Listed in Issue 147


KRISHNAMURTHY and TELLES, Division of Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga University, Bangalore, India, have assessed the effects of yoga and ayurveda on depression.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of yoga and ayurveda on depression in the elderly.


The effects of yoga and ayurveda were evaluated in 69 persons above 60 in a residential home. Participants were stratified by age and gender and randomly allocated to three groups: Yoga, Ayurveda, or Waiting list Control. The 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale was used to assess depressive symptoms prior to the intervention, and after 3 months and 6 months post-intervention. Participation in one of the three groups lasted 24 weeks. The yoga program (7 hours 30 minutes per week) included physical postures, relaxation techniques, regulated breathing, devotional songs, and lectures. The Ayurveda Group received an herbal preparation twice daily for the whole period.


The depression symptom scores of the Yoga Group at both 3 and 6 months decreased significantly, from a group average baseline of 10.6 to 8.1 and 6.7, respectively (p < .001). The other groups showed no change.


An integrated approach of yoga including the mental and philosophical aspects in addition to the physical practices, but not ayurvedic medicine, was useful for institutionalized older persons.


Krishnamurthy MN, Telles S. Assessing depression following two ancient Indian interventions: effects of yoga and ayurveda on older adults in a residential home. Journal of Gerontological Nursing 33 (2): 17-23, Feb 2007.

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