Hatha Yoga for Anxiety

In this linked review, 17 studies comprised of a total of 501 participants were analysed: each of the participants had practiced hatha yoga and reported their levels of anxiety both before and after the practice.

Go to the profile of Heather Mason
May 25, 2016
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27203378

Anxiety and depression are currently the two most diagnosed mental health struggles in the UK and often go hand-in-hand. Multiple studies have indicated yoga’s efficacy for both, with more sympathetic nervous system stimulating practices (such as Vinyasa) being more commonly beneficial for people with depression and more parasympathetic inducing practices (such as yin or gentle hatha) typically being more therapeutic for people with anxiety.

In this linked review, 17 studies comprised of a total of 501 participants were analysed: each of the participants had practiced hatha yoga and reported their levels of anxiety both before and after the practice. Anxiety was found to decrease in correlation with the number of hours practiced; the more a person practiced yoga, the less anxious they typically rated themselves as being, with the effects being the most pronounced for the people with the highest anxiety. The authors concluded that hatha yoga is a promising method for addressing anxiety but that further studies are needed to fully understand through which exact mechanisms it is efficacious.

Go to the profile of Heather Mason

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

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