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Hot yoga reduces negative feelings and emotional eating


Doctors are studying the effects of Bikram yoga
Researchers have now found that special Bikram yoga appears to reduce symptoms of depression, including focusing on negative feelings and the so-called emotional binge eating. This indicated that yoga can be a useful addition to therapies and antidepressants.

The researchers from the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and the University of Texas found that yoga in a hot environment (Bikram yoga) can reduce the focus on negative feelings and emotional eating. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology".

How does yoga affect the body?
For most people, yoga is a popular way to be physically active and reduce stress. The experts are now investigating why these positive effects arise. There appears to be a link between meditation and increased insulin production and slower cellular aging. Yoga even seems to reduce so-called inflammation genes.

What is Birkam Yoga?
Bikram yoga is a series of 26 yoga exercises. These exercises are done in a hot room. Bikram yoga is therefore often referred to as hot yoga. In addition to the physical exercises, two special breathing exercises are also carried out. The sweating during the exercises is designed to detoxify the body and protect muscles and tendons.

Yoga can reduce stress
Other studies have already found a link between inflammation and depression. The current study now provides evidence that yoga helps reduce stress and relieve depression.

Doctors examined 52 participants with signs of depression
For their study, the researchers examined 52 women with signs of depression, including stress and unhealthy dietary patterns. The experts found that when women practiced Bikram yoga, they experience significant improvements. During the study, 27 women attended yoga classes twice a week for eight weeks. A control group of 25 women did no yoga exercises at all.

What are the benefits of the yoga classes?
At the end of the study, there was an average decrease in stress and emotional eating among the women who participated in the yoga classes. Based on a description of the participants' experiences, the research team also found that the women from the yoga group were also generally less focused on negative feelings and their causes. In addition, these women were better able to express their positive emotions.

How does stress affect the nervous system?
Yoga seems to work by realigning two parts of our nervous system, the experts speculate. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for rest and relaxation, while the sympathetic nervous system controls arousal or the so-called fight or flight reaction. There is some evidence that stress can induce depression and increase sympathetic nervous system activity and reduce parasympathetic system activity, the researchers emphasize. (as)

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