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Harvard-Columbia researchers find yoga can reduce depression

Harvard-Columbia researchers find yoga can reduce depression

Columbia and Harvard researchers find yoga and controlled breathing reduce depressive symptoms, according to The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine which has published this study on March one.

This randomized controlled dosing study “Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder with Iyengar Yoga and Coherent Breathing” claims to provide 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 (MDD). It also included researchers from Boston University, Boston Medical, McLean Hospital, ENRM Veterans Hospital, New York Medical, Biostatistical Solutions, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

This published article states that during this 12-week intervention of yoga plus coherent breathing, depressive symptoms declined significantly in patients with MDD. This study supports the use of an Iyengar yoga and coherent breathing intervention as a treatment to alleviate depressive symptoms in MDD.

This article points out that MDD is common, recurrent, chronic, and disabling…depression is globally responsible for more years lost to disability than any other disease…Up to 50% of individuals treated with antidepressant medications for MDD do not achieve full remission…Yoga-based therapies offer promise…

Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, called this study looking into treatment of depression through yoga “a step in the positive direction”. Zed urged all major world universities, hospitals and medical-institutions to explore various benefits yoga offered.

Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.

Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.

According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to a “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.


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