Meditation and Yoga Alter Gene Expression!
For thousands of years, people have been practicing yoga and meditation, claiming that the practice brings feeling of wellness and health. Now, a new study published in journal PLOS One, finds that the practice of deep state of relaxation – brought by yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and prayers – instantly alters gene expression involved in inflammation, metabolism, and stress. That’s pretty cool!
This shows that our mind is a powerful tool that each one of us should learn to take advantage of.
We know that cancers and chronic diseases have been consistently linked to stress and inflammation. Yet, most of us lead lives where stress is a daily contender. Of course, stress is a part of life and, to a certain extent, necessary for us–but the extreme extent of stress we experience today is posing serious problems to our health. If we want to significantly reduce our risks for developing illnesses or chronic diseases, we must practice and cultivate a deep state of relaxation on daily basis.
“Many studies have shown that mind/body interventions like the relaxation response can reduce stress and enhance wellness in healthy individuals and counteract the adverse clinical effects of stress in conditions like hypertension, anxiety, diabetes and aging.” –Herbert Benson, HMS professor of medicine at Mass General and co-senior author of the report.
Fifteen minutes of daily meditation can enhance the gene expression associated with energy metabolism and telomere maintenance involved in vitality and reduces genes linked to inflammatory response and stress.
The benefits of meditation, for millenniums, have been acknowledged and appreciated–and now science can back it up. It is time for us to integrate this technique into our daily lives and gain the balance we need.
The Relaxation Response involves meditation for only 15 minutes a day. The meditation can be achieved in 3 simple steps:
- Find a comfortable place to sit and close your eyes. Maintain good posture or have a rest for your back.
- Focus on your breathing, while repeating a positive word or phrase silently as you exhale.
- When your mind gets distracted with other thoughts (it’s okay and totally normal): simply acknowledge it, let it go, and bring your focus back to your breathing.