Yoga helps with depression and anxiety

Yoga helps with depression and anxiety

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Yoga and breathing exercises alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety

A new study shows that yoga and breathing exercises can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, both in the short term with each session and in the longer term over three months.

Previous studies have shown that yoga and breathing exercises can relieve depression. The new findings now also indicate that yoga can be a helpful addition to the treatment of clinical depression or severe depressive disorders. The study was published in the "Journal of Psychiatric Practice".

Significant improvement

As the Boston University School of Medicine wrote in a statement, the 30 clinically depressed participants were randomly divided into two groups.

Both groups dealt with Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing, with the only difference that the groups participated in different numbers of sessions - guided or at home. During a three month period, the high dose group (HDG) spent 123 hours in sessions and the low dose group (LDG) 87 hours.

The results showed that the sleep quality of both groups improved significantly within one month. Calmness, positivity, physical exhaustion and symptoms of anxiety and depression improved significantly in both groups, measured using several validated clinical scales.

Yoga to improve health and well-being

"Think of it this way, we give medications in different doses to show their effects on the body to different degrees. Here research is carried out with the same concept, but uses yoga. We call this a dosing study. Previous studies on yoga and depression haven't really looked at it in depth, ”said the corresponding author, Dr. Chris Streeter, associate professor of psychiatry.

"Providing evidence-based data is helpful in getting more people to try yoga as a strategy to improve their health and well-being," said study researcher and co-author Marisa M. Silveri, a neuroscientist at McLean Hospital and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Combination of psychotherapy and drug treatment

Depression is treated in different ways. The most important pillars of treatment are pharmacotherapy (drug treatment) with antidepressants and psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, explains the Foundation of German Depression Aid on its website.

According to the Boston University School of Medicine, research has shown that the combination of therapy and medication is more successful than any single treatment. Although studies with more participants could be helpful to further explore the benefits, this small study clearly shows that adding yoga to the prescription could be helpful. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Video: Yoga for Anxiety - 20 Minute Practice - Yoga With Adriene (October 2022).