Yoga for depression


How does yoga help?

More and more research is being used to show the benefits of yoga for depression. The majority of Yoga classes in London are promoting the benefits of reduction in stress and anxiety levels. When putting together our tailored programmes so many of our private yoga clients have asked for yoga for stress relief. So we figured we should give you a bit more of an idea of why you sometimes get that yoga high when you come out of relaxation, ready to float out of the yoga class to get your night bus home.

Researchers have found that three sessions of the yoga classes a week can help fight off depression as it boosts levels of a chemical in the brain which is essential for a calm and relaxed mind.

Scientists have found there is higher level of the amino acid GABA in those that practice yoga compared to those that more strenuous exercise. GABA promotes a healthy nervous system and brain function. Low Gaba levels can lead to depression and anxiety.

Recent research from Boston University School of Medicine, USA, monitored two groups of healthy individuals for a period of 12 weeks, half spent the three hours practicing yoga while the other half walked. There brains were scanned prior and after the experiment to measure GABA levels, there were also asked psychological questions throughout the 12 weeks.

Those who practiced yoga had increases in their mood and lower level of anxiety.

Katie Prior, of mental health charity Mind, welcomed the study.

She said: “Any kind of exercise is good for improving a person’s mood and self esteem. It makes you feel good and look good, both of which help with mental wellbeing.

“Yoga is a relaxing, low impact activity for people who don’t like the thought of walking or running.

“It can be done in the privacy of a person’s own home, or people can join a class where they can meet others – this is a great way to meet people, especially for those who may suffer from isolation and loneliness.”

So next time you feel all floaty at the end of your yoga session you know why, it’s all about the GABA levels.

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