13 Aug A daily dose of yoga keeps the doctor away
Yogis tend to handle stress pretty well, not because they attend a two-hour yoga class every Saturday morning but because they have a daily practice that allows them to regulate their own bodies.
Dr Kelly McGonigal is the author of Yoga for Pain Relief, a health psychologist and Stanford University lecturer. She explains that a yoga practice can make more of the important neurotransmitter GABA available to us, which enhances our resilience to stress. The effect is not cumulative, though: we have to get our “daily yoga dose” to keep the stress doctor away.
In Yoga for Pain I’ve been focussing more on helping people build a short but regular practice that fits in with their day. While those who attend the weekly sessions move ahead in leaps and bounds, once they become regular almost-daily practitioners the benefits become exponential.