What Makes Yoga Feel So Good?

Source: http://www.sonima.com/yoga/yoga-high/

There’s no question runner’s high exists. Scientists concur that a sense of euphoria can flood the brain after intense exercise, despite not knowing exactly how it works. Until recently, popular belief was that endorphins reduced pain and anxiety in response to physical stress. But new research suggests more chemicals are at play. A Canadian study published in Cell Metabolism this September suggests leptin—a hormone most associated with regulating feelings of hunger and satiety—may contribute to the rewarding effects of running. The brain’s endocannabinoid system may also help produce runner’s high, reports an unrelated German study published last month.

While there’s less discussion about a “high” after gentler forms of exercise like yoga, anyone who has practiced knows it offers a distinct feeling of bliss. Yoga’s immediate physical benefits include improved posture, blood flow, and concentration, plus, nailing a pose you’ve been working on for months adds a gratifying sense of accomplishment. Neurotransmitters, like endorphins, may contribute to the post-yoga “glow”—decreasing pain and increasing elation—but other factors may also be making you extra giddy.

One theory that explains why yoga feel so good is that it fulfills all five principles of the SPIRE model, a philosophy of living in which total wellness is a result of satisfying five key aspects of life: spiritua…

What do you think?