So should you start practicing yoga, meditation, or both?
Both practices have a variety of benefits; theyâ€™re practices that have been around for ages and that many people swear byâ€”not just a â€œfadâ€ or â€œtrend.â€ The one you choose depends on what you enjoy and find most useful.
Some people have a hard time keeping their mind from wandering during meditation so yoga can be a way to prevent this. Instead of letting your mind drift, youâ€™re constantly focused on keeping your breath steady and the feelings in your body as you move. For others, yoga can be too physically challenging and they prefer the sense of calm and quiet that meditation brings.Â You might try both for a while and see which one (or both) works for you.
Either way, the benefits of both of these practices are vast! And at only 25 minutes a day, what do you have to lose by trying them out!?
Try a guided meditation through an app like Buddhify, or follow along with a 25-minute beginner yoga practice on YouTube.