People who endure depression could look to yoga as a complement to traditional remedies as this appears to minimize symptoms of the disorder, in line with reports presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.
According to Lindsey Hopkins, PhD, of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, who chaired a session highlighting research on yoga and depression, Yoga has become increasingly popular in the West, and many new yoga practitioners cite stress-reduction and other mental health concerns as their primary reason for practicing. But the empirical research on yoga lags behind its popularity as a first-line approach to mental health.
Hopkins’ research is inquisitive about the acceptability and antidepressant results of hatha yoga, the branch of yoga that emphasizes physical workouts, along with meditative and breathing exercises, to increase well-being. In the study, 23 male veterans participated in twice-weekly yoga classes for eight weeks. On a 1-10 scale, the average enjoyment ranking for the yoga lessons for these veterans was 9.4. All contributors stated they might recommend the exercise to other veterans. Also, individuals with greater depression score before the yoga session had a big reduction in depression symptoms after eight weeks.
The other, more specified variation of hatha yoga generally practiced in the West is Bikram yoga, often referred to as heated yoga. Sarah Shallit, MA from Alliant school in San Francisco investigated Bikram yoga in 52 women, aged 25 to 45 years old. More than have of the subjects were assigned to take part in twice-weekly courses for eight weeks. The others were instructed that they had been wait-listed and used as a control. All subjects were tested for depression phases on the start of the study as well as at weeks 3, 6 and 9. Shallit and her co-author Hopkins have found that eight weeks of Bikram yoga greatly lowered signs of depression compared with the control group.
In an identical session, Maren Nyer, PhD, and Maya Nauphal, BA, of Massachusetts General Hospital, offered data from a pilot study of 29 adults that also confirmed that eight weeks of at least twice-weekly Bikram yoga significantly decreased signs of depression and increased the different secondary measures including quality of life, optimism, and cognitive and bodily functioning.
According to Nyer, The more the participants attended yoga classes, the lower their depressive symptoms at the end of the study. Nyer has present funding from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health to conduct a randomized controlled trial of Bikram yoga for individuals with depression.
Hopkins remarked that the study on yoga as a remedy for depression continues to be preliminary. She mentioned, At this time, we can only recommend yoga as a complementary approach, likely most effective in conjunction with standard approaches delivered by a licensed therapist. Clearly, yoga is not a cure-all. However, based on empirical evidence, there seems to be a lot of potential.