A new study has revealed that the benefits of hatha yoga in treating depression can accumulate over time.
New Care England found that the addition of hatha yoga didn’t have much effect for short periods, but over longer periods, depression symptoms did reduce.
Sheffield Yoga School provide many different yoga classes, including hatha yoga, to help those with mental illnesses.
They offer health forms for people to complete with a mental health section, where depression and anxiety boxes are ticked around 50% of the time.
Some practices they use for balancing depression include sun salutations, backward bends and energy block postures.
Hannah Penn, of Sheffield Yoga School, has been teaching classes since 1995.
She said: “What you often find is people have both anxiety and depression but they might oscillate. They might have a period of time where they’re very anxious or very low and what’s interesting is how you treat anxiety might be different to how you treat depression.
“When you’re depressed you want to do something that’s physical, you need to move. You’d be better doing practices that are faster. If you’re having a day when you’re anxious you’d be better doing slower practice like meditation or slow breathing.
“The hard thing is when you are depressed you’re adverse in doing the things that will help you, the energetic things, you’d rather do the quieter things. “
According to the mental health foundation, mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with around 7.8% of people meeting the conditions for diagnosis.
The new study hopes to show people that working on yoga over a few months can make it possible for individuals to resume normal functioning and contribute towards a full recovery.
A two-day course is also running over the weekend at Grenoside Community Hall, focusing around yoga, mindfulness and mental health. More information can be found here.