Iyengar recommended certain postures for relief of depression, including chest Yoga poses using bolster opening backward bending, inversions head down, and rigorous leg stand positions. A randomized wait Yoga poses using bolster -list control study of 28 mildly depressed adults who were not formally diagnosed, less than 30 years old, showed that those who engaged in two 1-hour Iyengar yoga classes per week for five weeks had significant reductions in Beck Depression Inventory and Spielberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory scores compared with the control group Woolery, Myers, Sternlieb, & Zeltzer, 2004.
David Shapiro and colleagues 2007 studied the effects of Iyengar Yoga on depressed patients who were taking antidepressant medication but who were only in partial remission. They also analyzed the traits and physiological factors that distinguished those who achieved full remission with the addition of yoga from those who did not. Out of 27 subjects, 17 completed 20 Iyengar Yoga classes over a period of 8 weeks in this singlegroup outcome study. While yoga postures were the predominant method, they included breath coordination and there were brief periods of rest and breath practices. Significant reductions were found in depression; average HAM-D17 dropped from 12.5 at baseline to 6.