There is increasing evidence that yoga may help with depression. In a recent study, discussed on Medscape, it was noted that:
"Yoga appears to improve mood through increased activity of an amino acid neurotransmitter known to influence mood, anxiety, and sleep"
The type of yoga practice explored for this study was a traditional one that combined physical asanas, breathing (pranayama), and relaxation practices. One class per week with shorter home sessions were used.
The lead investigator was Chris Streeter, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts who stated that:
"I think clinicians should consider this as a kind of a 'whole package. It shouldn't be just 'take the pill,' it should be 'take the pill and do some type of stress reduction,' and yoga is certainly acceptable," in terms of doing stress reduction.
Depression is serious. Consulting with your medical doctor is recommended, however, yoga may have an important role to play as part of the package of care.
Please note that we are yoga professionals and not doctors.
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