According to Beyondblue, it's estimated that 45 per cent of people in Australia will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. There are currently one million Australian adults living with depression and two million battling anxiety.
A new study, published in the journal of Psychological Medicine, has revealed a solution which could ease the suffering: yoga.
The study saw 63 participants – all of whom had been diagnosed with clinical depression and prescribed antidepressants – take weekly Hatha yoga classes and compared their wellbeing to another group of 59 depressed participants who took mental health education classes.
After six months, over half of all participants who took the yoga classes reported a 50 per cent improvement in their depressive symptoms, compared to only 31 per cent of those taking the classes.
"We hypothesised that yoga participants would show lower depression severity over time, as well as better social and role functioning, better general health perceptions and physical functioning, and less physical pain relative to the control group," said study author Dr Lisa Uebelacker.
According to another study from King’s College London, researchers found that the focussed breathing of yoga cuts levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improves concentration.
Still not convinced? Here are four reasons why every man should do yoga.
If depression is affecting your life or you need someone to talk to, please do not suffer in silence. Support is available here.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
Beyondblue: 1300 224 636