Yoga better than walking for driving away anxiety

Updated: Aug 20, 2010, 13:13 PM IST

Washington: Feeling down in the dumps? Try Yoga, for it is superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety, says a new study.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) compared the brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels of yoga subjects with those of participants who spent time walking.

Low GABA levels are associated with depression and other widespread anxiety disorders.

In the study, one group practiced yoga three times a week for one hour, while the remaining subjects walked for the same period of time.

Those who practiced yoga reported a more significant decrease in anxiety and greater improvements in mood than those who walked.

"Over time, positive changes in these reports were associated with climbing GABA levels," said lead author Chris Streeter

According to Streeter, the practice of yoga should be considered as a potential therapy for certain mental disorders.

The findings appear on-line at Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.