Yoga relieves the symptoms of clinical depression!

Increasing evidence indicates that regular practice of yoga is effective in reducing stress and its effects and even appears to relieve the symptoms of clinical depression.  Researchers have found that three sessions of the exercise a week can help fight off depression as it boosts levels of a chemical in the brain which is essential for a sound and relaxed mind.

Scientists found that the levels of the amino acid GABA are much higher in those that carry out yoga than those do the equivalent of a similarly strenuous exercise such as walking.  The chemical, GABA, is essential to the function of brain and central nervous system and which helps promote a state of calm within the body.  Low GABA levels are associated with depression and other widespread anxiety disorders.

Scientists from the Boston University School of Medicine, USA, spent 12 weeks monitoring two groups of healthy individuals, half of whom walked for three hours each week, while the other half spent the same time doing yoga.  Participants brains were scanned before and after the study using magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) imaging to measure GABA levels, while they were also asked questions about their psychological wellbeing throughout the study.

Those who did yoga reported lower levels of anxiety and increases in their mood than the walkers. Professor Chris Streeter said yoga participants increased feeling of wellbeing was associated with GABA levels.

Earlier, in 2007 researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School looked at changes in levels of GABA in the brains of experienced yoga practitioners following 60 minutes of yoga practice compared to levels of GABA in the brains of control subjects who completed a 60 minute reading session. The study revealed GABA increased by 27 per cent in the yoga practitioners while it did not change in the reading group.  The researchers concluded that yoga could potentially help in conditions that involve abnormally low levels of GABA, including depression and anxiety.

For more go to:  http://www.ei-resource.org/news/mental-and-emotional-problem-news/yoga-relieves-depression-by-boosting-calming-neurotransmitter-levels/

As well as:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7956508/Yoga-protects-the-brain-from-depression.html?goback=%2Egde_48348_member_27896708

11 Responses

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    November 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm
  2. Faustino Pasternack

    thanks to the author for taking his time on this one.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:15 am
  3. me

    makes me want to drink alchoholic beverages

    December 1, 2010 at 7:38 pm
  4. Kirk Fadely

    I have friends who tell me they would like to sleep far more, but after four or five hours they can’t sleep anymore and need to get up again. Usually, what most of them are doing is staying up late watching TV, playing video games, or on-line, and do not get to bed until midnight or later. After a while your body learns to adjust to this schedule and finds a way to compensate. Most likely, these identical men and women are also making use of caffeine to jump start the body inside the morning. This cycle of sleep deprivation and artificial stimulation eventually catches up to them.

    December 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm
    • Sandy

      Hi Kirk!
      Thanks for the comment! Yes, sleep is a good thing! I’ve read that wanting to sleep all the time can also be a sign of depression. Lack of good sleep can make depression worse–nothing seems right until you’re caught up on sleep. One of the best things you can do at night before going to sleep is to get your legs up. Inversions like “legs up the wall” can calm the nervous system. I’m a contributing writing to Whispers of Spirit e-magazine and just submitted “Legs up the Wall” for their solstice edition:
      I simply love this time of year. It’s a magical season of giving and receiving. There’s a sparkle in the eyes of everyone, young and old alike. All the extra activity can push us over the edge with stress more so than usual, however. You may not have time for a full yoga class, but don’t let the calming effects of yoga pass you by. Here’s my “go-to” yoga pose for stress relief. Even five minutes in this pose will reap benefits.
      Legs up the wall pose: Just like it sounds, simply scoot yourself next to the wall placing one hip against the wall. Then swing your legs around and up against the wall. If you have a yoga mat, you can lay on the mat folded in half with the loop at the end where your head will be (see photo). Then after you swing your legs up the wall, you have that loop to use as leverage to reposition your body using your fingers inside the looped edge of the mat. A simpler, at-home version of this pose would be to lie on the floor in front of your couch and swing your legs up over the seat.
      Rest here for as long as you like (5-15 minutes is ideal) enjoying the passive effects of this healthy inversion. When coming out of the pose, stay on your side a few minutes before getting up. Aside from lowering your blood pressure while you are in the pose, this pose also reduces anxiety, eases digestive problems, helps prevent varicose veins, and brings fresh blood to the face, brain, thyroid, etc. There’s more, but it’s better to experience it than read about it. It is said by some to “cure all that ails you”. You decide. Try it for five minutes and notice the effect.
      If you’re pregnant, suffering from glaucoma, have low or high blood pressure, you should avoid inversion and check with your doctor to see what’s right for you.

      December 14, 2010 at 5:57 am
  5. Brandon Strand

    In the event you have a thyroid disorder, you’ll want to improve your consumption of B-Complex vitamins. Vitamins B1 and B6 are critical for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin inside the brain which will aid maintain you in a good mood. In the event you are low in Vitamin B6, then this can promote depressive symptoms, specifically in women who are in pre-menopause and suffer from depression. There’s lots of research showing that women who have depression related to hormone issues respond extremely well to the addition of a B-complex vitamin.

    January 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm
  6. Marie Moro

    Anxiety Condition is really a blanket phrase used to describe any kind of condition in which anxiety may be the predominant function brought on by certain fears or uncertainties.

    May 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm
  7. Austin Hatcherson

    Do you know in case you have an under-active thyroid, Have you been feeling depressed? Have you been moving slowly and lack motivation? Do you not have enough energy to get via your busy day, You might be surprised to learn you might have a condition called hypothyroidism.

    May 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm
  8. Elida Zeeman

    A panic assault is the manifestation of several elements which affect the person struggling in the disorder. It is often described as a short period of intense stress and concern experienced by the person.

    July 9, 2011 at 3:02 am
  9. Albertha Mondy

    Sometimes specific thyroid solutions may interfere with hormone production in you thyroid, compounding the hypothyroidism. If you suffer from a slow metabolism and an under-active thyroid, you might have to be extremely careful about starting a diet, since it could lead to health issues, like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:32 am
  10. Chery Reim

    Nervousness and Depressive disorders are a frustrating mental condition that impacts millions around the world As depression doesn’t usually go away on its own sufferers often have to use prescription or natural herbal remedies to overcome the signs or symptoms associated using the illness.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:10 am