How Regular Yoga Can Help With Anxiety and Depression

By: Adrian Cruce

Ever since the seventies many scientists analyzed the effect of different stress reduction techniques on people that were fighting anxiety and stress. Yoga is one of the most analyzed practices, even if it did not receive that much attention when thinking about official medical literature. It was only in the past decade that its popularity truly skyrocketed. A survey in US showed that around 7.5% US citizens tried yoga at least one time.

The therapeutic effects of yoga have long been dismissed. This is mainly because there are really strict standards needed to prove efficacy. However, what was shown is highly interesting and beneficial for those affected by depression and anxiety.

Reducing Stress

Yoga has a huge benefit in the fact that it will reduce the perceived anxiety and stress. That is because it modulates the human body’s stress response systems. Physiological arousal will be decreased. This includes things like reducing heart rate, easing respiration and lowering blood pressure. Heart rate variability is increased and stress is practically drastically reduced.

Having a badly regulated stress response increases pain sensitivity. This is why you want to reduce stress whenever affected by different conditions like fibromyalgia.

Improved Functioning And Mood

It is not exactly known how yoga will improve mood but there is some evidence that suggests yoga is similar to relaxation techniques and exercise. Emotional distress is improved when practicing yoga. Perceived stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, well-being and energy will be improved. Many controlled trials showed that yoga improves life quality and mood in the elderly, people that care for others, survivors of cancer and even epilepsy cases.

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Controlled Breathing

In order to do yoga and grow in practice you need to start controlling your breathing. This brings in various different benefits we are going to truly appreciate. As you start to control breathing it is much easier to relax. You would be able to deal with stressful situations better and on the whole, you reap in some benefits few people know about.

PTSD Potential Benefits

Yoga is going to tone down the arousal of the maladaptive nervous system. That is why yoga can be pretty useful in helping those that are affected by PTSD. Veterans that consume too much alcohol or that take antidepressants are going to get great benefits from practicing since stress is reduced and asanas are going to help to make soldiers feel better.

Statistics show that 20 percent of the veterans that came back from Iraq and Afghanistan are now suffering from PTSD. Yoga would be a really good addition to the official treatment program. It helps relax and deal with everything happening while reducing stress. It is much easier to deal with PTSD than before when you just control stress and breathing.