Yoga, on regular basis, can reduce your depression and sleep problems


Researchers have found that practicing yoga could help in many forms of mental disorders including depression.

This research has been published online in the journal Frontiers of Psychiatry.

Researchers in this study worked on 16 studies about the effects of yoga on mental illness such as depression, sleep problems, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Researchers have found 40% reduction in scores of depression after six months of weekly yoga sessions. On the other hand, the group of people who did not practice yoga and the group of people, who were on some form of complementary medicine such as Ayurveda, didn’t show significant changes in the scores of depression.

According to the study researcher Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University Medical Center, yoga, just like antidepressants and psychotherapy, positively affects the chemical messengers in the brain, inflammation in the body and other biological factors.

In another study, researchers have found improved sleep quality and reduction in the need for sleeping aids in many people after seven weeks of practicing yoga. These people were experiencing sleeplessness while undergoing chemotherapy. While the people in the other group, who were not practicing yoga, showed no improvement in sleep.

“If the promise of yoga on mental health was found in a drug, it would be the best selling medication world-wide,” Doraiswamy said in a statement.

However, in many of the studies, people practiced yoga in the form of groups resulting in difficulty to determine whether yoga is responsible for decline in depression or the social interaction. Moreover, yoga is found to treat mild depression in the studies and its effects on more severe forms of depression need to be studied.


Balasubramaniam, M., Telles, S., & Doraiswamy, P. (2013). Yoga on Our Minds: A Systematic Review of Yoga for Neuropsychiatric Disorders Frontiers in Psychiatry, 3 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00117

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  • Renee Allison

    As a formerdancer for over 14 years I can very much agree with this article. Not only is
    it a form of exercise but it is also is used for relaxation, and clinically
    proven to cope with stress and anxieties, and even heal emotional wounds.
    Yoga targets unmanaged stress which is a main factor of chronic disorders such
    as anxiety, depression, obesity, diabetes and insomnia and this is why yoga is
    a form of clinical psychology. I did have a few questions though. It says there
    where groups that were experimented, how was it determined who went in what
    group. Did you do a random selection so that everyone had an equal chance or
    was it just a sample of the population used to represent the group that was
    being studied. Other than that I really enjoyed this article and very much
    agree with it.

  • Christina Calhoun

    Health Psychologists, biological psychologists, clinical psychologists and experimental psychologists could have been the ones who performed and judged the effects that yoga had on the ones suffering from mild depression. Health psychologists focus on the bond between a persons psychological factors and their physical health. A persons physical health can be raised by doing yoga. Biological Psychologists focus on the psychological processes and the body’s physical systems, which in this case would be the brain and other nervous systems and how they responding to doing yoga. Clinical psychologists would be able to determine if yoga could be used as an anti-depressant rather than prescription drugs. Experimental Psychologists would have been responsible for tracking the people’s emotions and how they changed after doing yoga for six months, although this could have been done by the other psychologists as well. I am so glad to hear that this study is being done because I have taken yoga and love to hear it’s miraculous effects on other people.

  • Heather Deckard

    This is a perfect example of ways that yoga can be used as more than just an exercise technique! Coming from someone who has done yoga many times before, I can say that it is the best way to re-leave some stress and it is definitely a mood changer!. There is just something so peaceful about how yoga is done, so I can understand why it helps people with depression because it puts you in a peaceful mindset where the world is actually good and you control your own thoughts and movements. I think if more people used yoga as a treatment method we would have less problems with depressions and stress, thus giving people a want to be happy and live a good life day by day. Although some people dislike yoga because of religious views, there is now proof that it can be used for more good than anything!

  • Hadley Sommerich

    Practicing yoga is a form of clinical psychology because it helps people relieve stress, which helps prevent anxiety and other emotional disorders. I agree that yoga can help prevent these disorders and that is why people practice it everyday.

  • Katie J

    As if there weren’t enough reasons to love yoga! It’s a clinical psychologist’s dream treatment. I’ve also heard that yoga can increase a person’s self esteem. That fits in pretty well with the positive psychology perspective. Obviously, yoga is the answer to everything. Rogers and Maslow would totally agree with me.