This article, from 2004, reviews the research on yoga for depression. It looks at five randomised controlled trials that each used different forms of yoga interventions and in which the severity of the condition ranged from mild to severe. All the trials reported positive findings but methodological details such as method of randomisation, compliance and attrition rates were missing. No adverse effects were reported with the exception of fatigue and breathlessness in participants in one of the studies. Though they need to be interpreted with caution, the findings were that there are potentially beneficial effects of yoga interventions on depressive disorders.
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This article reviews 35 trials that assessed the role of yoga in reducing the signs and symptoms of anxiety and stress. 25 of the trials found a reduction in stress and/or anxiety symptoms when yoga was implemented. However the authors noted that many of the studies had limitations such as small populations, lack of control groups and lack of randomisation that make their results inconclusive. In summary, the literature suggests that yoga may help to relieve anxiety and stress, but further research is needed, with larger populations, longer duration, appropriate control groups and randomisation before yoga can be recommended as a treatment.
2012 Li The effects of yoga on anxiety and stress
This article from 2011 is a systematic review of research in order to explore the effectiveness of yoga in treating pain. The review looked at ten different randomized clinicial trials that investigated the use of yoga in patients with any kind of pain. The results of nine of these suggest that yoga leads to a greater reduction in pain than other interventions, which indicates that yoga has the potential to alleviate pain, though the authors point out that definitive conclusions cannot be drawn.
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