HOW YOGA CAN REDUCE DEPRESSION

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In today’s society, living fast and rarely turning in for rest and relaxation is like the new black, everyone you know is an entrepreneur that works 15 hour days, and it’s increasingly common in cities both big and small, all around the world. But, we are also recognizing the need for it, prioritizing self-care, wellness, and yoga have quickly become #goals for everyone and always on our calendars. Not because we want to take a break from chasing our dreams, but because our human bodies and minds need one. It’s no secret that depression, anxiety & stress are more common than ever.

Depression alone affects more than 14 million American adults.

We all know that yoga has been respected and practiced for its mental, emotional, and physical benefits, and all the research proving this is simply a bonus, and supports what we all can tell you from practicing yoga in our own ways.

Yoga is much more than a physical exercise, the physical aspect that involves different body poses, is the Asana portion of yoga, the breathing techniques, also known as pranayama, are increasingly used in yoga practices all over the US and globally. And of course the meditation component, which we have truly grown to love as a society. Combining all the sectors of yoga can turn this “exercise”, this “way of life”, into a strong form of therapy powerful enough to help with depression and associated symptoms with anxiety and PTSD.

Yoga as therapy can help manage –

  • mental and emotional stress
  • anxiety or depression
  • overall well-being
  • physical conditions; achy bones, back pain, joint problems
  • chronic or long-term pain due to illness or disease
  • overall health in a physical and mental capacity

But the most common treatment for depression remains a combination of antidepressant medicine and psychotherapy — sometimes called “talking therapy.” But new research suggests we may wish to break these standards for treatment. Common treatment for depression and anxiety include a combination of pharmaceuticals and psychotherapy but new research suggests that we are all searching for a way to solve the problem holistically.


According to recent studies, society as a whole, is actually finding a better way to seek out relief; more simply, holistically, and organically, and with weekly yoga.

A new study by Lisa Uebelacker, PhD, research psychologist in the Psychosocial Research Department at Butler Hospital and an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, is the largest of its kind to investigate the link between exercise and depression. The researchers looked at the effects of yoga on 63 patients suffering from severe depression. The results were compared against 59 severely depressed patients who took health education classes. And yes, all of the individuals participating in the study were taking some form of prescribed antidepressants.

This specific purpose of this study was to examine whether yoga is effective for treating depression when used in addition to antidepressant medication, explained here by Dr. Uebelacker.

The hypothesis of the study and the benefits uncovered in that study lead us to believe there is a natural way to lower the severity of symptoms, there is a way to improve social functioning while suffering from depression, and there is a way to improve our general and physical health. While many forms of yoga are safe, some are more strenuous than others and may not be appropriate for everyone. For example, elders or those with mobility constraints may want to check with a doctor or medical professional before choosing yoga as a regular activity.

If you are dealing with depression, anxiety, or plain old stress, yoga may be an excellent and holistic way to manage your symptoms.  Scientific studies, several actually, demonstrate that mental, emotional, and physical health are not only closely related but are nearly equivalent. The evidence is only growing that yoga is truly low risk to improving overall health. If you’re new to yoga, you can download our Mini Yoga Dictionary below to help decide what kind of yoga is best and most appropriate for you.

So, who can truly benefit from a regular yoga practice?

  • Women with pms; reducing their levels of anxiety, stress, and any shifts in mood.
  • Anyone suffering from PTSD, especially male (heroes) veterans via this study.
  • And ANYONE looking to live a better life physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

The effects of yoga do not happen overnight, which in fact, lends itself to the possibility that the benefits will likely multiple over time. If you are new to yoga and considering using this ancient practice to better your life, start now by downloading The Daily Guru’s Mini Yoga Dictionary.


& get a quick yoga fixer upper by trying out

5 YOGA POSES TO HELP YOU MEDITATE

As well as accessing our Mini Yoga Dictionary, below!


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Articles written by our internal Daily Guru writers, who are certified & qualified growth & development professionals.

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