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Yoga Increases Anxiety-Relieving Brain Chemical

Yoga has a greater effect on mood and anxiety level than walking and other forms of exercise. This may be caused by an increase in the brain chemical of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

GABA is a chemical in your brain that helps to regulate nerve activity. It tends to be reduced in people with mood and anxiety disorders. Researchers have now demonstrated that increased GABA levels measured after a session of yoga postures are associated with improved mood and decreased anxiety.

Eurekalert reports:

“Their findings establish a new link between yoga, higher levels of GABA in the thalamus, and improvements in mood and anxiety based on psychological assessments. The authors suggest that the practice of yoga stimulates specific brain areas, thereby giving rise to changes in endogenous antidepressant neurotransmitters such as GABA.”

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