10 Feb 2017

Yogic breathing helps fight major depression, study shows

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Yoga alternate nostril breathing

A breathing-based meditation practice known as SUDARSHAN KRIYA YOGA helped alleviate severe depression in people who did not fully respond to antidepressant treatments, reports a new study.

 The meditation technique studied includes a series of sequential, rhythm-specific breathing exercises that bring people into a deep, restful, and meditative state: slow and calm breaths alternated with fast and stimulating breaths.

In a randomized, controlled pilot study researchers found significant improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety in medicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who participated in the breathing technique compared to medicated patients who did not partake.

After two months, the yoga group cut its mean Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score by several points, while the control group showed no improvements. HDRS is the most widely used clinician-administered depression assessment that scores mood, interest in activities, energy, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of guilt, among other symptoms.

Sudarshan Kriya yoga gives people an active method to experience a deep meditative state that’s easy to learn and incorporate in diverse settings.

Herbs that can help alleviate depression include Magnolia, Passionflower, St. John’s Wort, Korean ginseng, Brahmi and Rosemary.  Do not take St. John’s wort if currently on anti-depressant medication.

Bach Flowers can also help to deal with depression, particularly Gorse and Gentian.

There is a good U tube video illustrating the Sudarshan Kriya Yoga technique.————–