Media Production

Yoga and Meditation Good for the Body and Mind

New study tests the effects of hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation on body’s brain function. They can positively increase one’s mood and energy in short amount of time being involved in these relaxing activities. Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation are well known and practiced in many Western societies. Yoga involves specific body positioning, breathing patterns, and meditation. Mindfulness includes mental training focusing on emotion with the surrounding environment.

This study was published in the journal Mindfulness, conducted by Kimberly Luu and Peter Hall at Waterloo University in Canada. It consisted of thirty-one female participants with experience of this yoga and meditation. Their experience ranged from four months to five years. All participants took part of three sessions: hatha yoga, mindfulness meditation, and quiet reading. They were timed 25 minute sessions conducted by a professional yoga instructor to allow for a positive yoga and meditation session. These were followed by 5 and 10 min post session testing to measure executive function of the brain. These tested functions such as emotions, behaviors, and memory.

As said in the study, “results revealed that 25 min of hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation significantly improved executive function task performance”. Immediately following the individual sessions participants showed signs of improved mood. “…single session of hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation may have similar cognitive and mood benefits for moderately experienced hatha yoga practitioners”. The results were more prominent from the 10-minute post session rather than the 5-minute post session. For an overall effect, hatha yoga shown to be more effective than mindfulness meditation.

 

Reflection

Over the course of this project I have learned various aspects needed to be a journalist. I was able to get an inside view of the work needed to produce a well written article and how it can be presented to the general public. It must be appealing to the audience, but include valuable information dedicated to key findings within the study they were reporting.

I did find it troublesome being able to make the results easy to understand if someone is new to the study. After reading the original study, I found it difficult to understand the numerical data given to prove the benefits of yoga and meditation. I had to figure how to put it into words and describe the effects of yoga and meditation on the participants. This made me understand how the journal article could have become biased while being written. I tried to remain neutral while writing whether or not participating in hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation was beneficial to the body and mind. The original article had limitations and variations that may have contradicted their original results. Although, I was only reporting Luu’s and Hall’s study, which gave positive effects following yoga and meditation.

While writing the new article on the study I wanted to show the experiment to seem reliable to the readers. I tried to provide exact quotes from the original article similar to how the news article did. However, the original news article had quotes not found within the written article of the study. This showed me how there is more to writing the summary to the study. More research and sources are needed to give a well-rounded article.

There is high pressure put on journalists to produce a good article for many people to view. This opens a door to criticisms and degrading of the study. It needs to be professional and unbiased to the public’s eye. Simple enough to understand, but keep the scientific integrity. Be able to keep an audience’s attention, but present all the information needed to interpret results.

 

References

Luu, Kimberley, and Peter A. Hall. “Examining the Acute Effects of Hatha Yoga and                     Mindfulness Meditation on Executive Function and Mood.” SpringerLink, Springer             US, 26 Dec. 2016, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12671-016-0661-2#citeas.

 

Rick Nauert. “Study: Yoga Meditation = Better Brain Function, More Energy.” Psych                   Central News, 7 Sept. 2017, psychcentral.com/news/2017/09/07/yoga-meditation-                   better brain-function-and-more-energy/125664.html.

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