Researchers studied 108 adults between the ages of 55 and 79, 61 of whom attended hatha yoga classes. The others met for the same number and length of sessions and participated in stretching and toning exercises -- but not yoga. At the end of eight weeks, the group that did yoga three times a week performed better on cognitive tests than it had before the start of yoga classes.
The group that did stretching and toning displayed no significant change in cognitive performance over time. In addition, researchers say the differences seen between the groups were not the result of age, gender, social status or other similar factors.