"Anyone can learn to safely practice yoga and experience its healing effects. A beginner's mind is required, a flexible body is not." - Michael
For thousands of years, Yogis have known that the physical practice does more than correct postural imbalances and stretch stiff muscles. They observed that yoga asanas may allow life force energy (prana) to rise up from the root of the spine, through the central axis of the body, from which it floods the mind with clarity and the heart with compassion. In other words, the idea that Yoga is a cure for depression, anxiety and other mood disorders is nothing new. But now, research carried out by academics from the Boston University School of Medicine is confirming what Yogis have always known.
In one study, “Yoga asanas [posture] sessions Increase Brain GABA Levels: A Pilot Study”, one group of participants took part in 60-minute Hatha Yoga sessions while another group read for the same time period.
The study compared the changes in the brain GABA levels experienced the two groups and found “there was a 27% increase in GABA levels in the yoga practitioner group after the yoga session but no change in the comparison subject group after the reading session…”
According to the researchers, “These findings demonstrate that in experienced yoga practitioners, brain GABA levels increase after a session of yoga. This suggests that the practice of yoga should be explored as a treatment for disorders with low GABA levels such as depression and anxiety disorders.”
There you have it. Cook up those blues with the fire of an energizing Yoga practice.