Hot Yoga Relieves Anxiety, Depression in At-Risk Women

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A type of yoga which is done in a very hot room may help to reduce anxiety and depression in women, according to a study presented at the recent Anxiety and Depression Association of America Conference 2015 in Miami.

Lindsey B. Hopkins-Deboer, PhD, of the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and colleagues examined the impact of Bikram yoga on 52 women, between the ages of 25 and 45, who had elevated anxiety and moderate depression. The women were yoga novices, and none has a history of anorexia, bipolar disorder, or psychosis.

The women were randomly assigned to either two Bikram yoga classes lasting 90 minutes each week or a wait-list control group. The participants in the yoga group showed greater decreases in anxiety, stress and negative effect.

Results also indicated that yoga’s impact on stress and depression were greater for African-American women than for non African-American women.

“Clinicians treating women who are stressed, anxious, and depressed should consider investigating some form of yoga therapy,” Hopkins-DeBoer told Medscape Medical News. “I think yoga pairs nicely alongside psychotherapy for depressed mood and anxiety and stress in women.”

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Hot Yoga Relieves Anxiety, Depression in At-Risk Women

Yoga is effective for reducing anxiety, depression, and stress in women at risk for mental health problems, new research suggests.

In the current study, the investigators examined the effects of Bikram yoga, which is a heated form of Hatha yoga, on depression and anxiety symptoms in a community sample of at-risk women.

The study included 52 women, aged 25 to 45 years, who had mildly elevated anxiety (mean Beck Anxiety Inventory score, 12.8), and moderate depression (mean Beck Depression Inventory score, 18.3) and high stress mean (Perceived Stress Questionnaire score, 0.60).

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