Now Might Be the Time to Add Mindfulness Activities in Your Daily Routine

The beneficial effects of yoga, meditation and mind-body health were demonstrated in this study. 38 participants took part in a 3-month yoga and meditation retreat. Various measurements were obtained pre and post retreat. Significant increase in the plasma BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) level was found post retreat. BDNF promotes development, survival, and plasticity of neurons in brain areas that play important roles in learning, memory and higher cognition. In addition, increase in the CAR (cortisol awakening response) was observed in participants post retreat suggesting role in improving stress resilience. Lastly, improvement in pro and anti-inflammatory biomarkers was also seen. Now might be the time to add meditation, yoga or other mindfulness activities in our daily routine.

By: Sarita Khemani, MD, Head, Lifestyle Medicine Stress Pillar

Journal Reference:

  1. Cahn BR, Goodman MS, Peterson CT, Maturi R, Mills PJ. Yoga, Meditation and Mind-Body Health: Increased BDNF, Cortisol Awakening Response, and Altered Inflammatory Marker Expression after a 3-Month Yoga and Meditation Retreat. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 Jun 26;11:315. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00315. Erratum in: Front Hum Neurosci. 2022 Apr 08;16:868021. PMID: 28694775; PMCID: PMC5483482.