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Yoga's healing gifts

Yoga has the power to help your body heal itself. Depression and anxiety is a rampant issue in our society. Pharmaceutical advertisements for medicines to help one's depression are frequently seen on the television. Even more depressing is the new medicines being advocated to be a supplement for the primary anti-depressant one takes. The body learns to adjust and then higher doses ultimately become necessary to have the same results. Give the body a chance to function better by trying yoga.

Fortunately, yoga has been and is actively being recognized and studied by scientists for its countless benefits. Recent studies have shown that a regular yoga practice can reduce or eliminate depression and anxiety. The reason: the medicine a depressed person needs is produced in their own brain. GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric acid) is an amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. In simpler terms, GABA is an integral component in the brain's function of sending messages to the body. Too little GABA and one is prone to anxiety and depression. Too much GABA and one is prone to feel "on edge" and restless.

How does yoga keep your GABA in check? The practice of yoga integrates conscious deep breathing and movements of the body that induce a calm state in the brain.  By quieting the mind without the usual distractions, you ignite your GABA to minimize the nerve transmission activity in the brain. The result? A sense of calmness, reduced anxiety, and a less depressed state. It even has been shown to help alleviate insomnia because by practicing yoga, you ignite the message in the brain to rest.

If you currently are taking any medications for depression, never just stop taking them. Always consult with your doctor and discuss the process of elimination. The healing power of yoga is a gradual one and is not the same as "taking a pill" to get an immediate result. For some, the combination of yoga and a lesser dose of medication may be the ultimate answer. Some people eventually become medicine free. The key point to remember is that every body is different and the chemical processing in the brain varies; therefore, do not assume there is one magic answer for any issue.

Give yoga an opportunity to help you help yourself. With regular practice, you will become stronger, more flexible and maybe, most importantly, calmer. Your body and mind will thank you for your efforts.

For information how how to calm the mind and body with meditation, check out this website about the power of sound.

Here is a list of a few great places to practice yoga based on where you live:

Brentwood: Yoga Country

Green Hills: Sanctuary

Vanderbilt area: Steadfast and True

Downtown Nashville: Yoga Source


Enjoy your practice and the countless benefits that will manifest in due time. Peace~

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