Yoga has come a long way in Western society, and continues to grow in popularity in the United States. It seems like you cannot go more than a block without seeing another hot yoga studio opening its doors. But, studies are starting to show that maybe this whole “downward facing dog” thing has more bite than bark.
The American Psychological Association held its annual meeting in San Diego this past May, where several studies showing yoga could be a helpful tool to mitigate depression were presented.
Not only has yoga shown benefits for those struggling with depression, it is also being used for soldiers and veterans alike. Organizations like Warriors At Ease bring awareness about how yoga and meditation can help the veteran and military communities.
The only current struggle with yoga as therapy appears to be the lack of certainty on how much yoga constitutes the right amount and who should be the certified teachers to provide this type of healing therapy. But some organizations, like Warriors at Ease, are using evidence-based practices supported by research to teach the curriculum to their teachers.
As with anything, there are some wrinkles that still need to be ironed out. But it looks like yoga is becoming more accredited for its abilities to heal the body as well as the mind.