How Yoga Impacts the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The ECS is a homeostatic regulator of inflammation throughout the human body. Your body produces cannabis like compounds that activate the ECS. One of the two most well known is AEA (anandamide).

AEA is a molecule that acts as a neurotransmitter. AEA is also very similar to THC, the main ingredient in cannabis that gives a euphoric effect. AEA (anandamide) was nicknamed the "bliss" molecule, as ananda is Sanskrit for the word bliss.

When you practice yoga with good breathing techniques, you will start to essentially feel "high" in what is believed to be an increase in endocannabinoid receptors and one of their agonists (activators) AEA. This flooding of AEA in the body gives a blissful feeling to the person practicing yoga.

Many of the benefits of yoga in physical and mental health are have been reported as they seem to work with the activation of the endocannabinoid system to maintain homeostasis within your body. There is a good amount of clinical research to support this hypothesis.

There are many styles of yoga, but it is the stretching and breathing that seem to be most effective. Breath of fire breathing technique during yoga is very effective.

Correct breathing and stretches will take practice and time. However, as you practice you should start to notice more of a light headed and relaxed feeling. This blissful feeling is believed to be a result of the AEA that activates the ECS and helps to affect acute stress-induced anxiety.

Activation of the ECS is key for maintaining an optimized state of health. Adding one to two days a week of yoga to any health routine is a great way to maintain better mental and physical health. You should always discuss any new exercises with your personal physician.


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