Yoga for Depression
Evidence keeps piling up that yoga is a blessing for both physical and mental health conditions. By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to positively modulate our stress response systems. To get your mind off depression and reduce stress, you might also enjoy Pixie Wings Online.
A recent study from Boston University discovered that doing yoga twice a week may help ease depression, partly thanks to deep breathing. The study included 30 people aged 18 to 64 with clinical depression, who either were not taking antidepressants or had been on a steady dose for at least three months. Half of the participants were assigned to take a 90-minute Iyengar yoga class three times per week, as well as four 30-minute home-sessions every week. People in the other group took two group classes and three sessions at home each week. The classes also included 20 minutes of slow, gentle breathing.
Three months later, most people had lowered their depression scores by at least 50%. Not unexpectedly, more yoga was better; those who took three classes per week had lower depression scores than those who took two per week.
The practice has far fewer side effects than mood-altering medications and it contributes to the overall health of the patients. This suggests that some people who haven’t responded to traditional treatments might do well with yoga, because unlike antidepressant drugs, yoga and deep breathing target the autonomic nervous system, says the lead author, Dr. Chris Streeter. “If your autonomic nervous system is balanced out, then the rest of the brain works better,” she says. “Instead of adding another drug, I would argue that yoga is another thing you can add to the treatment regimen that might help.”
More research is needed to determine how yoga compares to other treatments. And while Iyengar yoga is generally considered to be a safe practice for people of all levels, it’s not the only type with health benefits. Yoga classes can vary from gentle and accommodating to strenuous and demanding; the choice of style tends to be based on physical ability and personal preference. Just remember, whichever one you choose, the most important thing is to stick with it!