We know that after a yoga class we walk out feeling calm and physically more aware, this in itself is what keeps our practice consistent, but what is happening on a physiological level? Muscles get stronger enabling better alignment of the spine thus improving chronic back pain. Exercise is great for the heart but yoga’s meditative component manages stress and stabilizes the lining of blood vessels, which prevents cardiovascular disease (Columbia University Integrative Medicine Program). Yoga has also shown to increase neurotransmitter activity in the brain that significantly improves mood and reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety (Boston University, School of Medicine).
The Yoga for Stress Gives Immunity to Our Genes
Going even deeper, the University of Oslo has found that yoga practice can have an immediate impact on gene expression, particularly in immunity cells. The study shows that participants with a regular yoga practice (4 hours a week) had a significantly stronger immune system; the yoga practice changed the expression of 111 genes in circulating immune cells! The researches concluded that “there are rapid and significant gene expression changes during a comprehensive yoga program. These data suggest that previously reported effects of yoga practices have an integral physiological component at the molecular level which is initiated immediately during practice and may form the basis of the long-term stable effects.”
The reason why yoga has such profound effects is due to its involvement of both body and mind. The body is encourages to move, strengthen and stretch whilst at the same time the mind is being trained to remain relaxed and calm. The ‘relaxation response’ is defined as a physiologic state of deep rest that alters the physical and emotional response to stress. The relaxation response can be achieved through yoga, meditation and breathing exercises, it trains the body to consciously relax which is opposite to the programmed ‘fight or flight’ response to stress. Harvard Medical School professor Herbert Benson M.D. states that “Mind/body interventions like the relaxation response can reduce stress and enhance wellness in healthy individuals and counteract the adverse clinical effects of stress in conditions like hypertension, anxiety, diabetes and aging.”
To feel the long term benefits of yoga as a way to boost immunity and effectively train yourself to release stress follow this link for more information about the yoga programs we offer www.inspire-yoga.com/tailored-programs. We specialize in private yoga classes, conducting classes on a one-on-one basis in the comfort of your own home. Private yoga classes allow for personalized instruction, hands on adjustments and proper alignments, our team consists of 10 highly experienced and qualified yoga teachers trained in a variety of styles to match your energy levels.