Stress related disorders such as depression and anxiety are leading sources of disability worldwide, and current treatment methods such as conventional antidepressant medications are not beneficial for all individuals. There is evidence that yoga has mood-enhancing properties possibly related to its inhibitory effects on physiological stress and inflammation, which are frequently associated with affective disorders. However the biological mechanisms via which yoga exerts its therapeutic mood-modulating effects are largely unknown.
Meditation is a popular form of stress management, argued to mediate stress reactivity. However, many studies in this field commonly fail to include an active control group. Given the frequency with which people are selecting meditation as a form of self-management, it is important to validate if the practice is effective in mediating stress-reactivity using well-controlled studies.