Meditation, yoga, mindfulness can change your genes

A man performs tai chiThe first step of Inner Leadership is to centre and ground ourselves. This reconnects us deeply with who we are and what matters most to us. Then we will respond better whenever a new situation arises.

Three recommended ways to achieve this deeper self-connection are exercise, meditation, and creativity. (A fourth is 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.”

In addition, these activities can actually reverse changes caused by stress and other lifestyle factors which turn some genes on and off through a process known as epigenetics. This affects our risk of disease, how long we live, and the genes we pass on to our children.

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

Would you like to become a more focused and more grounded leader? Would you like to improve your health and genes? Do you include meditation, yoga, or mindfulness as part of your daily routine?

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

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One Reply to “Meditation, yoga, mindfulness can change your genes”

  1. Very informative post! The researchers showed mindfulness meditation resulted in increased brain volume in the hippocampus. Mindfulness meditation can help with depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders.

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