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Yoga protects the brain from depression

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Practising yoga really does relax your mind as well as your body more than other types of exercise, a new study claims. 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.

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Yoga protects the brain from depression