Dose Effect of Yoga for Depression

New study on yoga for major depressive disorder

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Namaste. You may recall our post from a few days ago on this amazing new study demonstrating the benefits of yoga for depression. In this study, a yoga and coherent breathing intervention was used with people with major depressive disorder who were not on antidepressants and in those who had been on a stable dose of antidepressants yet had not achieved a resolution of their symptoms.

Participants were randomised to the high-dose group or low-dose group for a 12-week intervention of three or two intervention classes per week, respectively. The intervention included 90-min classes plus homework.

This study provides evidence that participation in an
intervention composed of Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing
is associated with a significant reduction in depressive symptoms
for individuals with major depressive disorder, both on and off antidepressant medications.

We wanted to post about this again to draw your attention to a very important aspect of the study. The high dose group and the low dose group showed no significant differences in compliance or in rates of response or remission. Researchers thus concluded that twice weekly classes (plus home practice) may constitute a less burdensome but still effective way to gain the mood benefits from the intervention.

Twice a week, plus a bit of home practice, sounds rather manageable given the significant benefits for major depression, eh?! :)

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS