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.