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A new study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology might have figured out why practicing yoga has been linked to health benefits like lowering depression and improving cognitive functioning,
Conducted by researchers from the University of California, the study showed a link between yoga and decreased inflammation caused by stress. Previous
studies have linked stress to disrupting the body's ability to regulate
inflammation can promote the development and progression of disease such as heart disease, depression, rheumatoid arthritis and
For the study, the researchers gathered 45 caregivers for family members
with dementia before splitting them up into two groups. The first group was tasked to practice 12-minute yoga sessions called Kirtan Kriya Meditation, once a day for eight weeks. The second group was told to just listen to relaxing music for 12 minutes once a
day for eight weeks. The findings showed that caregivers who participated in the yoga
practice experienced a change in the response of 68 genes.
Commenting on the findings, study researcher Dr. Helen Lavretsky said this is encouraging news for caregivers since 16% have reported worsened health after they've begun caring for someone. And about
half of Alzheimer's disease caregivers go on to develop psychological
It seems that this particular form of yoga has other benefits as well; a previous study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that it was linked with better scores on a depression and mental health scale than just relaxation.