Studies have revealed that yoga
can elevate brain GABA levels, an antidepressant neurotransmitter. The studies indicate that practicing yoga for depression, a disorder associated with low GABA levels, be researched as a potential treatment.
Depression and anxiety disorders are linked to low GABA levels. Both of these disorders have already been successfully treated with pharmaceutical medications made to boost GABA levels.
Yoga for depression study 1
Making use of magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) imaging, the study compared the GABA levels of 8 people before as well as after 1 hour of yoga practice, with 11 people who did not practice yoga but rather spent the 1 hour reading. They found a 27% rise in GABA levels in the group that practiced yoga right after their session, yet no change in GABA levels in the other group right after their time of reading.
Yoga for depression study 2
Another study discovered that yoga for depression could be better than other types of physical exercise.
The researchers compared the brain GABA levels of people practicing yoga with those of people who walked.
They followed 2 randomized groups of healthy people for 12 weeks. While one group of people practiced yoga 3 times per week for 1 hour, the other group of people went walking for the same length of time. Making use of MRS imaging, the peoples’ brains were checked before the start of the study. After 12 weeks, both of the groups’ GABA levels were compared before as well as after their last 60-minute session.
Each person had also been asked to evaluate her or his psychological state at a number of points during the entire study, and people who had practiced yoga noted a more significant reduction in anxiety as well as a greater improvement in mood than people that walked.
The results of these studies suggest that practicing Yoga for depression to be a possible treatment because of elevated brain GABA levels.