Do yoga now & Zen to beat depression

Yoga cure-all for depression disputed   >   The Media campaign is intensifying to promote yoga as a cure for everything that life throws at us. It taps into the fact that we want to believe in a cure-all for stress that does not involve anti-depressants, such as Prozac and Zoloft. It seems such a positive, passive and fun way to help us cope with life’s pressures.

The latest example of this yoga love fest is a report that several forms of yoga do indeed lessen the symptoms of depression without causing side effects.

Participants with elevated depression scores before the yoga programme, reported a significant reduction in depression symptoms.

Stress, blessed and yoga obsessed

In another study of female subjects given Bikram yoga classes, it was found that after eight weeks the women reported significantly reduced symptoms of depression. They also reported improvements to quality of life, optimism and cognitive and physical functioning.

According to the Media, even if yoga is not your forte, the combination of meditation and physical movement provide two important elements for relieving depression.

Meditation helps bring a person into the present moment and allows them to clear their minds. Controlled, focused movements also help strengthen the body-mind connection, while breathing exercises are effective in reducing depressive symptoms.

Life is better when you bend

Even British Asian pensioners who have dementia are being encouraged to try sit-down yoga.

But all this hype about yoga is nothing new. That does not make it wrong, but some caution is needed. For example, the NHS warns that yoga is not a substitute for the treatment of depression by trained healthcare professionals.

Yoga & tea are all you need

Some critics take a tougher stance, saying yoga cannot cure depression or anxiety. They claim that rather than helping relieve depression, it adds to depression. People can feel disoriented and risk physical injury. Other critics take a different tack, warning that yoga is a pagan practice, which is why so many churches have banned classes from their premises.

Yoga hypnotherapy is the perfect balance

If you want to use an alternative to sedative therapy, try yoga for a month.  If it does not make you happy, at least it will have got you out of the house to meet new people, plus improved your body.

Or for a double boost of natural stress relief, why not try the dream ticket – combining yoga with hypnotherapy?  You could even go one bend further with a session of acroyoga therapy or taking work-life balance to a new extreme!

Namast’ay in bed.

Footnote  > * The study was presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

4 thoughts on “Do yoga now & Zen to beat depression

  1. Shen Solo says:

    I read a survey which estimated that about 7.5% of adults had tried yoga at least once. But it is really a question of finding the right type of yoga to suit your needs. Yoga classes can vary from gentle to strenuous and challenging. Personally I would recommend hatha yoga, as it combines three elements – physical poses, called asanas; controlled breathing practiced in conjunction with asanas; and a short period of deep relaxation or meditation. As you say, it has got to be worth a try

  2. Arion Crill says:

    You were wise to add the words of warning. Most forms of yoga are safe, but some are strenuous and will not be appropriate for everyone. In particular, if you are elderly,please check with your doctor first. But if you are thinking of yoga for managing your depression, yoga is indeed worth considering. Many scientific studies of yoga demonstrated that mental and physical health are not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent. The evidence is growing that yoga practice is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.

    • Yoga can reduce the impact of stress and is helpful for both anxiety and depression. In this respect, yoga functions like other self-soothing techniques, including relaxation, meditation and even just socialising with friends.

  3. Annie Charles says:

    A study was carried out at the University of Utah into the effect of yoga on pain. The researchers found that people who have a poorly regulated response to stress are also more sensitive to pain. The yoga practitioners had the highest pain tolerance and lowest pain-related brain activity during an MRI. The study underscores the value of techniques, such as yoga, that can help a person regulate their stress and, therefore, pain responses.

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