Researchers working on a study at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behaviour have reported their findings that yoga that is focused on breathing techniques, meditation rather than aerobic exercise reduces the inflammation within the body that is caused by stress, anxiety and depression.
The study recruited participants who took care of individuals with dementia. This group of people have been previously found to show high levels of stress and depression and a generally report a lower quality of life than the general population.
The participants were assigned to one of two conditions, they either conducted daily 12 minute Kirtan Kriya Meditation, a form of Kundalini Yoga, practice at the same time each day for 8-weeks. Or they were assigned to the control group in which they were asked to listen to instrumental music at the same time of day for the same amount of time.
The researchers took blood samples before and after the 8 week trial period. The amount of inflammation in 68 genes in the body was established as an indication of the damaging effect of stress on physical health and wellbeing.
It was reported that participants who participated in daily meditative yoga showed significant reduction in inflammatory; this means that these individuals were significantly less likely to become ill and suffer from chronic illnesses that may have arisen if stress is left unnoticed.