Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga practices can be beneficial in helping relieve stress and tension within the body. Over the past 30 years the practice of meditation has become increasingly popular in clinical settings. In addition to evidence-based medical uses, meditation may have psychiatric benefits. [1]

  • Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. These findings [..] suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task. This may have clinical implications. Previous work suggests that increased DMN activity may interfere with cognitive performance, and decreased DMN activity is associated with improved performance. [2]
  • Likewise, increased DMN activity has been associated with depression, anxiety, and addiction, among other disorders. In contrast, meditation, which appears to be associated with reduced activity in the DMN, has been shown to improve attention and working memory performance and promote positive health outcomes. [2]
  • These studies together suggest that a neural mechanism by which meditation results in clinical benefits may be through reducing DMN activity. [2]
  • Recent emerging work indicates that mindfulness-based treatments may also be effective in restoring connectivity between large-scale brain networks among individuals with PTSD, including connectivity between the default mode network, the central executive, and salience networks. Future studies should aim to investigate alterations in neurobiological activity and functional connectivity in areas associated with the neurocircuitry model of PTSD (e.g., mPFC, amygdala) and within and between Interconnected Networks, including the DMN, CEN and SN, in order to improve our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying mindfulness-mediated alterations in PTSD symptomatology. [5]
  • The yoga and meditative practices in the 3-month intensive retreat appear to positively impact BDNF signaling, CAR, and immunological markers as well as improve subjective well-being…Future research that assesses broad panels of biomarkers and global studies with more appropriate control populations are needed to clarify the extent to which these changes are related specifically to the meditation and yoga practices, and given the suggestive findings reported here such further work is warranted. [6]
Adverse Meditation Effects
  • Alongside its alleged benefits, meditation may have certain adverse effects. It has been reported that meditation can cause depersonalization and derealization, and several reports have found associations between meditation and psychotic states. In general, however, meditation is a safe and well-tolerated practice. [1]
  • From a review of the literature on meditation and depersonalization and interviews conducted with six meditators, this study concludes that: 1) meditation can cause depersonalization and derealization;…4) a depersonalized state can become an apparently permanent mode of functioning [Via meditation] [3]
  • This is the first large-scale, multi-cultural study on the adverse effects of meditation. Despite the study‚Äôs limitations, results suggest that UEs (Unwanted Effects) are prevalent but transitory, are more frequent in long individual sessions, and have clear associations with various types of meditation. [4]