In the news – Meditation and yoga can ‘reverse’ molecular reactions in our DNA which cause stress, new study suggests.

Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don’t simply relax us; they can ‘reverse’ the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Radboud. []

The researchers focus on how gene expression is affected; in other words the way that genes activate to produce proteins which influence the biological make-up of the body, the brain and the immune system.

I found yoga back in 2002-2003, when working at a very high stress, demanding management job, a doctor diagnosed me with depression. I took anti-depressant for about 10 days and immediately knew it was not for me. The dull feeling, the half on/half off sensation towards life was much worse to live with than the actual feeling of being miserable. At least I was feeling alive! Luckily at that same time I took my very first yoga class at a local YMCA, and after only few visits my mindset started to shift. I threw away anti-depressants and never looked back. Yoga made such a profound impact on my life, I wanted to learn more about the discipline and its philosophy. I got certified as a yoga instructor to simply learn more and to bring my own practice to a new level, to practice deeper.

Yoga has been a part of my life for 17 years, meditation practice came with it.

The study’s authors say the inflammatory effect of the fight-or-flight response — which also serves to temporarily bolster the immune system — would have played an important role in humankind’s hunter-gatherer prehistory, when there was a higher risk of infection from wounds.

In today’s society, however, where stress is increasingly psychological and often longer-term, pro-inflammatory gene expression can be persistent and therefore more likely to cause psychiatric and medical problems. []

I knew for myself that yoga and meditation has lifted my depression, and with practice, over the years made me a much calmer person. Less reactive, more reflective. This research comes as no surprise, but it is pretty cool for the science to confirm effect of my practice on my gene expression.

“Millions of people around the world already enjoy the health benefits of mind-body interventions like yoga or meditation, but what they perhaps don’t realise is that these benefits begin at a molecular level and can change the way our genetic code goes about its business.”

These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed. Put simply, MBIs cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our wellbeing.

To your health,


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s