Memory Matters – Volunteering

Volunteer at Memory Matters

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, long-term studies indicate that around 10-20 percent of adults aged 65 and older are likely to have Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Of these adults, it is estimated that around 6-15 percent develop dementia each year. Evidence has emerged that suggests that activities like yoga and meditation can help to improve the cognitive difficulties caused by aging.

My goal is to adapt traditional yogic practices to the needs of those at the center, to bring them something fun and joyful, which is also wonderful for enhancing their bodies and their brain activity.

Using a combination of breath work, seated yoga, meditation, and sound healing, I try to help those with serious, chronic memory issues to move their bodies safely, use their breath to ease anxiety and stress, and help them to relax more deeply using sound vibrations. For meditation, I focus primarily on the Kirtan Kriya, a Kundalini meditation that is recommended by the Alzheimer’s Association. Please see this link for more information on why meditation is a recommended treatment and how it can be an aid to many people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

From Memory Matters: “Daily meditation practice, with yoga sessions, may reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment for healthy-brained adults, says The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (May 2016).

Special qualities derived from meditation and yoga can improve visual-spatial memory, short-term recall, and the ability to navigate and find locations. Practitioners also benefit from reduced anxiety and depression. Plus, they have greater coping skills and stress resilience, according to the 2016 study.

Researchers suggest, “Improvements in memory, mood, and stress resilience attributed to yoga and meditation may be due to increased production of brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF). BDNF is responsible for boosting connections between brain cells, as well as maintaining the survival of existing brain cell connections.

“If you or your relatives are trying to improve your memory or offset the risk for developing memory loss or dementia, a regular practice of yoga and meditation could be a simple, safe and low-cost solution to improving your brain fitness.”



— Dr. Helen Lavretsky, professor, neurology and psychology, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

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