Role of yoga in stress management and implications in major depression disorder

J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2023 Sep-Oct;14(5):100767. doi: 10.1016/j.jaim.2023.100767. Epub 2023 Sep 21.


Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is one of the leading causes of disability affecting more than 340 million people and second largest contributor to global burden of disease. Chronic stress is a common risk factor and important contributor for MDD. Stress could be defined as the "perceived inability to cope". Stressful life events are shown to provoke a sequence of psychological and physiological adjustments including nervous, endocrine and immune mechanisms. Stress can lead to elevation of a variety of inflammatory cytokines and stress hormones, can cause autonomic dysfunction and imbalance in neurotransmitters. Yoga can reduce depressive symptoms by alleviating stress. Studies have shown that yoga can reduce inflammation, maintain autonomic balance and also has a role in maintaining the neurotransmitters. It has role on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the peripheral nervous system including GABA, limbic system activity, inflammatory and endocrine responses. Yoga along with antidepressants can help in reducing the depressive symptoms in patient with MDD. Yoga is an ideal complementary and alternative therapy for mental health disorders.

Keywords: CAM; Depression; Meditation; Mental health; Stress; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Review