Effective yoga against depression: here are the studies that prove it

The benefits of yoga are many and can be highlighted both on the body and on the mind. Did you know that depression can also be treated with yoga practice and meditation?

I benefits of yoga they are very many and can be highlighted both on the body and on the mind. Did you know that also depression can it be treated with yoga practice and meditation?

The lyoga lessons have been found to be particularly effective in treating patients with depression, including those with chronic and treatment-resistant symptoms. To say it are the results of several studies presented at the 125th American Psychological Association (APA) Convention.

In one of these, researcher Lindsey Hopkins of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center focused on the antidepressant effects ofhatha yoga, a type of practice in which both physical movements and breathing and meditation exercises are proposed with the aim of improving the general well-being of the person. For eight weeks, 23 veterans participated in hatha yoga classes twice a week. Thus it was found that people, previously with high scores for depression, at the end of the yoga program were found to have benefited from a significant reduction in symptoms. Very satisfied all participants who, as an average enjoyment for yoga classes, gave an average rating of 9,4 on a scale of 1 to 10 and said they would recommend the same program to other veterans.

Another experiment concerned the effects on depression of Bikram yoga, a type of hatha yoga that is practiced in a heated room. Out of a sample of 52 participants aged 25 to 45, just over half were invited to participate in yoga classes twice a week for eight consecutive weeks. All people were evaluated for their depressive state before starting the yoga class but also in the third, sixth and ninth week. Eventually it was concluded that even this type of yoga had significantly reduced symptoms of depression compared to the control group who practiced nothing.

A further pilot study by Massachusetts General Hospital, conducted on 29 adults and also presented by the APA during the conference, showed how to practice twice a week for at least 8 weeks Bikram yoga it allows to improve the symptoms of depression and in general the quality of life, optimism and cognitive and physical functioning.

And again Nina Vollbehrdel of the Center for Integrative Psychiatry in the Netherlands, presented the data the two studies on the potential of yoga in help reduce chronic depression and / or resistant to treatments. In the first study, 12 patients who had been showing signs of depression for an average of 11 years participated in nine weekly yoga sessions of approximately 2 hours each. The researchers measured each participant's levels of depression, anxiety, stress and worry before yoga classes, after nine weeks and after 4 months. The results showed that the levels of all parameters decreased after practicing yoga and i benefits remained constant even after four months.

Another study involved 74 college students with mild depression, the researchers in this case have compared yoga with a relaxation technique. Participants received 30 minutes of live instruction on yoga or relaxing techniques and were asked to do the same exercises at home for eight days using a 15-minute instructional video. While scores obtained immediately after treatment showed that yoga and relaxation were equally effective in reducing symptoms, two months later those who practiced yoga scored significantly lower for depression, anxiety and stress than the other group. .

Yoga as a complementary or alternative mental health treatment holds so much promise that the US military is considering it create real treatment programs.

In reality it is not the first time that scientific studies have shown effects of yogic breathing and meditation about depression. We have already told you about research from Hopkins University School Of Medicine which highlighted the antidepressant benefits of meditation sections of about 30-40 minutes a day to be practiced for a period of at least 2 months. The University of Pennsylvania has shown instead how yogic breathing can help relieve symptoms of depression in patients who did not respond to traditional treatments based on psychiatric drugs.

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