We constantly hear how yoga can play a major role in not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. Although it's a common answer given to many people struggling with anxiety and depression, it's unclear as to how or why this form of exercise is so beneficial. Yoga is so beneficial for our mental health because it impacts our brain's GABA levels. GABA stands for gamma-aminobutryic acid, also referred to as the brains "chill out" neurotransmitter. GABA neurotransmitters can emit calming effects similar to those obtained from alcohol, without the negative and harmful side effects, making yoga an extremely healthy choice for all individuals.

Benefits of Yoga:

  • Bumps up natural GABA production by 27%
  • Can reduce pain sensitivity better than morphine
  • Builds healthier gray matter in the brain
  • Produces calming effects
  • Natural Painkiller
  • Helps decrease anxiety/ depression
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality
  • Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
  • Helps with focus
  • Relaxes and maintains nervous system

According to the National Institute of Health, yoga can prevent or reverse chronic pain on the brain. In fact, it's often found that individuals with depression may have reduced gray matter as result of chronic pain not being managed over a period of time. A major component in how yoga effects the brain is due to the increase in gray matter. Gray matter includes the regions in the brain involved in muscle control, memory, speech, pain tolerance, vision and hearing, emotions, decision making, and self-control. Gray matter plays a huge role in how we think, act, and feel- making it extremely important that we aid and increase this matter to our best abilities.