There are a lot of different forms of yoga, and part of its current popularity comes from yoga being marketed now as a fitness regime rather than a different way of life. That distinction helped yoga replace P.E. classes in a local school district's elementary school. It's a controversial decision because some parents saw yoga as a type of spirituality in conflict with their own children's religious values, rather than just another way to stretch, tone and burn calories. But the school board wants to see if it gets more children to be active, and if it really does work on such psychiatric disorders as ADHD, then maybe it's worth it.
But those who've stuck with a yoga practice know that if done correctly, there's a lot going on between the ears while you are trying to hold a pose. According to the Time piece, which is based on 16 different studies:
Some of the studies included in the analysis even suggested that yoga might affect the body in ways similar to antidepressants and psychotherapy. For instance, yoga may influence brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters (boosting levels of feel-good agents like serotonin), lower inflammation, reduce oxidative stress and produce a healthier balance of lipids and growth factors — just as other forms of exercise do.Yoga also forces you to view your body and its abilities differently. Many longtime runners, especially marathoners, are often shocked at how rigid their bodies have become from failing to truly stretch out tired, contracted muscles after a run. It makes them aware that they may not be as fit as they first thought. And it often explains a propensity for certain injuries.