Yoga may beat stress, but can it actually ease symptoms of other psychiatric disorders?
According to a new study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, yes.
The researchers reviewed over 100 studies that link yoga and mental health, and concluded that yoga has beneficial affects for those with select psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia and ADHD.
‘There is emerging evidence from randomized trials to support popular beliefs about yoga for depression, sleep disorders, and as an augmentation therapy,’ the study’s authors wrote.
What gives yoga such a calming effect?
According to some of the studies the researchers reviewed, yoga can have a similar affect on the brain to anti-depressants and psychotherapy.
That doesn’t mean you should go off your meds and get on a mat’it just means that doing both together could be even more beneficial.
‘Our systematic review finds emerging scientific evidence to support a role for yoga in treating depression, sleep complaints consistent with both popular beliefs and biological studies, and having adjunctive value in schizophrenia and ADHD.’
Personally, I find yoga the best way to deal with my anxiety and insomnia. Whenever I do it (once or twice a week) I instantly feel lighter, happier and calmer. I also always have a great sleep on the nights I do yoga. As an added bonus, my posture improves and I feel stronger.
Have you tried yoga? Do you use it to help treat depression, stress or other mental health issues?
-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor