Yoga Makes You Happier, According To Science

Yoga is one of those things that, like pineapple on pizza, people either consider gospel or strongly dislike. But mounting evidence suggests we should fall into the former camp on this one, at least a couple of days a week.

Four new studies were presented at the 125th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, and they all suggest yoga can help ease symptoms of depression. One of the studies looked at 23 male veterans; after taking yoga classes twice a week for eight weeks, they reported a decrease in depression. Another found Bikram yoga (aka hot yoga) significantly reduced depression in women. It compared two groups of women aged 25 to 45: One group took hot yoga classes twice a week for eight weeks, the other did not. You can guess which group felt better. (Hint: It was the one that did yoga.)

The other two studies reached similar conclusions. While they strongly suggest yoga is a powerful tool to improve your mental health, the researchers note the findings are still preliminary. In other words, yoga isn’t a cure-all, but it can be an effective complementary treatment to traditional therapy. We, for one, are unrolling our mat.