Recently, the Journal of Psychiatric Practice published a study that found yoga to be an effective cognitive measure against depressive symptoms.
The researchers began by segmenting the recruited pool of 32 participants between the ages of 18 and 65 into two different groups.
The first was assigned three 90-minute yoga classes and four homework sessions at the end of each week over the course of 12 weeks. The second was assigned two 90-minute yoga classes and three homework sessions over the same duration. At the end of the study period, both groups demonstrated varying yet similarly dramatic improvements to mood and overall wellness. In addition to feeling generally happier, the participants slept better every night and were less anxious on the day to day.
From the report: “Improvement in psychological symptoms correlated with cumulative yoga practice. Both interventions reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety and increased feelings of positivity. The time commitment for yoga practice needs to be weighed against benefits when designing yoga interventions.”
Psychological function, iyengar yoga, and coherent breathing
All of the individuals observed in the report had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder prior to their recruitment; the pathology of which is primarily sketched via four physiological branches according to the resident experts at Mayo Clinic:
Cognitive: lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide
Behavioral: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation
Sleep: early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep
Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness
Of course, pharmaceutical measures have their roles to play in attending the carnage, but rarely can they perform optimally all on their own. Psychological diseases require a comparable degree of medical seriousness that seldom fails to address somatic ones, as well as mindfulness techniques designed to give our chemical agents a fighting chance. Yoga is an ideal reflective technique in this way.
Unlike music or pleasant company, cognitive disciplines mute distortion by embracing all of its raw sensations. The simple act of coherent breathing achieves a similar state in its own sardonic way. Reminding us how pluralistically valuable every single aerobic mechanic is.
It takes practice to sufficiently understand our bodies’ wants and needs (a process academically referred to as interception), but proficiency on our end means efficiency on the ends of medical professionals.
The authors add, “Evidence suggests that yoga may be an effective treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). Studies evaluating the “dosing” of yoga treatment and efficacy for MDD are needed. The goal of this study was to assess the effects of an intervention combining Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing in participants with MDD and determine the optimal intervention dose. Improvement in psychological symptoms correlated with cumulative yoga practice. Both interventions reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety and increased feelings of positivity. The time commitment for yoga practice needs to be weighed against benefits when designing yoga interventions.”