Monday, September 13, 2010

Practicing Yoga Makes you Happier, Says Study

A new study indicates that yoga really can make you happier.
Model Released: Woman in yoga position (Photo by Markus Boesch/Getty Images)

The reason?

It raises important mood boosting chemicals in the brain, say the researchers from Boston University School of Medicine.

Over a period of several months, the researchers measured the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brains of those who practiced yoga compared with those who simply walked for exercise. (They ran these measurements both before and after the study participant’s exercised)

GABA, by the way, is known to be an important mood chemical. Those who are depressed or who suffer from anxiety tend to have lover levels of GABA in their brains than do “happier” people.

The researchers found that those yoga practitioners who did a lot of downward facing dog poses (for an example of this pose, see the YouTube video below) boosted the GABA levels in their brains far more than the group that walked. PLUS the yoga practitioners had greater improvements in mood than did those who walked.

This study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
So…if September being National Yoga Month is not enough to make you try yoga, perhaps the results of this study will inspire you to try it!

Source: My Fox La

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