Thursday, June 9, 2011

Need to unwind? Try some yoga!

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Anyone who's done yoga knows that a good session can leave you feeling relaxed and calmer. Now a small study explains the science behind it.

Yoga increases levels of a particular neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric (GABA), that helps reduce anxiety and boost your spirits. Researchers theorize that yoga helps activate your vagus nerve, which is a long nerve that is responsible for turning on your parasympathetic nervous system. Yoga even managed to beat out walking for overall mood improvement in the study.

Not sure what kind of yoga is right for you?  You have options:

Bikram - Great for individuals looking for an endorphin rush
Restorative - Looking for an extremely relaxing class? This is it!
Vinyasa Flow - Good for torching calories
Anusara - Spirit boosting!
Yoga For Athletes/Ashtanga - excellent for preventing overuse injuries in athletes, also great for Type A individuals like yours truly

Downward Dog Your Way To A Better Mood
The Best Yoga Poses for You by Women's Health