Doctor Says Studying Yoga Should Be National Priority


By YJ Editor  |  

woman in Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

A prominent psychiatrist called for the study of yoga to be a national priority last week, stating, “If there was a drug that could mimic the effects of yoga, it would probably be the world’s best-selling drug.”

In an interview on the CBS show This Morning, P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University said that studies have shown yoga practice to produce a relaxation response that mimics the best anti-anxiety drugs on the market today, and that it can also help people with mild depression, insomnia, and ADHD. “Studies have shown that yoga affects perhaps more than 200 different processes in our body and in our brain. It affects virtually every tissue and every system in our body.”

“By and large, yoga seems to be very promising,” he continued. “We’re not recommending that yoga is a first line treatment for psychiatric illness by any means, but we feel it should be a national priority to do more studies on yoga.”

This is not the first time Doraiswamy, who has done extensive research in the areas of mood, brain aging, and lifestyle, has spoken out about the benefits of yoga. To hear him speak to yoga’s connection with general health and longevity, watch this clip from Jai Sugrim’s show, Yoga Sutra Now.