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A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggests that hot yoga could become a non-medication-based approach to the treatment of depression.

Hot yoga has been in the headlines a lot lately thanks to a recent trial which has proven that just one session a week can help reduce symptoms of depression.

Here at LANO, we’ve been singing the praises of hot yoga for many years now so we were extremely excited but definitely not surprised to see these results.

The clinical study

The study, carried out by Harvard Medical School, found that adults with moderate to severe depression experienced ‘significantly greater’ reductions in depressive symptoms compared to a control group who did not take part in the Hot 26&2 (previously known as Bikram) classes.

The eight-week trial divided 80 adults into two random groups. One group went to two 90-minute Hot 26&2 sessions per week. The other half were placed on a waiting list and did not receive any form of treatment.

Study results

According to the results, which were discussed in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, nearly 60% of the hot yoga participants experienced a 50% or greater decrease in their symptoms, compared with just 6.3% of those who did not take part.  

It was also discovered that 44% of the hot yoga participants saw such a dramatic improvement in symptoms that they were no longer classed as depressed, compared with just 6% per cent of the other group.

Depressive symptoms were even reduced in participants who received only half of the prescribed ‘dose’, therefore suggesting that just one hot yoga session per week could be beneficial.

Man doing hot yoga

Maren Nyer, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study, said: “Yoga and heat-based interventions could potentially change the course for treatment for patients with depression by providing a non-medication–based approach with additional physical benefits as a bonus.”

Click on the following link to read more about the study in an article in the Times:

If you haven’t tried Hot 26&2 with us yet, make sure you book yourself into a class soon. To find out more about it, visit:

 Recent LANO blog posts that might interest you:

Practising Ahimsa

Psychological Freedom



Author Laura

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