We may feel great after a Yoga practice, but it doesn’t exactly tell us what just happened. Luckily, we have science for that.
According to a study conducted by the University of Oslo (based in Norway), an intensive Yoga practice leads to a nearly immediate reaction from immune cells.
The study observed 10 people who participated in a week long Yoga retreat and practiced Sudarshan Kriya (SK). It included asanas, meditation, and pranayam techniques.
From 630am-830am, two groups of the 10 participants either practiced the Yoga regimen, or took a long walk in nature (the control group). Before and after the activity, blood was drawn.
The results were published in PLOS ONE. The results were quite interesting:
Here we have shown, to our knowledge for the first time, that there are rapid (within 2 hours of start of practice) and significant gene expression changes in PBMCs of practitioners during a comprehensive yoga program. These data suggest that previously reported effects of yoga practices have an integral physiological component at the molecular level which is initiated immediately during practice and may form the basis for the long term stable effects.
This is a very notable study, as it shows that Yoga may be even more effective than normal exercise in it’s health benefits and genetic influence.
Interestingly, according to the study, it could also “provide a platform to conduct comparative studies between different yogic practices.”
Now THAT would be fascinating.
I can just see it now…the different schools of Yoga advertising that they have the most positive influence on genetic expression.
Talk about futuristic Yoga!