• A new study revealed how yoga exercises benefit those suffering from depression
  • Frequent yoga sessions per week led to a greater reduction in depressive symptoms
  • Yoga helps in releasing endorphins, otherwise known as the feel-good hormones of the body

A new study revealed that engaging in weekly yoga sessions can clearly benefit those who may be suffering from depression. This could provide more encouragement to those who are thinking of trying yoga, especially at home.

The study, which reviewed 19 clinical trials from different countries, was published Monday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The clinical trials were conducted in China, India, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the United States.

Looking At Mental Disorders

Participants in the clinical trials were diagnosed with depressive and bipolar disorders, alcohol dependence, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), or schizophrenia. They engaged in 20 to 90 minutes of yoga sessions, once or twice a week, where half of the sessions were devoted to physical movement.

Jacinta Brinsley, the author of the study, explained that the yoga sessions participants engaged in were focused on postures and movement. The duration of the sessions lasted for about 2.5 months.

yoga exercises help reduce depression symptoms
yoga exercises help reduce depression symptoms ograstudio - Pixabay

According to the results of the analysis, yoga helped in moderately easing depressive symptoms for those who suffered from depressive disorders. A greater reduction in symptoms was seen in the group diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Those who suffered from alcohol-related disorders did not benefit much from yoga, as only a small effect was observed. The group that least benefited was the one who suffered from depression linked to PTSD.

For the groups that showed a decrease in depressive symptoms, it was found that increasing the number of yoga sessions per week resulted in a higher reduction in symptoms. Hence, participants became less depressed in the course of the study.

The editor in chief of Yoga Therapy Today, Laurie Hyland Robertson, underscored the importance of working with a professional yoga instructor. It is quite vital that the regimen must be tailored to the individual. The kind of yoga exercises, along with the number of frequencies per week, must adapt to the condition of the patient.

The Rationale Behind Yoga

Yoga is a form of physical exercise. Scientists have repeatedly stated that physical activities help in the brain's blood circulation. Areas in the brain that control mood, motivation, and stress response, benefit from this.

Brinsley also added that through exercise, the body releases endorphins, otherwise known as the feel-good hormones. It follows, therefore, that engaging in yoga ultimately releases these hormones that help the patient to be in a better mood.