Yoga and Meditation Can Change Your Genes, Study Says

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From TIME: A new scientific review suggests that yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness activities can reverse stress-related changes in genes linked to health problems and depression.

“Environment and lifestyle can both affect which genes are turned on and off, and that can have real effects on disease risk, longevity and even which traits get passed on to future generations. Stressful events, for example, can activate the fight-or-flight response and trigger a chain reaction of stress-related changes in the body‚ÄĒincluding activating specific genes involved in making proteins that produce inflammation.

Lead author Ivana Buric, a PhD student in Coventry University‚Äôs Brain, Belief and Behaviour Lab in England, says her team was surprised to see that different types of mind-body techniques had such similar effects at the genetic level. ‘Sitting meditation is quite different than yoga or Tai Chi,’ she said in an email, ‘yet all of these activities‚ÄĒwhen practiced regularly‚ÄĒseem to decrease the activity of genes involved in inflammation.'”

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