Relieving stress and depression with yoga

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A study by Harvard University says yoga can work as a stress reduction technique if you suffer from anxiety or depression.

It incorporates elements of meditation, relaxation and exercise. And those have all been proven to help the heart, meaning this helps the body respond to stress more flexibly.

Researchers at Harvard University say doing yoga can help treat anxiety and depression. Their report says the practice teaches self-soothing tactics to combat their exaggerated stress responses. Yoga instructor Jessica Taylor says often that’s the reason clients come in for a session.

“People come in, specifically for anxiety because it helps create that kind of mind/ body connection,” says Jessica Taylor.

Yoga offers sufferers of anxiety and depression another avenue when they may not have responded well to medication. The practice encourages exercise and physical health, which the scientific study points out is closely tied to mental health.

“I would say any time you exercise and get your blood flowing, and get those endorphins releasing in your body, it’s going to create those feel good hormones and those feel good chemicals,” says Taylor.

One of the most effective forms of yoga Taylor has seen work with her clients is a breathing exercise. The study says that using specific meditation or breathing techniques can help change the way we respond to stress.

“You have thet stressful thought, your body responds to it, and then you respond to your body responding to it. So I would like people to remember just to take a deep breath and calm their nervous system down,” says Taylor.

If you are considering yoga, there are different levels of classes – so if you’re a beginner, you might consider a lower intensity course. And be sure to check with a medical professional first if doing yoga works for your specific anxiety or depression.

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