Going to yoga class prevents your brain from releasing the chemicals that produce anxiety. Even yoga beginners can benefit from this mind-body connection after the first two months of practice.
Yoga Improves Anxiety Disorders
Going to yoga class significantly reduces anxiety, according to a 2009 study from the Psychiatry Department of Islamic Azad University published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Researchers evaluated 65 women by comparing 34 yoga beginners who took a 90-minute yoga class twice per week for two months to a control group of 31 participants who did not do yoga. The data shows, the participants in the yoga group who suffered from anxiety disorders significantly reduced their “perceived levels of anxiety” after two months of regular practice.
The Hypothalamus and Anxiety Reduction
How does yoga reduce anxiety? Practicing yoga reduces anxiety by inhibiting the sympathetic area of the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus, according to a 2011 study from the the University of Mississippi published in International Yoga Journal. Researchers admit to not understanding how, but they found doing yoga influenced the hypothalamus in such a way that it reduced bad feelings, including anxiety, fear, aggression and rage, and increased good feelings, such as bliss and pleasure.
Mediation and Healing from a Traumatic Event
Yoga meditation training offers significant beneficial changes for people with anxiety caused by a traumatic event, according to a 2011 study from the Department of Holistic Medicine at Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust University and published in the journal “Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice.” The 30 participants with “adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depression” completed a 28-week Yoga – Meditation course. Adjustment disorder refers to feeling overly traumatized within three months of a stressful event. The results show a Yoga – Meditation course significantly reduced the participants anxiety.
Not as Effective for Pregnant Women
Going to yoga class might, or might not, reduce anxiety for pregnant women (Maybe so and maybe not……Stash/Phish). This information comes from a systematic review of previous research stored in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews by researchers from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec. The aggregate of data came from 556 subjects who participated in different evidence based trials: one yoga study, one hypnotherapy trial, one autogenic training and five imagery trials. Autogenic training is a relaxation technique. The results show “there is some, but no strong evidence for the effectiveness of mind-body interventions for the management of anxiety during pregnancy.”