With the number of yoga practitioners continuing to rise, more people are experiencing firsthand the benefits of yogic methods. Countless personal stories of yoga training methods reliving stress have given it a solid reputation as an anxiety solution. While this evidence is sufficient for most people, everyone likes to have real data to back up their opinions.
The first truly scientific studies of yoga have been very enlightening. These independently carried out investigations of yoga have confirmed what most practitioners have known for years; there is a noticeable reduction of stress and anxiety among people who practice yogic techniques. Supporting scientific studies about yogic methods are beginning to win over even the most skeptical of critics.
A University of Utah study confirmed what many have suspected about yoga for years. When groups of people were subjected to moderately painful physical pressure, those who practiced yogic exercises complained the least of all who were tested. This study concluded that although more research is needed, is appears that practitioner’s handle stress and pain better than the general population.
Another study tested the effects of yogic practices on people who self-identified as having stress. This study found that after only a few classes these same individuals rated their levels of stress as much lower. This is yet another example of the connection between yoga and stress reduction.
The research so far indicates that yogic methods reduce anxiety in three specific ways. Primarily, a yogic lifestyle helps the body to regulate the stress response. Secondly, practicing yogic techniques improves and elevates moods. While this information is impressive enough, studies have shown that these benefits manifest themselves quickly and increase over time. Yogic techniques improve a practitioner’s perceptions of stress and their ability to deal with stress.
In study after study, people who practice asana, meditation and pranayama, for even a short time report less stress. It is not clearly established how this is done, but a number of studies have concluded that yogic methodology does indeed have this effect. As more scientists study yogic stress relieving effects, we may finally learn the reasons for these benefits.
Yoga improves mood by increasing the brains level of levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. GABA is neurotransmitter with antidepressant properties. As yoga is practiced, the moods of even the most depressed people begin to improve.
What the increasing agreement between common knowledge and popular science has concluded is that yogic methodolofy does indeed have anti stress and anti-anxiety benefits. Scientists believe that yoga regulates the heart, the brain and improves blood flow. People who practice yogic methods know this for themselves.
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