Sudarshan Kriya yoga – which focuses on controlled breathing – may be beneficial for patients with major depression who do not respond to antidepressants.
At study baseline and after the 8 weeks, participants’ symptoms of anxiety and depression were measured using the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17). Subjects’ mean score at baseline was 22.0, representing severe depression.
After the 8-week study period, participants in the Sudarshan Kriya yoga group saw their HDRS-17 score improve by an average of 10.27 points, while the control group showed no significant improvement.
As a secondary measure, the researchers monitored participants’ anxiety and depression symptoms using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI).
Again, the control group showed no major improvement over the 8 weeks, while the Sudarshan Kriya yoga group showed an average 15.48-point improvement in BDI score and a 5.19-point improvement in BAI score.
Based on their results, Dr. Sharma and team say Sudarshan Kriya yoga may be a promising add-on therapy for patients with MDD for whom antidepressants are ineffective.