Wednesday April 1, 2020

Yoga may Help Decrease Depressive Symptoms: Study

Doing yoga may reduce depressive symptoms

Yoga Depressive
Now researchers have found doing yoga is linked to decreased depressive symptoms. Pixabay

The benefits of yoga have been widely documented by scientific health research and now researchers have found doing yoga is linked to decreased depressive symptoms.

The study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, proposes that yoga can increase levels of Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in the short-term and completing one yoga class per week may maintain elevated GABA that could mitigate depressive symptoms.

GABA is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and has been associated with decreased depressive symptoms.

“The findings suggest that the associated increase in GABA levels after a yoga session are ‘time-limited’ similar to that of pharmacologic treatments such that completing one session of yoga per week may maintain elevated levels of GABA,” said study researcher Chris Streeter from Boston University in the US.

Yoga Depressive
Completing one yoga class per week may maintain elevated GABA that could mitigate depressive symptoms. Pixabay

Depression is a highly prevalent and disabling disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects approximately 16 million people in the US. every year and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Given its high morbidity, extensive research has been done on effective treatment modalities for depression. In a study, a group of 30 clinically depressed patients were randomly divided into two groups.

Both groups engaged in lyengar yoga and coherent breathing with the only difference being the number of 90 minute yoga session and home sessions in which each group participated. Over three months, the high-dose group (HDG) was assigned three sessions per week while the low-intensity group (LIG) was assigned two sessions per week.

Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their brain before the first yoga session and after the last yoga session. They also completed a clinical depression scale to monitor their symptoms. Results showed that both groups had improvement in depressive symptoms after three months, the researchers said.

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MRI analysis found that GABA levels after three months of yoga were elevated (as compared to prior to starting yoga) for approximately four days after the last yoga session but the increase was no longer observed after approximately eight days.

“A unique strength of this study is that pairing the yoga intervention with brain imaging provides important neurobiological insight as to the ‘how’ yoga may help to alleviate depression and anxiety,” said study co-author Marisa Silveri. (IANS)

Next Story

Dealing with Stress Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Keep a check on your behavioural changes during the pandemic

Each individual reacts differently to a stressful situation. Besides these virus fear, there are various other factors that can lead to stress. Pixabay


The outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 has created a stressful environment for all leading to worldwide psychological chaos. These fear and anxiety about the disease cause strong emotions in adults and children.

One needs to cope up with the stress to make yourself and the people you care about stronger. Each individual reacts differently to a stressful situation. Besides these virus fear, there are various other factors that can lead to stress. Dr Anju Sharma, psychiatrist and founder of the Musical Healing Band named “Sound of Infinity”, shares few things to keep in mind while spending time with your loved ones.

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Spending quality time with your family can help combat stress. Pixabay

Out of comfort zone – Each individual has come out of their comfort zone during this pandemic. A person who was habitual to his/her routine is now bound to change the routine. An office-goer whose daily routine was to get ready and go to office work with his colleagues and then back home is now at home. Even a housewife’s routine has changed with her kids and husband at home. During this time, a person tends to get a little frustrated and loses the temper. It is important to understand that each one is dealing with the changes and it is in our hand to accept the change and spend some quality time with them.

Increase in expectation – With more time at home, everyone is having more expectations from the other person. Please do understand that an individual will do only that he/she wants to do. Making them do something forcefully will only ruin the situation. For example, a husband who usually works for 8-9 hours only gets to communicate with his family for 1-2 hours, during his stay at home, will not be able to communicate with his family for 4-5 hours. He has been stimulated in that routine. Be happy and content with what the other person is doing for you. Having high expectations will only harm your mental peace.

Re-invent yourself – With every place being shut, humans don’t have anything to do. They cannot go to malls, no cinemas in the theater, no restaurant, no sight-seeing. This is the time when they have to realize what their hobbies are and invest your time in those activities. Those working from home will get some time off. One tends to get bored watching Netflix all the time or playing with play station, so at that time when you are bored analyze your interest and utilize the time in some creative pursuit.

Give yourself some personal space to be stress-free. Pixabay

Challenge for females– All the females out there are facing a hard time with their kids and family being at home. Females have to look after their office work, domestic work as well as look after their kids. Even a little help offered to the females can give a little relief. Men need to share the work so the environment at home goes smoothly.

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Give personal space – As we all are home, we are spending more time with our near and dear ones. But it is important to give them some personal space as well. Spending time 24*7 will create aggression and lead to a mental breakdown, therefore, allow them some private space to revive their emotional factors.

Also Read- Productive Things You Can Do Amid the Lockdown

Amidst the pandemic ensure you adhere to all the rules shared by our health institutes and follow social distancing. One more thing that we need to be very careful is of currency dealing. A currency has traveled across and passed through so many hands, therefore, it is highly important to wash your hand or at least sanitize it after you touch a currency. The world is changing and all these changes are indicating that it’s high time to bring the change within. With the changing outside world, you should welcome the change within.

For a relaxed environment, play soothing music or chant mantras to exhibit positive energy into the environment. Stay at home and stay safe. (IANS)