Kundalini Yoga May Help Fight Anxiety: Why Yoga May Be an Effective Anxiety & Stress Reliever by 3HO Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Psychiatry, found that people who suffer from anxiety and cannot afford or aren’t interested in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, could try Kundalini yoga, which can provide significant assistance in the fight against Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The three-arm randomized study, led by clinical researchers at Boston University and Harvard Medical School evaluated the efficacy of a Kundalini yoga regimen compared with two other treatments, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Stress Education.
The authors noted that a significant number of people suffering from GAD do not receive CBT because of “cost, stigma or logistical reasons.” What this means is that many patients cannot afford therapy, don’t want it or can’t get to it. But Kundalini yoga is a popular yoga style available to anyone, with little cost, no stigma and can be done right in your home or workplace.
“A pilot study suggested that Kundalini yoga (KY), a safe, popular accessible yoga style that involves all the traditional components of yoga, including breathing practices and meditation, may be considered for GAD,” the study said.
Although CBT has been the gold standard for treating GAD, and this study confirmed its role as a first-line treatment for serious GAD patients, importantly, this study also concluded that, “Kundalini yoga can reduce anxiety for adults with generalized anxiety disorder.”
Kundalini yoga is also more accessible than CBT. And since GAD is an underdiagnosed anxiety disorder, people potentially suffering from it could see a reduction in symptoms by practicing Kundalini yoga and it could become an important treatment for those dealing with anxiety.
“Kundalini yoga has many benefits and this study provides strong evidence that anxiety reduction is one of them,” said Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa from Harvard Medical School, a key coinvestigator in the study and senior author on the paper. “Continued scientific research on yoga is important to determine what aspects of yoga are the most beneficial and what intensity, frequency and duration of practice are optimal. We can also continue to conduct research evaluating yoga combined with CBT, which our previously published pilot study showed was feasible.”
Only about half of the people affected with GAD seek treatment, and of those only about one-third are seen in specialty mental health settings, meaning there is a treatment gap for those suffering from GAD. Kundalini yoga can help address that gap.
Kundalini yoga is part of a wholistic system of yoga and health that is taught in more than 100 countries worldwide through the 3HO Foundation. The 3HO Foundation, Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization, was founded in 1969 in California. While Kundalini yoga has spiritual roots, it is not part of a religion.
“We want the practice of Kundalini yoga to be accessible to everyone, everywhere” said Pritpal Kaur, CEO of the 3HO Foundation, which supports Kundalini yoga instructors and provides resources for practitioners. “We have more than 10,000 Kundalini yoga instructors worldwide and that number continues to grow as more people learn about the benefits.”
Segmented Breath for Anxiety, a breath meditation with a four-part inhale and eight-part exhale, was one of the Kundalini yoga sequences that the trial found was effective for anxiety.
Source: Press release from 3HO – the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization
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