Finally, the scientific community is studying some of the strong, anecdotal evidence that Yoga produces calmer, happier people. A small, new study on Yoga and health benefits just announced that the amount of a substance in our bodies – GABA – goes up 27% in people who meditate versus reading a book. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel better. Concentrations of this neurotransmitter were at significantly higher levels throughout the brain areas that respond to it in MRSI scans after the one hour Yoga period. Their findings suggest that yoga, and perhaps other forms of exercise, should be investigated as a complementary treatment for depression and anxiety disorders, which are commonly associated with low levels of GABA. This is definitive news on how Yoga, and probably exercise, orgasm and maybe even meditation, can benefit all of us.
Further studies will include a look at general exercise as a comparison to Yoga to see if any qualifications can be used to further define what exactly is happening to the brain and the presence of GABA. I’m hoping they look at meditation and visualization too. Other recent scientific studies have pointed to the fact that you can simply ‘think’ or ‘visualize’ to actual ‘optimize’ the benefits you get from your regular exercise. Imagine yourself pushing your own envelope and it will happen!