Dementia: Yoga Poses That Could Lower Your Risk Of Cognitive Decline

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Yoga is known to have numerous benefits for the physical and mental health of an individual. In addition to improving flexibility, relieving stress, and promoting better sleep quality, practicing yoga can also lower the risk of developing dementia.Dementia is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the brain’s functioning and leads to memory loss, difficulty in communicating, and impaired cognitive ability. According to the World Health Organization, around 50 million people are affected by dementia worldwide, with 10 million new cases occurring annually. Researchers suggest that lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, may help reduce the risk of developing dementia.Yoga poses that could aid in lowering the risk of dementia:1. Adho Mukha SvanasanaAdho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward-Facing Dog pose, is an inverted posture that directs blood flow to the brain and stimulates the nervous system. This pose helps increase oxygenation to the brain, which helps promote healthy brain function and reduces the risk of dementia. Here’s how you can practice it:Lay flat on the ground facing the floorSlowly lift your torso and form a mountain-like structure with your bodyYour palms need to be farther apart and reaching outwards (in comparison to your shoulders)On the other hand, your feet need to be placed next to each otherAt this point, the only body parts touching the ground should be your palms and feetYour face needs to be facing inwards and downwards, at the same angle as the armsYour body must form a triangle (your hands, hips, and feet being the corners)Hold this position for a few seconds and repeat 10 times at least2. TrikonasanaTrikonasana, or Triangle pose, is a standing pose that stretches the spine, strengthens the legs, and improves balance. This pose enhances circulation to the brain, which can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Follow these steps to perform this asana:Looking straight ahead and comfortably spaced apart on a level surfaceYour right foot should now be facing outside with the heel pointed inwardThe heels ought to be parallel to one anotherTake a deep breath in and bend your torso to the right at the hip while straightening your left arm While you wait, you can put your right hand anywhere you feel comfortable, such as your ankle, shin, or even the matYou can look up at your left palm if it’s comfortable for you while keeping your head in line with your torsoAllow the body to unwind a little bit more with each breath and repeat 10 times each side3. VrikshasanaVrikshasana, or Tree pose, is a balancing pose that strengthens the legs, hips, and core muscles. This pose improves focus and concentration, which can help prevent cognitive decline and improve brain function. Follow this steps to practice it:Stand straightRaise your arms the hold them straight toward the ceilingNow lift either one of your legs and place your feet on the other thighYou can rest your right foot on the left knee on the side or anywhere from that to the thighIdeally, your foot should be as far up on your thigh as it can getHold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 4-5 times minimum4. Vajrasana¬†Vajrasana not only keeps the mind steady and quiet, but it also treats digestive acidity and gas production, eases knee discomfort, tones the muscles in the thighs, and eases back pain. Exercise supports sexual organ health and aids in the management of urine issues. Follow these pointers to perform this pose:Kneel on the floorPoint your feet in a straight line with your legs¬†At the same time, cinch your knees and ankles togetherYour big toes should connect and the bottoms of your feet should be facing upwardAs you recline on your legs, breath outYour calves will support your thighs, and your heels will support your buttocksOnce you’re comfortable, place your hands on your thighs and slightly move your pelvis backward and forthSlowly inhale and exhale while you arrange your spine so that you are sitting up straightPush your tailbone toward the floor while lifting your body up using only your head as a leverYour chin should be parallel to the floor as you straighten your head to look forwardPut your arms at your sides and place your hands, palms down, on your thighs5. PaschimottanasanaThis pose calms the body and relaxes the mind. Also, it assists in bringing fresh blood to the brain, which calms the mind and lessens worry, melancholy, and insomnia. Here’s how to perform it:Sit straight in your legs straight in front of youIn this position, your feet’s soles should be facing frontSlowly bring your torso closer to your legs and as far as possibleYou can use your hands to hold your feet, this may increase how far you can reachIn this position, your stomach and chest are supposed to be touching your thighsYour face can be facing the front or towards the legs, whichever may be comfortableHold this position for 10-20 seconds and sit back upYou can repeat it a few times based on your convenienceIn conclusion, practicing these yoga poses and techniques can help promote brain health, prevent cognitive decline, and lower the risk of developing dementia. Incorporating yoga into your daily routine can have beneficial effects not only on your mental health but also on your overall well-being.Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.