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Yoga + Controlled Breathing = Depression Reduction

Yoga and Controlled Breathing May Ease Depression

New research suggests a 12-week integrative health intervention may significantly reduce depressive symptoms.

Columbia and Harvard researchers discovered training in Iyengar yoga classes and coherent breathing provided considerable benefits for individuals with major depressive disorder.

However, frequency of the training was important as participants who took three yoga classes a week were more likely to achieve lower depression scores than subjects who took two classes.

The article is coauthored by Richard Brown, M.D., and John Eric Jensen, Ph.D., andĀ appears inĀ The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

In the study, adults 18-64 years of age with major depressive disorder participated in either three (high-dose intervention) or two (low-dose) yoga classes per week and practiced coherent breathing at five breaths per minute.

The researchers used a depression inventory measure to assess depressive symptoms in the 30 participants, at the beginning of the study and throughout the 12-week intervention.

“The practical findings for this integrative health intervention is that it worked for participants who were both on and off antidepressant medications, and for those time-pressed, the two times per week dose also performed well,” said the journal’s editor-in-chief, John Weeks.

Source: Mary Ann Liebert

Yoga and Controlled Breathing May Ease Depression

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Yoga and Controlled Breathing May Ease Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 16 Mar 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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