Studies Show How Yoga Will Help You Fight Depression

Studies Show Yoga Help Fight Depression

Yoga and depression: How does it work?

1. Yoga calms mind 

Practicing yoga through asanas, breathing techniques, chanting mantras (sounds and words) enables one to take a deep dive into your inner world. You can know yourself better and gain high self-awareness. We can easily connect to our thoughts, ideas, and behaviors and harmonize our states of mind, memory, and body. As a result, we feel calmer and peaceful. 

2. Yoga reduces stress 

While cortisol causes the shrinkage of neurons, deep breathing and meditation reduces stress and produces proteins for repairing neurons and increasing neuroplasticity (brain’s ability to  reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life).

Related: Meditation and Yoga Can Reverse DNA Reactions Which Cause Stress

3. Yoga fights anxiety 

Practising asanas, deep breathing and concentrating on different parts of the body contributes to mental and emotional peace. You can turn negative thoughts into positive ones, which helps you control anger, irritability, fear, apathy, and complex emotions.  It enables us to lower stress and anxiety, relieves inflammation and strengthens the immune system. 

Related: 20+ Best Meditation Music For Relief From Stress and Anxiety

4. Yoga boosts mood 

Practising yoga directly affects mood and emotions, which are the main symptoms of depression. It reduces the intensity of emotional symptoms  and provides a state of relaxation and tranquility. The state of relaxation helps us sleep better and more deeply. 

Related: 36 Most Relaxing Songs For Anxiety, Stress And Depression

5. Yoga improves hormonal balance 

Regular yoga can improve the blood flow to the brain and  regulate the happy hormones like dopamine, endorphin and naturally boost serotonin in our bodily system. Yoga can restore the hormonal and chemical imbalances caused by cortisol and improve our mood.

6. Yoga strengthens musculoskeletal system 

The different asanas increase the flexibility of our muscles and strengthen ligaments, tendons,  and fascias, which makes us stronger. These asanas stimulate different parts of the body and induces a pleasurable sense of well-being. 

Related: Benefits of Yoga for Men That Will Change Your Life

7. Yoga improves heart rate 

By increasing the relaxation response over the stress response, yoga improves the heart rate variability (HRV), which is the change in the time between heart beats. A person with high HRV can well adapt to stress and is better at self-monitoring. 

Takeaway 

There is growing evidence indicating that yoga is a holistic practice for fighting depression and other disorders. Although yoga cannot replace pharmacological or psychological treatment, it is a safe, cost-effective, and appealing approach to better manage the symptoms of depression and overall health.

Thus, yoga and depression are related. Also, the scientific study of yoga proves that mental and physical health are not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent. There are different yoga asanas and some are highly strenuous and may not be appropriate for all age groups. It is suggested to practice yoga under expert guidance and those with mobility problems or elderly patients must consult health care experts to choose yoga as a treatment option.   


References

  1. Edition, F., 2013. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Am Psychiatric Assoc.
  2. Cacha, L.A., Poznanski, R.R., Ariff, T.M. and Latif, A.Z., 2019. Psychophysiology of Chronic Stress: An example of Mind-body Interaction. NeuroQuantology17(7).
  3. Singh, I., 2019. Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase the quality of life.
  4. Al-Harbi, K.S., 2012. Treatment-resistant depression: therapeutic trends, challenges, and future directions. Patient preference and adherence, 6, p.369.
  5. Young, S.N., 2007. How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN32(6), p.394.
  6. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/April/Yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression?print=1
  7. McEwen, B.S., 2003. Mood disorders and allostatic load. Biological psychiatry, 54(3), pp.200-207.
  8. Thirthalli, J., Naveen, G.H., Rao, M.G., Varambally, S., Christopher, R. and Gangadhar, B.N., 2013. Cortisol and antidepressant effects of yoga. Indian journal of psychiatry, 55(Suppl 3), p.S405.
  9. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328142313.htm
  10. Hölzel, B.K., Carmody, J., Vangel, M., Congleton, C., Yerramsetti, S.M., Gard, T. and Lazar, S.W., 2011. Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry research: neuroimaging, 191(1), pp.36-43.
  11. Luscher, B., Shen, Q. and Sahir, N., 2011. The GABAergic deficit hypothesis of major depressive disorder. Molecular psychiatry, 16(4), pp.383-406.
  12. Streeter, C.C., Whitfield, T.H., Owen, L., Rein, T., Karri, S.K., Yakhkind, A., Perlmutter, R., Prescot, A., Renshaw, P.F., Ciraulo, D.A. and Jensen, J.E., 2010. Effects of yoga versus walking on mood, anxiety, and brain GABA levels: a randomized controlled MRS study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(11), pp.1145-1152.
  13. Nyer, M., Gerbarg, P.L., Silveri, M.M., Johnston, J., Scott, T.M., Nauphal, M., Owen, L., Nielsen, G.H., Mischoulon, D., Brown, R.P. and Fava, M., 2018. A randomized controlled dosing study of Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing for the treatment of major depressive disorder: Impact on suicidal ideation and safety findings. Complementary therapies in medicine, 37, pp.136-142.
  14. McCrary, M., 2013. Pick your yoga practice: Exploring and understanding different styles of yoga. New World Library.

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