Boston Globe.com – Wellesley College instructor examines how yoga benefits the brain:
In the study, the participants either practiced yoga or did a metabolically equivalent amount of walking over a 12-week period. At the end, their GABA levels were measured with MRIs.
“What we found was that, while there wasn’t an overall change in their GABA levels, the participants who practiced yoga had an increase in GABA levels right after completing the yoga exercises,” Streeter said.
Science is finding that yoga is better than walking for improving mood, especially states of depression. GABA is a a chemical called gamma-amino butyric acid, a major inhibitory neurotransmitter, and found to be crucial in many brain functions.