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Depression and Yoga


Forty eight healthy volunteers who participated in the practice of yoga over a period of 4 months were assessed on Subjective Well Being Inventory (SUBI) before and after the course in order to evaluate the effect of practice of yoga on subjective feelings of well-being and quality of life. A significant improvement in 9 of the 11 factors of SUBI was observed at the end of 4 months, in these participants. The paper thus, reiterates the beneficial effects of regular practice of yoga on subjective well being.
-- Malathi A. Damodaran A. Shah N. Patil N. Maratha S. (2000). Effect of yogic practices on subjective well being. Indian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology. 44(2):202-6.


The effectiveness of yoga was examined as a therapeutic technique to alleviate depression. 50 female university students were diagnosed with severe depression; 25 experienced 30 Yoga sessions and 25 served as controls. The results revealed that Yoga was an effective technique for alleviating depression and continuation of the treatment for a longer period resulted in a significantly increased positive change in the subjects.
-- Khumar, S. S. Kaur P. & Kaur S. (1993). Effectiveness of Shavasana on depression among university students. Indian Journal of Clinical Psychology 20, 82-87.


College students in two swimming classes, a yoga class, and a lecture-control class completed mood and personality inventories before and after class on three occasions. Both the yoga and the swimmers groups reported greater decreases in scores on Anxiety, Confusion, Tension, and Depression than the control group .
-- Berger, B. G. & Owen, D. R. (1992). Mood alteration with yoga and swimming: aerobic exercise may not be necessary. Perceptual & Motor Skills 75, 1331-1343.


Yoga has often been perceived as a method of stress management tool that can assist in alleviating depression and anxiety disorders. Participation in a two-month yoga class can lead to significant reduction in perceived levels of anxiety in women who suffer from anxiety disorders. This study suggests that yoga can be considered as a complementary therapy or an alternative method for medical therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
-- Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2009 May;15(2):102-4. Effects of yoga on depression and anxiety of women.Javnbakht M, Hejazi Kenari R, Ghasemi M. Psychiatry Department of Islamic Azad University, Mashhad Branch-22 Bahman Hospital, Mashhad, Iran.

Yoga Information || Depression Center



last update: April 2009



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