Yoga and anxiety
Updated: Feb 17
So, yoga has many applications. One such application is the management of anxiety disorders. Now, it should be noted, yoga’s not gonna heal the trauma that’s inevitably behind the anxiety.
You’ll need talk therapy or hypnotherapy to do that.
In fact, that’s the very reason an hour of talk therapy or an hour of hypnotherapy costs 10 to 30 times more, respectively, than an hour of yoga.
But if you’re looking to simply manage the often-debilitating symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder, yoga can be a great tool.
With that said, researchers from Institute for Nonlinear Science at the University of California San Diego set out to investigate what affect yogic meditation, specifically kundalini yoga, might have on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, otherwise known as OCD, one of the five major anxiety disorders recognized by the APA and DSM-V.
For the study, participants were selected according to DSM criteria. Researchers split participants into two groups. At baseline, Group 1 included 11 adults. Group 2 included 10 adults. Group 1 employed a kundalini yoga meditation protocol, while Group 2 partook in a Relaxation Response plus Mindfulness Meditation technique. Measures were taken at baseline, three months, six months, nine months, 12 months, and the study’s conclusion.
The study was carried out at Children’s Hospital in San Diego and lasted 15 months in all.
In short, what the research team found is this: While Group 2 showed no real improvement after 15 months, Group 1 saw significant improvement, with scores rising on the three indexes by 71%, 62%, and 66%.
Researchers concluded that kundalini yoga techniques are effective in the management of OCD symptoms.
The study was published in the journal CNS Spectrums.