The benefits of yoga have been widely documented by scientific research, but previously it was not clear as to how yoga exerts its physiologic effect.
Now a new study from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) proposes that yoga can increase levels of Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in the short-term and completing one yoga class per week may maintain elevated GABA that could mitigate depressive symptoms.
Depression is a highly prevalent and disabling disease. According to the World Health Organization, depression affects approximately 16 million people in the U.S. every year and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Given its high morbidity, extensive research has been done on effective treatment modalities for depression. GABA is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and has been associated with decreased depressive symptoms.