A new study finds that participation in yoga and deep breathing classes can help people with depression.

Researchers discovered that practicing these exercises at least twice weekly plus at home can supplement pharmacological treatments for depression.

The findings published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, reports that major depressive disorder (MDD) is common, recurrent, chronic, and disabling and is globally responsible for more years lost to disability than any other disease.

Experts report that up to 40 percent of people treated with antidepressant medications do not achieve full remission. This new research explored the use of Iyengar yoga, a technique that emphasizes detail, precision, and alignment in the performance of posture and breath control.

Individuals with MDD were assigned to the high dose group, three 90-minute classes per week along with home practice, or the low dose group, two 90-minute classes per week, plus home practice. Both groups had significant decreases in their depressive symptoms.

Researchers determined that, compared with mood-altering medications, this intervention has the advantages of avoiding additional drug side effects and drug interactions.

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