Yoga could help overcome coronavirus-induced stress

DURBAN – According to experts, long after the coronavirus pandemic has ended, a new health plight could replace it: a mental health crisis. But according to a new study, yoga could play a vital part in offsetting the blues. 

 

A team of researchers at the University of South Australia, in a partnership with the Federal University of Santa Maria, University of New South Wales Sydney, Kings College London, and Western Sydney University, have conducted what is said to be the first “world study” on the mental health benefits of practicing yoga.

 

A meta-analysis which included 180 studies across six countries that involved some 1,080 participants —  all of whom had a formal diagnosis of a mental disorder, including depression and anxiety were observed for the study. 

 

The team later revealed that the participants’ mental health improved with movement-based yoga and also with the benefits “being incremental with the amount of yoga they practiced,” they added. 

 

According to the study, “any form of yoga where participants are physically active at least 50 percent of the time, that is forms of yoga that emphasize holding poses and flowing through sequences of poses.”

 

Jacinta Brinsley, the lead researcher from the University of South Australia said that, “As self-isolation escalates and people find themselves working from home and unable to physically catch up with their friends and family, we’re likely to see more people feel lonely and disconnected.”

 

Brinsley mentioned that due to the lack of facilities made available during this crisis period, yoga seems to be the best option. 

 

“Exercise has always been a great strategy for people struggling with these feelings as it boosts both mood and health. But as gyms and exercise classes of all kinds are now closed – even jogging with a friend is strongly discouraged – people are looking for alternatives, and this is where yoga can help,” added Brinsley. 

 

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