Last updated on June 2018

How Body Awareness Promotes Mental Health During Yoga and Physical Exercise


Brief description of study

The integrity of interoceptive networks is linked to resilience against depressive symptoms, whereas degradation of these networks is linked to apathy and deficits in emotion processing. The goal of this study is to compare two major styles of yoga and cardiovascular exercise through a 10-week training program to promote interoceptive awareness. The researchers hypothesize that improvement in affective symptomatology will be correlated with better interoceptive development. Changes in mood related symptoms and interoception will be assessed at baseline, week 12 and week 14, in a cohort of adults aged 18-55.

Detailed Study Description

A recent annual survey of U.S. college freshman has found consistently declining levels of emotional health over the past 25 years. Exposure to such stress can have profound longitudinal effects on well being, influencing risk for disease later in life. Physical exercise is linked to benefits across a variety of physical and psychological domains. While the affective and physiological consequences of exercise are well-documented, how they work to improve subjective well-being is unclear. It has been suggested that exercise promotes well-being by increasing interoception. The integrity of interoceptive networks is linked to resilience against depressive symptoms, whereas degradation of these networks is linked to apathy and deficits in emotion processing. The goal of this study is to compare two major styles of yoga and cardiovascular exercise through a 10-week training program to promote interoceptive awareness. The researchers hypothesize that improvement in affective symptomatology will be correlated with better interoceptive development. Changes in mood related symptoms and interoception will be assessed at baseline, week 12 and week 14, in a cohort of adults aged 18-55.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03553745

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Sara Lazar, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA United States
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