How yoga, meditation benefit the mind and body

Yoga and meditation have both become increasingly popular in the Western world, and practitioners praise their psychological and physical benefits. Current research also suggests that meditating and doing yoga can boost overall well-being and resilience to stress factors.

Increasingly, yoga practice and meditation have been the focus of research aiming to test their benefits. Recently, Medical News Today have reported on a wealth of studies pointing to many different advantages of yoga and meditation, including countering cognitive decline, acting on genetic factors that predispose individuals to stress, improving lower back pain, and easing depression.

A new paper published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience now shows that yoga and meditation appear to have a positive effect on the central nervous system as well as the immune system, and that it may improve the individuals’ overall sense of well-being.

The study – led by Dr. B Rael Cahn, from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles – was part of a larger body of research addressing different approaches to promoting resilience.

Yoga and meditation may improve resilience

Dr. Cahn and team worked with some of the participants at a 3-month yoga and meditation retreat. At this retreat, the participants engaged in daily meditation and yoga practice, and they followed a vegetarian diet.

Of the 200 participants (both male and female), 98 volunteered to participate in tests measuring particular biomarkers. However, due to a lack of funding, only 38 volunteers (19 male and 19 female) underwent these assessments.

Additionally, due to circumstances that rendered some of the data unusable, biological samples collected from 26 of these volunteers were analyzed.

Many participants had previous experience of practicing yoga and meditation on a frequent basis, including Shoonya and Samyama meditation, Hatha yoga, and pranayama.

By:- HOD-Vikas Tiwari
Department of MLT
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College of Biomedical Sciences and Hospital