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Beginner Yoga FAQs

Ask the Expert: How Does Yoga Relieve Stress?

Sara Gottfried, MD, author of The Hormone Reset Diet, explains yoga's effects on our stress response.

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Yoga has been shown to decrease cortisol and adrenaline, the main stress hormones that make you feel overwhelmed, cranky, and on edge. However, a single yoga class isn’t enough to balance them. Most studies show that significant hormonal improvement requires three to six months of regular practice for 30 to 60 minutes per day, five days a week. While all yoga styles may help, research has examined hatha yoga, pranayama (such as deep breathing), and meditation.

—Sara Gottfried, MD, author of The Hormone Reset Diet, Berkeley, California

See also The Stress-Busting Yoga Sequence to Conquer Tension