Tuesday, January 23

Hot yoga may help reduce depression, according to a Harvard study

It's 105°F in your yoga class, and that's intentional. This is the environment for "hot," or Bikram, yoga, which consists of a series of breathing exercises and poses performed in a warm, humid room. Additionally, according to a randomized controlled trial that was published online by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry on October 23, 2023, it may help lessen moderate-to-severe depression. Researchers from Harvard Medical School divided 65 depressed adults (some on antidepressants, ages 18 to 60) into two groups at random. For eight weeks, participants in the first group were required to attend at least two 90-minute hot yoga classes at nearby hot yoga studios. The other group members were put on an eight-week waiting list. Even though they only took one yoga class a week on average, those in the yoga group had significantly fewer symptoms of depression by the end of the study compared to those on the waiting list. For instance, compared to 6% of those on the waiting list, approximately 60% of yoga practitioners reported that their symptoms had subsided by 50% or more. The effectiveness of hot yoga in treating depression in comparison to other forms of yoga was not examined in this study. Yet, it implies that hot yoga can be used to treat depression either by itself or in combination with prescription drugs. Before attempting hot yoga, consult your doctor because there may be risks involved if you have certain medical conditions, such as heart issues.
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