Yoga's Powerful Influence on Mood

Posted on March 26, 2014

Yoga increases the brain's levels of GABA, a chemical that helps regulate nerve activity, research finds.

The study, lead by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine, compared yoga with a 'metabolically matched' walking condition. Results revealed that yoga for an hour-and-a-half for each of twelve weeks was enough to increase GABA levels and boost mood.

Low levels of GABA, or to give it its full name gamma-aminobutyric acid, have been linked to low mood and increased anxiety.

This is because GABA is broadly an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mature brain, tending to calm the mind.

In the study, participants were given brain scans before and after the yoga or walking.

Comparing the results of the scans, researchers could see the changes in GABA levels where after the interventions, people in the yoga group reported lower anxiety and better mood than those who had been walking.

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Category(s):Meditation, Mood Swings / Bipolar

Source material from Psy Blog