Just a Number: How yoga improves depression

When it comes to battling depression, more evidence is surfacing showing a positive link between yoga and improved physical and mental health.

In just a number this week, we explore the positive effects of yoga in treating depression.

Yoga instructor at Hot Box Yoga, Matt Morris, knew had stumbled upon something amazing seven years ago when he began practicing the discipline. At the time he was battling Crohn’s Disease and had fallen into depression. Through yoga his life began turning around.

“Within six or seven months I was off all my medications. My appetite returned," says Morris.

His life is now completely different, since that first day in the yoga studio. He credits the mind-body connection that is inherent in yoga.

“As you're breathing, you're calming the heart rate. You're calming the mind. Your blood pressure is lower, and it's got all these amazing benefits. You learn to carry this with you every single day," says Morris.

Research is backing up the results. Practicing yoga can affect depression in a positive way. It can increase serotonin levels, and reduce stress and anxiety through breathing.

“And through this breathing, you're learning to breathe through tension," says Morris.

Which can translate into improved energy, pain tolerance, and higher self-esteem. It's a discipline Morris says, you then carry into everyday life.

For more on the research regarding yoga and depression:

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