Mind-Body Connection: Yoga and Your Mood
Reported February 17, 2011
BOSTON (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- How do you boost
your mood when you’re feeling down? Eating ice cream? Going for a run?
Center? Turns out the only things you really need are a bottle of water and
a place to lie down. You may think yoga is a
bunch of new-age hooey, but your brain feels a different way entirely.
Meditation in motion. Yoga instructors will tell you it is true happiness.
"It sort of clears away the stress," Lynne Begier, of Sweat and Soul Yoga,
Now, work in the lab shows that work on the mat may be working wonders for
"We have really cutting-edge neuro-imaging that allows us to measure GABA in
the brain, so now we can actually measure a
chemical that goes up when people do a yoga practice," Chris Streeter, M.D.,
from Boston University School of Medicine, told
GABA is a chemical in your brain that is released when you’re happy. Brain
scans were snapped before and after yoga sessions.
Dr. Streeter’s work shows yoga stimulates the brain -- boosting mood while
A new study found those who did yoga three times weekly saw a consistent
increase in GABA levels. Those who simply walked for
exercise saw no change at all. Another study found an hour of yoga boosted
GABA levels 27-percent over relaxing with a book
for an hour.
"That information gets sent up to the brain, the brain uses that information
so that the GABA levels go up," Dr. Streeter
So, it turns out yoga’s mind-body connection really is a connection.
"Yoga definitely cleanses your body," Meghan Rozanski, a yoga instructor,
According to this research, yoga may also be beneficial for conditions like
depression and epilepsy.