In the United States alone, millions of individuals suffer from depression, and it’s important for them to find relief from their symptoms. Treatments range from pharmacotherapy to psychotherapy. And researchers can confirm that practicing yoga is a viable way to lift feelings of depression, too. Scroll down to learn more about how yoga increases serotonin and decreases stress.

Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University Medical Center, together with other researchers, reviewed over a 100 studies already conducted on the affect of yoga on individuals with psychiatric disorders, such as depression, ADHD, and schizophrenia.

From these 100 studies, they narrowed it down to 16, and concluded that yoga offers noticeable benefits for people with depression. One reason why practicing yoga can be affective is because it may influence brain chemicals, like increasing serotonin levels.

This in turn, can help to reduce inflammation and stress, along with having a positive ripple effect throughout the human body which can help to improve mental health.

The influence yoga has on brain chemistry is similar to the affects of antidepressants and psychotherapy, but does this mean you can ditch the meds and trade them in for some yoga poses? Definitely not.

Since depression is a clinical mental disorder, it’s important to continue working with a professional therapist. And if the idea of a yoga practice intrigues you, it could be a good idea to add it to your daily routine.

The thought of doing anything can be tiring when dealing with depression, so try not to give up on yoga before giving it a go. It might surprise you how gentle and invigorating it can be, all while staying on your mat.

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