Open Access Mini Review

Yoga and GABA: New Insights from the Science

Beart PM1,2* Hinton T3 and Johnston GAR3

1Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Parkville, Vic, 3052, Australia

2Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic, 3052, Australia

3School of Medical Sciences (Pharmacology), Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia

Corresponding Author

Received Date: September 23, 2020;  Published Date: October 12, 2020


Yoga relieves stress, as does targeted modulation of the brain’s major inhibitory transmitter GABA. Yoga elevation of brain GABA is accompanied by decreased anxiety with new evidence suggesting a temporal dependency on the nature of the yoga intervention. How GABA-related brain metabolism is influenced by yoga remains to be clarified. GABA produced outside the brain by the brain-gut axis and the gut’s microbiome may also be involved since they are linked to reduced emotional behavior. These latter issues and their investigation will likely provide novel insights into the behavioral benefits of yoga moving forward.

Abbreviations:GABA: Gamma-aminobutyric acid; HPA: Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal; MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging; PET: Positron emission tomography; PNS: Parasympathetic nervous system; SNS: Sympathetic nervous system

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