Yoga: A Mindfulness Practice to Reduce Anxiety Symptoms

Yoga is a mindfulness practice that has been proven to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. This ancient practice was not specifically developed as a treatment for anxiety, but its concepts and benefits make it especially helpful in calming the mind and body when feeling anxious. Studies have shown that yoga and exercise have beneficial effects on mood and anxiety. The practice of yoga poses is associated with increased levels of GABA in the brain. This study addresses the question of whether changes in mood, anxiety, and GABA levels are specific to yoga or related to physical activity.

Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on breathing, stretching, and relaxation. Many doctors believe it can help with anxiety symptoms by reducing the level of the stress hormone in the body and helping people to feel calm. We do this through a complete yoga practice that includes asanas (postures), pranayama (breath control), meditation, the study of the Yamas and Niyamas (the Ten Commandments of Yoga), mudra and chanting. In this study, yoga intervention was associated with greater improvements in mood and decreases in anxiety in tonic, acute, and interventional analyses compared to metabolically equalized walking intervention, suggesting that the effect of yoga on mood and anxiety is not solely due to metabolic demands. The general practice of yoga can elicit a relaxation response, allowing both the body and the mind to gain a sense of calm and tranquility. There may be cases where yoga can be properly applied as the primary treatment in response to anxiety disorders, but in most cases, it is the integration of yoga with psychotherapy and pharmaceutical intervention that could significantly support recovery. The lack of tonic changes in this study and the lack of baseline differences between experienced yoga practitioners and the controls from the previous study suggest that tonic levels of GABA are stable in subjects examined to exclude low GABA states.

On the two “negative” scales, the STAI status and the EIFI physical exhaustion, an increase in the score indicates an increase in anxiety and physical exhaustion, respectively. The correlations between group changes in mood and anxiety scores and changes in GABA levels in tonic and acute conditions suggest that increases in thalamic GABA levels are associated with better mood and a decline. It is also the first time that yoga postures have been associated with a positive correlation between sharp increases in thalamic GABA levels and improvements in average scores on the mood and anxiety scales. If you're a yoga, health, or psychology professional (or other interested party) and would like to learn more about how yoga can be used to help your clients, you can read more about the use of yoga therapy in treating anxiety with Yoga for Mental Health. Yoga is an effective mindfulness practice for reducing anxiety symptoms. It can be used as a primary treatment for some cases or integrated with psychotherapy or pharmaceutical intervention for more significant support.

Studies have shown that yoga poses are associated with increased levels of GABA in the brain which can lead to improved moods and decreased anxiety. It is also important to note that an upcoming move or other life changes can be triggers for increased anxiety, so equipping oneself with a yoga teacher certification may help cope with such changes.

Dora Peckens
Dora Peckens

Typical web fan. Proud music advocate. Hipster-friendly zombieaholic. Devoted music nerd. Award-winning web advocate. Evil travel scholar.