Yoga for a healthy psyche

Depression: Drive away sadness through yoga

The users are convinced that yoga can have a multitude of positive effects on health, which range from strengthening the cardiovascular system and the musculoskeletal system to relieving stress and preventing mental illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia. Researchers from the Institute for Psychiatry and Behavioral Research at the Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina (USA) have now, together with Indian scientists, carried out a systematic evaluation of the existing studies that deal with the use of yoga to treat mental illnesses.

The aim was to "systematically examine the evidence for the effectiveness of yoga in the treatment of selected mental illnesses," write Meera Balasubramaniam from Duke University School of Medicine and colleagues in the specialist magazine "Frontiers in Psychiatry" (online).

For this purpose, the researchers selected 124 existing studies on yoga 16 that met their high demands for a scientific study of the effects of yoga on mental illnesses. The evaluation of the 16 studies showed that the movement, stretching and breathing exercises had a demonstrable positive effect on some mental illnesses, while contradicting effects were observed in others.

Yoga against depression and schizophrenia There is evidence of a possible benefit of yoga for example in depression, reports the psychiatrist Meera Balasubramaniam. Four studies have clearly shown that yoga has a positive effect on patients with mild depression - even without additional psychotherapeutic or medicinal measures. In three studies, yoga also had a positive effect on patients with schizophrenia, but only as a supplement to drug therapy, the researchers continued. Yoga would also have shown very promising effects in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in two studies. In addition, three studies found yoga to have a positive effect on sleep disorders. Regarding “cognitive disorders and eating disorders, however, the investigation showed conflicting results,” report Balasubramaniam and colleagues. Yoga is therefore not a panacea for the psyche. However, the positive effects on body and mind cannot be dismissed out of hand. (fp)

Read also about yoga:
Yoga for breast cancer healing
Grief strains the heart
Wandering thoughts make you unhappy

Photo credit: CFalk /

Author and source information

Video: Yoga For a Healthy Liver

Previous Article

Sudden Infant Death: Cause Serotonin Deficiency?

Next Article

Successful therapy for chronic nightmares