According to the World Health Organisation more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression worldwide.
There are ranges of intensity of depression, someone could be suffering from a mild case without knowing it if…
You don’t get any sun. If you work all day long in an office with out getting even a little bit of sun, it could be affecting you more than you think. To expose ourselves to the sun, just a little bit the body is able to produce vitamin D and regulate very important hormones such as cortisol, serotonin and melatonin which all have an effect on brain activity and prevent depression.
If you have a genetic predisposition. It is recommended looking into your family history as depression can be hereditary. Although it may not the main cause, in conjunction with your environment and lifestyle it can surely be an influencer.
If you are a woman! Which shouldn’t be surprising. According to the magazine, “Psychology Today,” more woman suffer from depression than men due to reasons biological, psychological and social-cultural. The depression is disorder painfully common, however with time it can cause worse conditions and illnesses.
How Can Yoga Help?
The truth is that scientists still are not entirely sure how it works.
Perhaps it’s the exercise? Even though without a doubt it helps, it appears that Yoga is more effective than other types of exercise. For example, if you consider this study which compares Yoga with walking. It probably would not surprise you that Yoga was more effective in reducing GABA in the body, than walking was at the even at the same heart rate. Wait, what is GABA? Gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is more prevalent in people with anxiety disorders and depression… If Yoga reduces it more than walking does, then there must be more to it than just exercise, right?
Perhaps it is the meditation in the movement? It’s possible that this is the important piece. It is more difficult to prove, but the relaxing effect surely plays an important role. Meditation has a similar effect, even if you are not practicing the postures just like they show us in this study which has reviewed hundreds of scientific studies about meditation…
Or, maybe it’s the breathing. Which, is also very possible. To provide another example, this is a study looking into published medical literature that found that assisted- breathing technology could be effective in treating certain mental disorders, including depression.
As you can see, Yoga, particularly when you practice a style that offers more attention to the breathing and the meditation aspect of Yoga, can be very effective in relieving depression.
So, besides what you can do with the sun and the nutrition… see you in our next class?