Yoga, which as a 5,000-year history in the East and a much shorter history in the US, may be able to help relieve health conditions like hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, substance abuse disorders and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. While research on the impact of Yoga in anxiety and depression is still very much a work in progress, preliminary research suggests that it improves blood flow to the brain and production of mood-boosting hormones and neurotransmitters. The best Yoga poses for depression may include Downward-facing Dog pose, the Cobra pose, the Child pose, Warrior I and Reverse Warrior poses, and Bridge Pose.

Key Takeaways:

  • Data has yet to show conclusively whether Yoga is a useful treatment for depression, but it seems likely that some poses improve brain circulation.
  • Increased blood flow to the brain could allow for greater production of mood-elevating chemicals in the brain.
  • For example, Yoga may be a natural way to assist the brain to create more serotonin, which neuroscience has already proven is efficacious for depression.

“Numerous studies suggest that Yoga poses for depression makes sense since it seems to improve psychological conditions and specifically helps people manage stress and negative thoughts.”

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