Community//

You Said What Improves Depression?

Yoga and Depression

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

Now depression or low moods are something we all experience from time to time. Clinically diagnosed depression is very different than feeling a little low. But I think we can all agree that anything natural and holistic that lifts the mood, improves, health and lightens the soul would be a good thing to try. That is why I am a big supporter and advocate for any kind of exercise, including yoga.

Yoga is being carefully researched for its many wonderful health benefits. Natural and requiring very little equipment it is something that any one, any age and under most any condition can practice. However, it is far more than an exercise class made up of various poses. Recently I read an article in a scientific magazine about yoga and depression. Confusing and misconstrued I felt compelled to write to the editor.

The article was written about a research study that claimed hot yoga improves depression. In reading into the study I discovered that the researchers tested a group of hot yoga participants against a group of inactive participants. I was puzzled.

How can a claim be made that hot yoga improves depression when tested against a group who were inactive? We have volumes of scientific evidence that shows that activity improves both physical and mental health where inactivity does not. Shouldn’t hot yoga have been tested against regular yoga to make this claim? Does this mean “cold” yoga can’t deliver the same benefits?

I shook my head realizing how easily we can all let something significant slip beneath the dazzle of the headline. Sometimes the truth gets slipped beneath the surface in favor of proving something to be right.

Remember soy products everywhere? Now we hear soy is not good for us. How about coffee? Now it is a great source of antioxidants. It’s important that we don’t take things at face value and take the time to peak between the blurred lines.

Now I am not against hot yoga. Any yoga is good because it gets the body moving and the mind quiet. We have plenty of research to show that movement and a peaceful mind is good for stress, easing depression and many physical ailments.

I have taught yoga for over twenty-five years and I can tell you that hot or not most people feel better after a yoga class. Simply by moving and breathing they initiate the flow of the so called “feel good” neurochemicals. It is irresponsible reporting (and research) to say that hot yoga is the answer to relieving depression. This makes me wonder who funded the study. Now if you really want a study, test hot yoga against regular yoga, cycle class or dance and see what the results are. I bet you will find that it is not hot yoga, but exercise of all sorts that helps to improve depression. Oh and I have not heard back from the editor! I guess it didn’t make them happy when I called them out?!

Doctor Lynn

http://www.doctorlynn.com

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Depression- When you stop loving the things you love

by Trishna Patnaik
Community//

The Science Behind Stress Relief – Part 2

by Dr. Sherry McAllister
Well-Being//

Health Care Starts With Self Care

by lisa langer, phd.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.