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How Yoga Can Ease Symptoms of Depression

woman doing yoga with text How Yoga Can Ease Symptoms of Depression

From a lack of social contact to an increased strain on financial resources, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with symptoms of anxiety, depression, or a combination of the two during these challenging times. That’s why it’s more important than ever to devote the necessary time to maintaining your mental and spiritual health. Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., a psychiatrist in Brandon, and his team approach anxiety and depression treatment by creating a customized plan that addresses physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness, including techniques such as yoga and nutritional counseling.

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that weekly yoga sessions may ease symptoms of depression in individuals with other mental health issues, such as anxiety and schizophrenia. This is especially important as people turn to alternative strategies, such as yoga, with the closure of gyms and cancellation of classes. In this article, we’ll discuss how yoga may help to ease symptoms of depression. If you are interested in gaining control of your life and breaking free from your symptoms of depression and anxiety, contact Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., regarding depression treatment in Brandon today. 

Related: Managing Your Mental Health in Times of Uncertainty

Why Yoga Over Other Methods of Exercise?

Traditional methods of exercise, such as jogging or cycling, focus on increasing muscle mass, improving muscle strength, and boosting endurance. Yoga, on the other hand, focuses on the relaxation of the muscles with slow and controlled breathing. In turn, yoga relieves stress on the heart and reduces the workload on your respiratory system. Whereas traditional exercise can be linked with production of cortisol, yoga reduces cortisol levels and increases blood circulation to the areas of the brain that play a critical role in controlling motivation and stress response, such as the amygdala.

The study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine isn’t the first of its kind by any means. Similar findings were previously found in a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice in which researchers recorded a dose-dependent relationship between symptoms of anxiety and depression yoga. Hence, improvements in depression and sleep quality were more evident in the individuals who took a ninety-minute yoga class three times per week over the group that took two yoga classes per week.

Related: Cultivating Spiritual Awareness in Challenging Times

Yoga and Mindfulness

Part of the reason yoga has been found to be effective at providing relief for those with chronic depression and anxiety is due to what’s known as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). MBCT is designed to allow you to notice negative patterns of thoughts and redirect that thinking through techniques such as breathing exercises, mindful meditation, and yoga. These activities seek not to eliminate these negative emotions but to change your relationship to them so that you may move away from automatic negative responses.

Mindfulness is important with regard to depression as it involves maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your surroundings and thoughts through a judgement-free lens. The simple act of focusing on the here and now arms the body and mind against the cycle of negative thoughts associated with depression. Rather than shutting down or becoming distressed, you can achieve mindfulness through yoga to become attuned to your needs and emotions and utilize coping strategies. For more information on how you could benefit from MindBody Care™ modalities, such as yoga or meditation, contact Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D. today.

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The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D. is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

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