GABA Shows Yoga Better Than Walking Exercise
Isn’t Yoga the same as any gentle exercise, say, walking? The answer is no and science helps us understand why.
A study by Chris C. Streeter on the effects of GABA resulting from walking as distinct from Yoga yields a positive baseline in favour of Yoga: Yoga produces more GABA than does the same amount of time walking.
Here's what happened. Streeter found suitable subjects and randomly separated them into two groups: walkers and yoga practitioners. Each group practiced their exercise for 60 mins., 3 times weekly for 12 weeks.
Results? The brains of those who practiced yoga compared with those who walked demonstrated greater calm, greater decrease in anxiety, greater ease of sleep, in fact every aspect associated with increased GABA.
GABA, produced in the thalamus, is a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters fill cells that sit between the dendrites in our brains. Dendrites? Think November trees in southern Ontario: bare branches that don't touch. Dendrites sit on the main trunks of brain nerves, called neurons. Dendrites reach out, do not touch but in the presence of a cell surrounding two dendrites, they reach out and hold hands. Their hand holding will have different effects, depending on the neurotransmitter in this case GABA.
GABA increases calm, decreases anxiety, aids sleep, balances mood disorders and its presence indicates increased attention span. This is the result of exercise and especially of practicing Yoga regularly.
Walking provides benefit and is certainly desirable over not exercising! Yoga delivers a larger punch of the feel good stuff, GABA. And isn't feeling better why we practice?