Acute Effects of Yin Yoga and Aerobic Exercise on Anxiety
Published in Alternative Integrative Medicine 2019, Vol 8(2): 278
Published Date: Jul 10, 2019
Author: Denise Winroth, School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, Australia,
From the Abstract:
No differences in scores ... were detected after the aerobic exercise, however there was a significant reduction found in state anxiety and trait anxiety after the yin yoga, with no changes in trait mindfulness. The results indicate that yin yoga has an anxiolytic effect... Yin yoga should be considered as a potential treatment option for anxiety.
From the discussion:
Several studies suggest that relaxation-based exercise, such as yoga, results in greater reductions in anxiety, and greater improvements in mood and well-being than other types of exercise such as walking, swimming and dancing. In studies that specifically compared yoga and aerobic exercise in the same cohort, yoga was also demonstrated to be more effective than aerobic exercise and walking, in reducing anxiety. However, studies have been mixed, as one investigation found that yoga and aerobic exercise were equally effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety. Conversely, in another scenario, yoga was effective in increasing well-being, and decreasing depression but not anxiety per se.
In accordance with the main hypothesis, there was a significant change in state anxiety following yin yoga, while no significant difference was detected after aerobic exercise. This finding is in agreement with previous research where yoga also reduced state anxiety, while no effect was evident from aerobic exercise. Although in the current study, the findings from the two modes of exercise could not be compared directly. The effect of the yin yoga on state anxiety could be explained by the slow, relaxing and meditative practice, which has previously been demonstrated to reduce pathological worry. The findings are further supported by several other studies, but contradict other research that have found yoga to either have no effect, or equal effect on state anxiety when compared to aerobic exercise. The participants recruited in this study however, were healthy participants, whereas the aforementioned studies included individuals using a clinical diagnostic criteria of schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders.