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Feeling depressed during this covid-19 lockdown is normal. In fact, many reports and studies suggest that our mental well-being is something we need to take extra care of during this pandemic. Thankfully the age-old technique of yoga can help us stand tall during these depressing times.
A recent research from the University of South Australia (UniSA), which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, has found that weekly yoga sessions might help in easing symptoms of depression.
Staying confined at home is making people anxious according to researchers
The lead researcher of the study and UniSA PhD candidate, Jacinta Brinsley says it’s a welcome and timely finding given how strict social distancing measures limit exercise options.
“As self-isolation escalates and people find themselves working from home and unable to physically catch up with their friends and family, we’re likely to see more people feel lonely and disconnected,” Brinsley says.
“Exercise has always been a great strategy for people struggling with these feelings as it boosts both mood and health. But as gyms and exercise classes of all kinds are now closed – even jogging with a friend is strongly discouraged – people are looking for alternatives, and this is where yoga can help”, she added.
“Our research shows that movement-based yoga improved symptoms of depression (or improved mental health) for people living with a range of mental health conditions including anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and major depression. So, it’s very good news for people struggling in times of uncertainty,” Brinsley concluded.
In the study, which analysed 19 randomly controlled clinical trials across the world, participants did one to two yoga sessions every week. Each session lasted between 20 to 90 minutes and at least half of the session included physical movement.
The sessions went on for close to three months, and the researchers noted moderately reduced depressive symptoms in people with depressive disorders and a major reduction in those with schizophrenia. The researchers also found that the more yoga a person did each week, the less depressed they became.
Simon Rosenbaum, associate professor at Australia’s University of New South Wales, has another take on this research as he says while the results are promising, challenges remain. He says that a person adopting yoga must have access to proper guidance so as to avoid injury.
Here’s another way to take care of your mental health
A recent study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that those who consumed less than three sources of fruits and vegetables daily were at least at 24% more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
So even if you don’t have access to proper guidance to do complicated yoga asanas, eating right and meditating can help you take charge of your mental health during this time of covid-19.
(With inputs from ANI)