Yoga Has a History of Improving Mental & Physical Health
Practicing yoga improves both your physical and mental health.
Studies, past and present have demonstrated yoga improves back pain, flexibility and core strength, without side effects or drug interactions.
Yoga has also had some limited success in management of cancer related symptoms.
Aside from core strength and flexibility, the greatest improvements are seen in decreased stress, anxiety and improved mood with the practice of yoga.
Research has linked these improvements to changes in gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in your central nervous system. GABA is responsible for blocking nerve impulses, telling the adjoining nerve cells not to “fire” or send an impulse.
Without GABA our nerve cells would fire frequently and easily, triggering anxiety disorders, seizures and conditions such as addiction, headache and cognitive impairments.
Research has identified the practice of yoga as associated with an increase in thalamic GABA levels.30 They found using yoga postures would create a positive correlation between increased GABA and improvements in mood and reduction in anxiety.
They concluded: “Given that pharmacologic agents that increase the activity of the GABA system are prescribed to improve mood and decrease anxiety, the reported correlations are in the expected direction. The possible role of GABA in mediating the beneficial effects of yoga on mood and anxiety warrants further study.”
Improvements in stress response, elevated mood and function and a possible role in the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) are also attributed through scientific study to the use of yoga poses and breathing.
Yoga also made a significant difference in depression of addicts going through rehabilitation.
Experts say, follow the recommendations of the study from Boston University and do 2 to 3 yoga sessions a week and practice at home when you do not go to class.
Focus on yoga classes that stress controlled breathing techniques and end your practice with a period of relaxation and deep breathing, and
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