Yoga Helps With Depression, Is Not A Cure

Yoga on chair

When it comes to stories about mental health and treatment, it is the tendency of the media to take a small part of the truth and stretch it as far as it can go. Yoga has been a popular topic in research, debate, and conversation for quite a few years. Within the last year, yoga has been in conversation with the topic of depression. Is yoga a cure for depression? Does yoga do anything for depression? Should we even be doing yoga at all?

The benefits of yoga are undeniable because of the copious amount of research that has been done. Yoga is scientifically proven to reduce depression symptoms by reducing symptoms of ruminating thoughts, physical distress, internal inflammation, and more. A great stress reducer, yoga helps alleviate many of the triggers which causes the symptoms of stress to worsen. Many tests have been done to measure different components of the effect of yoga, some of which has included brain imaging studies. Most recently, studies on yoga and the effect it has on depression tested the actual scales of depression before and after many weeks of yoga.

Hatha and Bikram yoga are the two main forms of yoga studied. Groups of participants in multiple studies did yoga classes for about eight weeks. Researchers evaluated the intensity of depression symptoms in participants before and after their approximately eight weeks of yoga. After yoga, the depression symptoms were reduced. Some studies which included mindfulness courses found that depression scales dropped so low that the depression was clinically in remission. These studies enforce the belief that yoga is helpful for treating depression.

Yoga is not, however, a cure for depression. While there are many evidence based practices, like yoga, there is not a cure for depression. There are no cures for mental illnesses. Each person experiences their mental illness in a different way which means they experience their recovery in a different way. Each of the proven methods for treating depression that reduce the symptoms of depression either reduce it into remission or into a manageable state. Yoga helps make depression livable.


Avalon By The Sea is one of Southern California’s only certified primary mental health treatment facilities. Our holistic approach to mental health treatment includes practices like yoga, mindfulness, and meditation to create a total healing for the mind, body, and spirit. For information on our depression treatment programs and to receive a confidential assessments, call us today at 888-958-7511

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