Sunday, September 19, 2010

To boost mood and banish anxiety... yoga!

THE BUZZ: Find your zen to ditch your stress. Lots of people claim yoga helps them relaxand a group of scientists at Boston University School of Medicine may have the answer to why it does. A group of healthy adults reported better moods and less anxiety after practicing yoga three times a week for 12 weeks than another group of healthy adults who spent that same amount of time walking, according to the scientists' study recently published in the Journal of Alternative and Contemporary Medicine. The researchers measured increased levels of GABA brain activity in the yogisa shortage of this type of brain activity has been known to be linked to mood and anxiety disorders. Long story short, yoga, more than other types of exercise could send calming, relaxing signals to the brain to help lift spirits and nip anxiety.

MY TAKE: Yes! After an eight-hour workdaydeadlines, unexpected meetings, traversing the unexplored territories of an entry-level assistant, and of course, crowded subwaysnothing relaxes me like an hour in yoga class. I leave feeling 10 times more energized than I do after a good night's sleep. The key? Feel-good music, feel-good stretches, and a yoga teacher who doesn't push too hard. There's always a disclaimer to listen to your body and do what your body feels up to. Yoga mixes stretching, strength-training, and letting your muscles (and mind) recoup. And, I know my muscles are working because I can feel them the next morning.

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