If you’re an avid yogi, or even just starting out, you’ve probably realized that Yoga can help ease anxiety, dissipate tension, and reduce depression. Well, now you also have the science to prove it.

Yoga Reduces Depression

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Many Yoga teachers have made claims that Yoga reduces depression, eases anxiety, and promotes general well being for years. However, now we’re finding actual science is totally backing up those claims. It’s hard to argue with the hard facts, and we bet these findings will mean your Yoga class becomes a bit more crowded in the future.

It’s not just one study that’s found this to be true. Five separate papers on the topic were presented at the American Psychological Association’s convention this year. One study, in particular, followed twenty-three veterans who participated in biweekly Yoga classes. All of the participants said they would continue after the study and would recommend the practice to other veterans. Those veterans with higher depression scores all saw a drop after eight weeks of Yoga. That’s pretty convincing evidence in our opinion.

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Wondering what types of Yoga specifically helped with depression? It seems the type doesn’t matter, simply regular practice of any kind can make a difference. One of the studies focused on hatha yoga, while another enrolled its subjects in bikram. 

Yoga Vs. Relaxation

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One study took the research a step further and decided to compare standard relaxation techniques with Yoga. The findings were fascinating. One group of participants took part in 30 minutes of Yoga, while the other were led through 30 minutes of relaxation exercises. Initially both groups saw improvement in their depression and anxiety. However, when measured two months later the group of Yoga students had retained much lower levels of depression than the relaxation group. This leads us to believe Yoga’s impression is lasting and pervasive.

There’s nothing better than scientific proof that Yoga reduces depression. Just gives us one more reason to hit our mat each and every day.