By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor
New research suggests yoga triggers the release of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. GABA is a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate nerve activity.
GABA activity is reduced in people with mood and anxiety disorders, and drugs that increase GABA activity are commonly prescribed to improve mood and decrease anxiety.
A study, led by Dr. Chris Streeter and colleagues from Boston University School of Medicine, discovered increased GABA levels measured after a session of yoga postures were associated with improved mood and decreased anxiety.
Their findings establish a new link between yoga, higher levels of GABA in the thalamus, and improvements in mood and anxiety based on psychological assessments.
Read more at Yoga Pumps Up Mood-Lifting Brain Chemical | Psych Central News. Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on November 12, 2010