A latest research suggests that yoga has a greater positive effect on a person's mood and anxiety level than walking and other forms of exercise, which may be due to higher levels of the brain chemical GABA.

GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid, is a chemical in the brain that helps to control nerve activity.

GABA activity is reduced in people with mood and anxiety disorders but yoga has been shown to raise the levels of the chemical.

Observing all of these observations together, the study by Chris Streeter from Boston University School of Medicine (Massachusetts) and colleagues demonstrated that improved GABA levels measured after a session of yoga postures are associated with improved mood and decreased anxiety.

The authors suggest that the practice of yoga stimulates specific brain areas, thereby giving increase to changes in endogenous antidepressant neurotransmitters such as GABA.