A new study by Brown University has proven that weekly sessions of Hatha Yoga can help reduce the symptoms and impact of depression by more than 50%
Depression is a growing problem in society and this new study, published in Psychological Medicine, compared 63 patients in the grip of severe depression who went to weekly yoga sessions and 59 others who simply took health education classes.
Yoga helps depression, it’s official
The results were remarkable. The group that went through a weekly regime of stretches and unusual balancing acts felt better, functioned better socially and showed a substantial reduction in the symptoms of depression.
Dr Lisa Uebelacker led the study and she said: “We hypothesised that yoga participants would show lower depression severity over time. We also expected better social and role functioning, better general health perceptions and physical functioning, and less physical pain relative to the control group.
“We found that yoga did indeed have an impact on depression symptoms.”
Yoga helps to lower Cortisol levels
King’s College, London, had already looked into the beneficial effects of Yoga and found that it helped reduce Cortisol levels in the blood. Cortisol is a stress hormone that the body releases to aid the fight or flight response. It’s an essential tool and it can save your life in the right circumstances. But if it’s constantly in your system then it can seriously fuck up your life.
Now this isn’t an instant fix. In fact, the study showed that the impact of yoga increases as time goes on and the most dramatic improvements came at the end of the six-month study.
51% of the yoga participants revealed at least a 50% improvement in their condition, while just 31% of the control group, which received anti-depressants and general wellness advice, responded to treatment to the same degree.
You can meet hot girls at yoga too
There’s a hidden advantage to yoga for men, too. You’ll probably be the only guy there and you’ll be surrounded by flexible, toned women. We said long ago that a class can be one of the best ways to meet women because it’s a low-pressure situation and yoga gives you a chance to make a fool of yourself and have fun with some healthy, interesting people. Yoga is also great for core strength, which will help you in the gym.
So if you’re depressed because you just got divorced, then yoga could be the answer you’ve been looking for!
This is way too long to watch the whole thing, but it’s a taste of yoga and if you’re feeling down then it will definitely lift your mood a little.