Yoga is ancient Indian practice which is claimed to improve the physical and mental well being of human race. It involves certain body pastures along with a technique of inhaling and exhaling. Yoga requires expert advice as wrong practice can cause harm. Although it appears a way of exercising but the effects are far beyond just achieving the body shape. From schizophrenia to metabolic disorders, scientists are using yoga to help fight horde of disorders. Yoga‘s role as a complimenting therapy in treating diseases has been subject to many research in recent times.
Shivaraman Varambally is a psychiatrist and a professor at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences ( NIMHANS) Bangalore. He along with his team members carried out a study which has shown that yoga remarkably improves mental condition of patients who suffer from Schizophrenia and depression. They found that Yoga helps in increasing ‘ oxytocin’ a harmone which builds trust and love.
Similarly in patients with depression Yoga helps in improving Plasticity of brain. Yoga increases BDNF ( brain derived neurotrophic factor) which is responsible for plasticity. Yoga also helps in reducing ‘ Cortisol; which is a stress harmone implicated in depression.
In Ohio state university Janice K Kiecolt is trying to find out how yoga helps to keep metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity at bay. He found out that regular practice of Yoga keeps in check certain components in blood which are associated with systemic inflammation, which is implicated in heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and age related disease.
The team focused on two protein in the blood that have opposite effects. – Leptin which exacerbates inflammation and adiponectin, which suppresses it. These molecules are produced by fat tissues around the midrib. The ratio between adiponectin and leptin is important indicator of person’s risk of developing metabolic disorders. They found that with time people who practice regular yoga has lower leptin levels.
Overall, yoga is a great way to keep depression and stress away. It is truly the most natural form of healer.