Today, over 47 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia in the United States.
While the eventual onset of Alzheimer’s cannot be prevented at this point, adopting healthy habits can reduce your risk of cognitive decline and contribute to brain health. Research suggests that yoga and meditation can play an important role in both improving brain health and improving symptoms for those who have been diagnosed. And for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, practicing yoga can improve overall quality of life.
How does this work?
Research released in 2014 indicates that the practice of yoga and meditation can contribute to the reversal of memory loss, and another recent study shows that yoga and meditation may help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and their caregivers socialize and improve their mental well-being. Because yoga and meditation are “brain exercises” that engage multiple areas of the brain, practicing both can help the brain make new connections and repair those that have been damaged. This 12-minute Kirtan Kriya meditation, recommended by the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, is meant to “help bring the body, mind and emotions into balance to enable healing.“
For caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, it can be difficult to handle the emotional stress and exhaustion that comes with caring for others that are struggling with their mental and physical symptoms. Practicing yoga and meditation can help caregivers find inner calm, practice self-care, and avoid emotional burnout. We offer a program specifically geared toward caregivers, and program participants have reported better sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood and energy levels, and a better overall sense of well-being. If you’re a caregiver, or know someone who is, try this restorative practice.
This Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, help raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, to encourage early detection. And join the conversation so people know they’re not alone. If you know a caregiver or someone who has been diagnosed, share information about the healing power of yoga and meditation with them – it has the potential to make a huge difference.