If you need a reason to unroll your yoga mat and strike a pose, a new published review finds that the practice may soothe depression and help sleep problems.
Researchers from Duke University in the US examined results from 16 well-designed studies of yoga's effect on mental illness and found that yoga helped people with depression and sleep problems, even if they didn't take medication. Yoga was also found to help those suffering from schizophrenia and ADHD while on medication.
Most of the studies on depression included subjects with only mild depression, so it's not clear if yoga can help those with more severe forms of the disorder, reports MyHealthNewsDaily. Also, the studies focused on group yoga classes, so the social interaction from the classes could play a role in boosting mood.
The findings were recently published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.
A separate study published last year found that yoga may help women cope with depression during pregnancy as well as boost maternal bonding. The findings were published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.