Yoga meditation concept, woman silhouette meditating in healthy pose, back view on sun light rays

Yoga eases depression

Depression is a catch-all term for what can be an individualised condition. Where some people will respond to antidepressant medications, other will not. As the number of depression cases grows exponentially there is increasing interest in how to most effectively manage this condition and, now, a new study suggests that breath-based yoga can help people who are not responding to medication.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is diagnosed when five of the symptoms linked with depression are present for at least two weeks. Those symptoms include persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, fatigue, loss of interest in daily life, reduced appetite, insomnia and weight loss. In the new study, researchers included 25 people with MDD who had been taking antidepressant medications for at least eight weeks with no improvement.

Sudarshan Kriya yoga involves rhythmic breathing exercises with the aim of getting into a calm and relaxed state.

The subjects were divided into two groups. One group took part in a six-session program in the first week including Sudarshan Kriya yoga exercises, yoga postures, meditation and stress education. Sudarshan Kriya yoga involves rhythmic breathing exercises with the aim of getting into a calm and relaxed state. Then for seven weeks that group were asked attended a once-weekly Sudarshan Kriya yoga follow-up session as well as completing a practice session at Home.

The second group was a “waitlist” group that served as the control group. These people were offered the yoga classes at the end of the study. All subjects continued on with their medication during the study.

At the beginning and end of the study, the subjects’ depression rating was measured using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. At the beginning of the study, the average score on this scale was 22, indicating severe depression. After the eight weeks, the waitlist group did not show a change in scores while the yoga group showed a drop of 10.27 points on average.

Based on this, it is not stretching it to say that breath-based yoga techniques such as Kriya may be a useful addition to conventional therapies or, perhaps with the right management by a health practitioner, an alternative.

Source: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

You May Also Like

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 17t143950.232

Inside the spirituality database

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 (3)

The Positive Power of Pets

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 (2)

Soothing Inflamed Brains

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667

Gifts of Love