Yoga for Depression and Anxiety – Help without Drugs

July 13, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

Michael Auryn
Waking Times 

Nearly one in five Americans suffers from an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Stress and stress-related diseases have skyrocketed since the industrial revolution, with stress being a daily reality for most Americans. Those with anxiety disorders are at higher risk for coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Not to mention the difficulty of being deeply uncomfortable on a daily basis. Luckily, there are simple and natural ways to combat such stresses, with yoga for depression and anxiety being one of them.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered one of the most time-tested, verified and accepted form of treatment. It is recommended that anxiety-sufferers try this approach as a first line of defense. However, some people may not find improvement in therapy or may want to take control of their anxiety by initiating their own recovery-programs concurrent with therapy.

Prescription drugs are also among the most commonly used form of treatments. It is important to note that prescription drugs may show great efficacy in reducing or eliminating symptoms, but that is the extent of their benefit: symptoms. Pills do not address the root causes of the anxiety; they merely suppress its effects.

The drugs may work for some, but a whole host of side-effects also appear, and when a patient misses a dose or goes off the drug, the anxiety can return in full force. The drug hides the symptoms but does not change behavior and outlook in a permanent way. That is why many people have looked to alternative therapies like yoga to help combat their anxiety.

Yoga for Depression and Anxiety

Controlled studies have shown that yoga for depression and anxiety can be very effective, having a direct, potent and lasting effect on anxiety disorders. One such study involved a group of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. They engaged in a program featuring guided meditation, yoga asanas (stretching poses), stress reduction techniques and breathing exercises. After six weeks the group had an overall decrease of 15 points on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), moving the group from moderate to severe anxiety down to mild through moderate. The improvement was dramatic and the control group showed no improvement.

In a 2005 German study, distressed women who participated in yoga for three months showed a 50 percent drop in depression, a 30 percent drop in anxiety and a 65 percent increase in overall wellbeing – clear research that shows yoga for depression and anxiety works.

Anxiety is a maladaptive response of the brain, meaning that it serves no practical survival function. Fear, anxiety and an excited nervous system are part of a fight-or-flight response that protects us from danger. Anxiety sufferers experience the same hyperactive nervous system, but they do so in benign situations.

Yoga has been shown to counteract this response. Studies have shown that consistent yoga practice can lead to lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, calm breathing and a relaxed thought process in lieu of an overactive cycle of worries and negative thoughts.

Many anxiety sufferers have a low pain tolerance. Chronic pain is common among many people with anxiety disorders. At the University of Utah, regular yoga practice was shown to correlate with a high pain tolerance. The evidence suggests that by relaxing the mind and body, yoga can reduce the pain-related aspects of anxiety.

These studies are part of a growing pool of research that clearly proves that yoga for depression and anxiety can be positively powerful. With tens of thousands of yoga studios in America, this ancient practice is no longer viewed as a new-age pseudoscience. It can deliver powerful results in the treatment of anxiety and the promotion of a relaxed mind and body. Through yoga, anxiety sufferers can take control of their condition and be proactive about its treatment. By engaging in a regular practice, these people can create permanent changes in the way their brain perceives and responds to stress. This approach tackles the deep, root causes of the disorder to make permanent changes that improve well-being.

Additional Sources:

National Institute of Mental Helath

Nami.org

PsychologyToday

CCHR

This article originally appeared at NaturalSociety.com, an excellent source for alternative health truth news.  

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Body, Evolution, Healthcare, Ideas, Mind, Natural Health, Resources, Self, Society, Uncategorized

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Paul C says:

    Happened across your article on Yoga for Depression and Anxiety through Twitter. The health benefits are well-established, but the one impediment to doing yoga regularly for a lot of people is the high cost of studio classes. That’s one of the reasons why we created a free online yoga video site. Your readers might find it helpful!

    • admin says:

      Paul, please send us any links you have to your site, as that would be very helpful. I practice with videos quite regularly and love being able to practice on my own schedule at home with someone leading. Namaste!

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

A Letter To My Siblings

A Letter To My Siblings













Zen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

A note from Zen: An answer to a question from awakening siblings about how have I kept up with world and American events being outside the US so many years. This is part of a discussion on world topics that we’ve been debating including More

September 13, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
5 Reasons to Expect Police Brutality to Get Worse Before it Gets Better

5 Reasons to Expect Police Brutality to Get Worse Before it Gets Better













Isaac Davis, Contributor
Waking Times

Few things are more disturbing than looking at the news each day to find yet another shocking case of American police officers using excessive brutality and belligerence against the public. There is no justification for this, and as the list of egregious rights violations by … More

September 11, 2014 | By | 12 Replies More
12 Little-Known Ways That Television Stifles Spiritual Awakening

12 Little-Known Ways That Television Stifles Spiritual Awakening













David Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

Television is a staple of almost every household in the developed world. Many kids spend more time watching TV than going to school, and the average time spent in front of the tube is 4.5 hours a day and rising. What effect does spending so More

September 8, 2014 | By | 9 Replies More
Blue Lotus : The Entheogen of Ancient Egypt

Blue Lotus : The Entheogen of Ancient Egypt













Waking Times

For over 3000 years the Blue Lotus was used by priesthood of ancient Egypt for its medicinal properties and as a spiritual sacrament. The Blue Lotus generally produces mild psychoactive effects that are purported to have a “divine” essence, which brings upon the feelings of tranquility and subtle … More

September 8, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
3 Videos That Will Shift Your Perspective, Showing Just How Small We Really Are in the Universe

3 Videos That Will Shift Your Perspective, Showing Just How Small We Really Are in the Universe













Buck Rogers, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Keeping a sense of perspective in these crazy times is imperative, and as astronomy pushes the envelope, seeking an ever greater understanding of our place in the cosmos, we are sometimes rewarded with fascinating new visual interpretations of our universe that have the … More

September 6, 2014 | By | Reply More

Activism Works

Sweden Recycling 99 Percent Of Garbage, Edging Closer To Zero-Waste

Sweden Recycling 99 Percent Of Garbage, Edging Closer To Zero-Waste













April McCarthy, Prevent Disease
Waking Times

There’s a revolution happening in Sweden right now. Dubbed the “recycling revolution,” the Scandinavian country now recycles 99 percent of their garbage, edging closer to a zero-waste lifestyle, nationwide.

Wouldn’t it be great if no household waste was wasted? If each and every item … More

September 4, 2014 | By | 6 Replies More
Food as Medicine: How One Hospital Is Using Organic Produce to Help Heal Patients

Food as Medicine: How One Hospital Is Using Organic Produce to Help Heal Patients













Coach Mark Smallwood, EcoWatch
Waking Times

In 431 B.C. Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

More than 2500 years later, we are inundated with advertisements boasting the latest, greatest cure-all super drug. From a young age, we learn that it doesn’t matter how or … More

August 23, 2014 | By | 4 Replies More
As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry













, EcoWatch
Waking Times

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL’s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights … More

August 4, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Seizing Control of Our Destinies

Seizing Control of Our Destinies













Julian Rose, Contributor
Waking Times

In 1381, at a time of great repression for the British agricultural work force, an extraordinary people’s revolutionary named Wat Tyler sprang to his feet and announced, “England should be a nation of self governing communities,” to which he added, “ No lord shall exercise … More

July 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project

Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

On Friday morning, Dan A. Hughes Oil Company and the Collier Resources Company agreed to terminate their lease agreement, with the exception of the Collier Hogan 20-3H well, next to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.

Hughes Oil dropped its plans to drill … More

July 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More