New Study Finds Yoga Relieves Depression Symptoms

 A study published last week in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that yoga and controlled breathing relieved depression symptoms in people on antidepressants who still had symptoms.

 For the complete journal article:
For a summary of the research results:

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According to the researchers, yoga maybe a side-effect free treatment option for people with depression. With its focus on mindfulness, awareness of the breath and asanas (poses), yoga targets a different brain pathway than antidepressant medications.  This is particularly important, the researchers say, as up to 50% of people with major depressive disorder who take antidepressants - still have symptoms.

The type of yoga used in this study was Ilyengar yoga which focuses on precision - correct alignment of all body parts for each asana (pose). This builds strength, balance, flexibility and contributes to a sense of well-being ( It is a gentle yoga that is good for beginners.  In the study, yoga and controlled breathing exercises were done with a certified Illyengar yoga instructor two to three times a week for 90 minutes and practiced at home.

If you are being treated for depression, talk to your mental health care provider about adding yoga classes to your treatment regime. While there are a whole host of yoga videos, YouTubes and CDs available, it is best to attend a class with a certified yoga instructor to ensure you are doing the poses correctly, that your body is in alignment and you are breathing properly.

For more information:

Different types of yoga:

Harvard Health Publications
Yoga for anxiety and depression

National Institutes of Health - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health -
Yoga: In depth

How might yoga help depression?

Editors Note: The publisher of TAPinto Sparta and Newton has been a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor for more than 10 years. This article was created independent of the publisher.

Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES is the principal of Associates for Health Education and Behavior, LLC, in Sparta, a practice focused on improving health through education. Her office offers individual and group health education, and individual health behavior change guidance.  For more information please see  To contact Dr. Hayden, email her

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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