Can Yoga Help With Depression And Anxiety?

The most common reason students give me for coming to yoga is stress and anxiety. It seems that life keeps getting faster and more intense with time always being in short supply.

A sense of anxiety, tightness in the chest, trouble winding down at the end of the day and falling asleep seems to be common for many people. These may also be accompanied by exhaustion, feeling de-motivated, flat and depressed.

A sense of anxiety, tightness in the chest, trouble winding down at the end of the day and falling asleep seems to be common for many people. These may also be accompanied by exhaustion, feeling de-motivated, flat and depressed.

Researchers in Sweden analysed 25 different studies and found that a yoga practise has favourable effects on the heart – lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels (that’s one of the hormones associated with stress). The research was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

In addition to those physiological benefits, yoga was also found to improve mood and brain function including a reduction in anxiety- and depression-related symptoms. The benefits of yoga were seen in a range of people across different populations and cultures.

A breath centred practise is a large reason for these benefits and learning and knowing how to breathe really is at the centre of any good yoga class. It always surprises me when I hear from students that they have never been taught how to breathe in yoga.

So if you’re struggling with anxiety-depression or maybe it is just a case of cranky pants Mondayitis what better reason to schedule in your regular yoga class.

Breathing is unbelievably powerful and yoga has a range of techniques used for different purposes. If you have never actually had a teacher break down the breathing techniques for you and teach you how to breathe for a better sense of well-being and relaxation, then you need to consider doing the beginners course as I cover much of that there.

See you on the mat soon Kx