Active yoga may relieve depression symptoms

New research suggests that physically active yoga can help ease depressive symptoms for people with a mental health diagnosis.

A study published in Medical News Today has found that people with some mental health diagnoses who regularly engage in physically active yoga are likely to have fewer depressive symptoms than those who practice less often or engage in other forms of intervention.

The research, first published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, brings together the findings of a variety of previous studies and outlines the value that further research on the relationship between yoga and mental health issues would bring.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and according to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression “causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.”

Doctors often encourage people with depression to take part in physical activity to prevent the adverse physical health effects of inactivity, such as cardiovascular disease. 

In this context, physically active yoga may play a valuable role. There is a range of different types of yoga, but the practice typically combines physical movement, breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness.

Combined with the benefits of physical activity for mental health issues, yoga may provide numerous benefits for people experiencing symptoms of depression.

There are increasing numbers of yoga teachers and classes in the Calderdale area, some of whom have been offering online instruction.  With the easing of lockdown restrictions allowing up to six people to meet outdoors, it is possible that yoga classes and/or one to one yoga instruction will soon be possible in Calderdale. 

Keep an eye on the Calderdale Council website for updates as lockdown advice changes.