There’s something different about a yoga class; it leaves you with a totally different sensation to a run or a gym workout, a kind of blissed out feeling that’s hard to describe. Well guess what? It’s all down to GABA!
In support of Mental Health Awareness week, I wanted to share with you an article I came across stating that scientists have proven that yoga changes your brain chemistry, making it one of the best forms of exercise for not only physical but mental health too
How yoga aids anxiety
Yoga helps reduce anxiety as it releases GABA (short for gamma-amniobutryic acid). These neurotransmitters produce a calming effect similar to that of alcohol without the related health issues and nasty hangover. Individuals suffering with anxiety and depression tend to have low GABA levels. A yoga class can boost GABA levels by up to 27%. Regularly participating in yoga increases your GABA production and can reduce the need for anxiety medication.
How yoga helps chronic pain & depression
According to the National Institute of Health, yoga can actually prevent or reverse the effects of chronic pain on the brain. Brain scans show that the meditation associated with yoga can reduce pain sensitivity more effectively than morphine.
Depressed individuals may have reduced grey matter in their brains as the result of chronic pain. Decreased grey matter can lead to memory impairment, emotional problems, poorer pain tolerance and decreased cognitive functioning.
Yoga and meditation boost healthy grey matter. Studies have shown that people who regularly practice yoga have more robust levels of grey matter in their brains in areas involved with pain modulation. This means yoga could be an effective remedy for certain types of depression and a great natural painkiller.