Exercises that promote relaxation not only help you build strength, but can reduce stress and improve mental well-being. These exercises include yoga, tai chi, and meditation. Although these activities can do a lot for your body mentally and physically, they can also have large implications on your genes. Researchers decided to take a deeper look into the benefits of yoga, tai chi, and meditation on the body’s genes and concluded that these activities worked to reverse molecular reactions in DNA, which can lead to poor health and depression.
Yoga and meditation improve well-being
The study included reviews of 18 studies that involved 846 people.
Lead researcher Ivana Buric explained, “Millions of people around the world already enjoy the health benefits of mind-body interventions like yoga or meditation, but what they perhaps don’t realize is that these benefits begin at a molecular level and can change the way our genetic code goes about its business.”
“These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed. Put simply, [mind-body interventions] cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our well-being,” Buric continued.
Although additional research is required to better understand how yoga, tai chi, and meditation benefits genes, the mind, and the body, Buric suggests that the current findings are a good foundation for future research.
For now, the findings reaffirm the positive effects of yoga, tai chi, and meditation, and suggest that people should take part in these activities to live a healthy life.