The following article, Just One Weekly Hot Yoga Session Could Beat The Blues, Study Finds, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Just one hot yoga session a week can beat the blues, suggests a new study.
The trendy workout – favored by celebrities including Meghan Markle and Drew Barrymore – may reduce depression symptoms, according to the findings of a clinical trial.
Hot yoga is a form of traditional exercise performed under hot and humid conditions, resulting in considerable sweating.
Some hot yoga practices seek to replicate the heat and humidity of India, where yoga originated.
Just one session a week may provide mental health benefits, say scientists.
In the clinical trial, involving adults with moderate-to-severe depression, those who participated in heated yoga sessions experienced “significantly greater” reductions in depressive symptoms compared with a control group.
The results of the trial, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, indicate that hot yoga could be a “viable treatment option” for depressed patients.
During the eight-week trial, 80 participants were split into two groups: one that received 90-minute sessions of Bikram yoga practiced in a 105° F (40.56 °C) (40.5C)) room and a second group that was placed on a waitlist.
Participants in the intervention group were prescribed at least two yoga classes per week, but overall, they attended an average of 10.3 classes over eight weeks.
After eight weeks, the yoga participants had a significantly greater reduction in depressive symptoms than waitlisted participants.
The American research team also found that 59.3 percent of the yoga participants had a 50 percent or greater decrease in symptoms, compared with 6.3 percent of the waitlist participants.
And 44 percent in the yoga group achieved such low scores that their depression was considered in remission, compared with 6.3 percent in the waitlist arm.
The researchers said that depressive symptoms were reduced even in participants who received only half of the prescribed yoga “dose” – suggesting that hot yoga sessions just once a week could be beneficial.
Study lead author Dr. Maren Nyer said: “Yoga and heat-based interventions could potentially change the course for treatment for patients with depression by providing a non-medication–based approach with additional physical benefits as a bonus.”
Dr. Nyer, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, added: “We are currently developing new studies with the goal of determining the specific contributions of each element -heat and yoga – to the clinical effects we have observed in depression.”
Participants rated the heated yoga sessions positively – and they experienced no serious adverse effects, according to the study.
Senior author Dr David Mischoulon, of Massachusetts General Hospital, added: “Future research is needed to compare heated to non-heated yoga for depression to explore whether heat has benefits over and above that of yoga for the treatment of depression, especially given the promising evidence for whole body hyperthermia as a treatment for major depressive disorder,”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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