Here’s the latest yoga news from the science world: A 20-Minute Bout of Yoga Stimulates Brain Function Immediately After. Researchers found that a single 20-minute session (“bout”? who wrote that headline?!) of hatha yoga improved participants’ speed and accuracy on cognitive function tests – basically, it improved their memory and their ability to stay focused on a task and to take in, retain, and use new information. The subjects who did yoga performed better than subjects who walked or jogged on a treadmill, indicating that the results aren’t just a reflection of burning energy to improve focus, or of exercise being good for the mind: it was the yoga itself that improved mental function. Yoga’s breathing and meditative exercises calm the body, allowing the mind to focus, and apparently this effect applies beyond the mat and into activities after the yoga practice is over. The lead author theorized a few possible explanations for the results, including enhanced self-awareness and reduced anxiety and stress. Conclusion: yoga makes you smarter!