Easing depression and getting strong with Yoga.

March 29, 2017

We all know that Yoga is good for your overall health and wellbeing. Now there’s evidence that it can specifically improve strength and help ease depression.

While most people think Yoga (and by that I mean Asana, Yoga’s physical practice) is only good for flexibility and stress reduction, this article from The New York Times outlines how Yoga can improve physical strength, too. There’s a great breakdown of areas you can strengthen and tone by author Ari Isaacman Bevacqua, and video so you can follow along.

And for people suffering with depression (approximately 40 million adults, or an astounding 18 percent of the population, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health), there’s good news. Boston University Medical Center recently conducted a study showing that people with major depressive disorders (MDD) who did Yoga experienced significant mood improvement. Their recommendation: People with MDD should practice Yoga and breathing exercises in live classes and at home at least twice a week to get the best results.

Yoga is one of the most helpful things I can do to relieve the effects of depression.

I don’t have MDD, but I do experience bouts of mild to moderate depression now and then. In my experience, a Yoga Asana practice has been one of the most helpful things I can do to relieve the effects of the depression (anxiety, insomnia, hopelessness) and the duration of the episode. While the participants in the BUMC study did Iyengar Yoga, any kind of practice would be beneficial.

Has Yoga helped with your depression? Share your story here or with the Spiritual Surfer Sangha on Facebook.

More From Suzan: