Meditation and yoga have been practiced by humans for thousands of years. The physical and mental benefits of both are well documented and include the reduction of anxiety, depression and stress. A study published in the journal Brain Imaging and Behavior used MRIs to measure brain structures in participants who practiced meditation and yoga. They found an association between participation in yoga and meditation and a smaller right amygdala volume. The amygdala is a brain structure involved in emotional regulation, fear and aversion to unpleasant stimuli. It’s possible that a reduction in the size of the amygdala helps individuals who practice yoga and meditation better cope with stress.
I’m a firm believer in the health benefits of both yoga and meditation and have used both to help cope with stress. If you haven’t yet, it’s definitely worthwhile to give both of them a try to explore the potential benefit for you!