People with generalized anxiety disorder often have excessive and sometimes irrational worry. The worry can be about anything, including, health, money, death, romantic relationship, family problems, friendship, and work problems.
Now researchers from Maryland University and Georgia State University find that yoga may help reduce the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. The finding is published in International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
In the study, researchers trained people who had generalized anxiety disorder with Kripalu yoga for 8 weeks (twice a week), and measured each participant’s worry, anxiety, avoidance, mindfulness, and heart rate variability before and after the intervention.
Kripalu yoga is a form of yoga that uses inner focus, meditation, standard yoga poses, breath work, “development of a quiet mind”, and relaxation. It encourages self-acceptance and observation of mind without judgment.
The result showed that all participants showed improvement in self-reported worry, anxiety, avoidance, and mindfulness following yoga.
In addition, participants also showed improved heart rate variability during a worry period from pre- to post-intervention.
Based on the finding, researchers suggest that yoga has the potential to improve the processes linked to generalized anxiety disorder. It can be seen as a new option for people with mental health conditions.
Yoga can help reduce the symptoms related to anxiety and increase the quality of people’s lives. In the future, more work is needed to test the mechanism behind yoga’s beneficial effects.
Citation: Morgan JR, et al. (2016). A Case Series on the Effects of Kripalu Yoga for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. International Journal of Yoga Therapy, published online. DOI: 10.17761/1531-2054.0.0.000.
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