Grief and sadness are normal human emotions, but major depression is something more. It is a period of overwhelming sorrow. If left untreated it can put your life at risk and can lead to severe complications. You can have a single bout of major depression or have recurring episodes.
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found that yogic breathing known as Sudarshan Kriya yoga helped reduce severe depression in people who did not respond to anti-depressant treatments.
According to available data, more than half of the 41 million Americans who take antidepressants do not adequately respond. According to the researchers, Sudarshan Kriya Yoga is an active method to experience a deep meditative state. This yoga is easy to learn and can be incorporated in diverse settings.
The researchers enrolled 25 patients suffering from MDD and who were depressed in spite of taking antidepressants. The participants were randomly put into a control group and yogic breathing group.
During the first week, the participants did Sudarshan Kriya yoga in addition to sitting meditation, yoga postures, and stress education. At the end of two months, the Sudarshan Kriya group showed improved scores by 10.27 points on average in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Before the study, the participants had a mean baseline HDRS score of 22 which is an indication of severe depression.
The participants in the control group did not show any improvements. The participants in the yoga group also showed significant mean reductions in Beck Depression scale versus the control group.
The researchers plan to study how the yogic breathing impacts brain structure and function in patients who have major depression. According to the art of living.com Sudarshan, Kriya yoga reduces stress, improves energy, strengthens the immune system and reduces cholesterol. The mental health benefits include improved sleep, enhanced brain function and greater clarity of mind.