If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a scientific reason you feel such a warm, happy glow after your favorite yoga class (also known as a yoga buzz), the latest issue of Oprah magazine offers an explanation. The culprits are the the Vagus nerve, which serves as a messenger between the central nervous system and major organs, and a hormone, Oxytocin, which seems to facilitate a connection between ourselves with others. When both are triggered, our spirits are lifted and we feel happier.
Groups of people practicing yoga together is one example. “Evolutionary history over the past 15,000 to 20,000 years involves a lot of synchronous movement, chanting, dancing–the temporary creation of larger groups,” Johnathan Haidt, an associate professor in social psychology at the University of Virginia, told Oprah. “It’s a way . . . to make people feel part of something greater than themselves.”
Do yoga classes lift your spirits?