Positive effect of Yoga on the Central nervous system and Immune system

During this period of coronavirus pandemic, it is important to keep the immunity intact and a new study suggests that practicing yoga would help in this regard.

Being famous for physical, psychological and spiritual benefits, Yoga is now increasingly practiced in the western world and there have been huge lot of studies on the positive effects of Yoga. A research paper that was recently published in ‘Frontiers in Human Neuroscience discusses the positive effect of yoga on the central Nervous System and the Immune system.

The research was done a team led by Dr. B Rael Cahn from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and it also [proved that Yoga is beneficial for the overall well-being of the individual and that it improves resilience.

All the 200 participants of the study took 3-month yoga and meditation retreat and out of the 200, 26 underwent assessments for biomarkers. At the retreat, they engaged in daily practice of Yoga and followed a vegetarian diet. Psychometric tests were conducted to measure psychological well-being. Moreover, biomarkers like Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR), Pro- and Anti-inflammatory cytokine levels were analyzed. The analysis pointed towards increase in BDNF Plasma levels and strengthened CAR which proves a better resilience to stress factors. An increase of anti-inflammatory cytokine and consequent decrease in pr-inflammatory cytokine was noticed. The study also showed a considerable decrease in the anxiety and depression levels among those participated in the study.

These highlight the fact that there is an enhanced functioning of certain elements of the central nervous system, a healthier immune system, and a strengthened sense of focus and awareness.