9.27.2010

Does Yoga Make You Happier?

For years, exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress. But when it comes to what type of exercise is best for getting those feel-good emotions going, yoga may reign supreme, according to a recent study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Researchers found an association between yoga postures, increased GABA levels and decreased anxiety. Low GABA levels are associated with depression and other widespread anxiety disorders, so having higher levels leads to improved mood. More research needs to be done, the study author says, although the finding suggests that the practice of yoga should be considered as a potential therapy for certain mental disorders.