Stress is a significant factor in the development of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. One of the best non-nutritional strategies for treating mood disorders is a programme of relaxation, and yoga can be an excellent way to achieve this. Studies have investigated the effects of yoga on the mood states of individuals and found that it can be highly beneficial. In one such study, healthy volunteers were trained in a programme of breathing, meditation and yoga over a series of days. They were then asked to perform the routine for 30 minutes each day over a period of 7 weeks. The results of the study showed that the yoga was significantly beneficial to the mental health of the subjects. Anxiety and stress were both reduced in the subjects, and this was accompanied by a significant increase in antioxidant capacity and a reduction in oxidative stress. These results support the contention that stress causes detrimental mood changes by increasing oxidative stress levels in the brain.
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