Meditation, yoga, mindfulness can change your genes

The first step of Inner Leadership is to centre and ground ourselves. Then, after we have reconnected deeply with who we are and what matters most to us, we will respond better to whatever new situation is demanding our attention.

Three recommended ways to achieve this deeper self-connection are exercise, meditation, and creativity, combined with spending time in nature.

Now a new study, published in Frontiers in Immunology, has found that yoga, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi can affect our genes, reversing stress-related changes linked to poor health and depression. The same applies to simple mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises:

“Sitting meditation is quite different than yoga or Tai Chi, yet all of these activities — when practiced regularly — seem to decrease the activity of genes involved in inflammation that can impair both physical and mental health.”

Not only that but these activities can actually reverse changes caused by stress and other lifestyle factors which can turn certain genes on and off (through a process known as epigenetics). This affects our risk of disease, how long we live, and what genes we pass on to our children.

You can read more about this in Time Magazine. And related studies have also shown that living in line with our purpose can have similar effects on our genes.

Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness can change your genes — as well as making you a better, more grounded leader.

Do you include any meditation, yoga, or mindfulness in your daily routine? Would it be a good idea to do so?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By Johnny Silvercloud via

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