I’m sure you know at least a few reasons yoga and meditation are good for you. They promote both physical and mental health and have a stress-relieving effect. It’s obvious that almost any type of exercise is good for your body, and while it’s not the only way to induce relaxation, meditation is certainly an effective solution.
However, it seems there are other reasons why yoga and meditation are good for you, that go deeper than common sense can detect.
Why yoga and meditation are good for you
It seems that the effect of yoga, meditation, and similar activities such as tai chi can go as deep as our genes. A new scientific review conducted by the Brain, Belief and Behavior Lab at Coventry University in Great Britain analyzed 18 studies, in which 846 people have participated to check how our genes’ behavior is influenced by mind-body interventions such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi.
The review concludes these activities can reverse molecular reactions in our DNA that cause depression and poor health.
According to lead researcher Ivana Buric, the health benefits of yoga, meditation, and other mind-body interventions start at a molecular level and affect how our genetic code works, even if most of us are only aware of the obvious health benefits provided by these activities.
It turns out mind-body interventions leave a molecular signature in our cells that reverses the negative effects of stress and anxiety by changing our gene expression. In other words, yoga, and meditation allow our brain to change the path of our DNA processes to improve both our mental and physical health.
The findings are certainly interesting and it’s clear we need further research to understand how mind-body interventions connect to our eating habits and other healthy activities, said Buric.
She also added this initial review is a great starting point that allows future research to perform a more in-depth analysis on the most popular mind-body activities. The review, along with its findings, was published in the Frontiers in Immunology journal.