Does yoga help with depression, as many studies claim? Is the data profound, the test groups large enough and the test period long enough that we can really tell?

Is it really new, that people try to use their breath, exercise and relaxation to improve their wellbeing? And after all, does it really matter what statistics say? What matters is how you feel, after you’ve left the mat.

So why another article about yoga and depression?

Because the number of people suffering from depression has risen by 18% from 2005 to 2015. Because only 50% of patients see a decrease in their symptoms through the use of antidepressants and psychotherapy. It’s simply time to give people some powerful tools at hand, that have the potential to improve their lives. It might work for many of them.

But before we dive deeper into the specifics of yoga, let’s take a closer look at some very concerning data about the high occurrence of depression, at the nature of this illness, and why it it has found its place amongst the most widespread diseases in the world.

The recent rise in the amount of research into how yoga can help to ease symptoms of depression, underlines the need for alternative treatment methods to the wide spread prescription of medical drugs, which alongside psychotherapy is the main treatment vulnerable people receive. Both make the patient reliant, on the expensive drugs and on their therapist.

So what is actually happening in the mind of a person suffering from depression?

Depression is a mood disorder. Our mood is regulated by the nervous system. While the finer mechanisms that cause depression are very complex and are still in the process of being researched in more detail, stress plays a big role in the outbreak of mental illnesses, of which the most common ones today are depression and anxiety.

Therefore it is not utterly surprising that the number of people diagnosed with depression has been rising in the last decade by 18% (2005-2015).

Factors this can be attributed to are the increasing…
 

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