Can Kirtan Kriya Meditation Improve Memory and Cognitive Function in Older Adults?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Some people believe that forgetfulness is a part of the aging process, while others think it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) disproves the myth that memory loss is a normal part of aging and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) confirms that not all people with memory problems have AD. Other causes for memory problems can include medical conditions, emotional problems, mild cognitive impairment or another type of dementia.

A growing body of research suggests that a mind-body exercise could improve memory and cognitive function in older adults: Kirtan Kriya meditation.

Kirtan Kriya, a type of meditation from the Kundalini yoga tradition, has been practiced for thousands of years to help bring the body, mind and emotions into balance to enable healing. This non-religious form of meditation is sometimes called a singing exercise, as it involves singing the mantra ‘Sat Nam’ which means “my true essence”.  

In a study examining the effects of meditation on memory loss for adults at risk for AD, participants who practiced Kirtan Kriya 12 minutes per day for 12 weeks showed significant gains in perceived stress, mood psychological well-being and quality of life.The practice may also boost cognition and help reverse perceived memory loss in older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD).

Watch Chris Walling’s, chair of Educational Services Committee at the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, demonstration of Kirtan Kriya at the BrainFutures conference.