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Want to feel good? Practice Yoga!

I remember when I first started to do yoga – I didn’t really know what I was doing and I felt clumsy doing it.  I was in a period of my life where I was desperately unhappy and I didn’t know why.

Yet when I was done with the yoga class, I felt really good.  My body felt like it had done something beneficial.  But there was something else – I felt emotionally uplifted, lighter in mood, more open to life.  I felt happy for quite a while afterwards.  My yoga students have reported similar experiences to me over the years.

I have always wondered what it is about yoga that makes us feel this way.  Now, an article from Science Daily, New Study Finds New Connection Between Yoga and Mood , explains how yoga works its magic upon us.  A study done at the Boston University School of Medicine indicates that yoga increases the levels of GABA, a brain compound that when found in low levels is associated  with depression and anxiety.  With higher levels of GABA, we feel less depression and anxiety so we feel happier.

So if you are feeling out of sorts, you might want to give yoga a try.  There are no pills to take, and it might be habit forming.   Yoga might just be the right medicine for you.

Linda Oxford

Linda Oxford, MS, MA, LPC, RYT500

Linda has a private mental health counseling practice in Rochester Hills and Alden (seasonally), Michigan. She provides compassionate and confidential psychotherapy and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes, meditation and yoga training to people, groups and businesses wanting to learn to decrease anxiety and depression, cope with chronic physical or emotional pain, improve health and well-being, and gain greater satisfaction with life.

1 Comment

  1. Cathy Zucker on August 24, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Hi, Linda,
    Thanks for posting this! I've been practicing yoga for over 30 years. Whether in a class or on my own first thing in the morning, it always does its magic on me. I'm convinced it's the breath that relaxes, settles,and balances me. I have a similar experience when I sing. My breath bathes every nook and cranny and transforms my mood and my overall experience of life.

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