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A Study on the Effect of Yogic Intervention on Anxiety

  • Uttarakhand Sanskrit University, Haridwar, India

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Anxiety is one of the important psychological problems people facing now days. Approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 18.1 percent of people in this age group in the year 2005, have an anxiety disorder. Contemporary researches done in the area of ‘Yogic intervention and their effect over various parameters of Psychological health’ provoked the researcher to attempt an individual project to judge the effect of Yoga on normal people at the level of anxiety. To observe the effect of Yoga on anxiety level of the normal people a pre - post research design study has been conducted at the Yoga Arogya Polyclinic of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, India. For this study a group of 30 persons of range 30 – 40 years from the semi urban area of Haridwar and Dehradun Districts were selected through purposive quota sampling as subject. They practiced a set of Asana and Pranayama regularly for sixty days. The present study shows a significant change on the anxiety level of the normal persons as the result of yoga practice. The results are significant at 0.01 level of confidence. At the end it can be concluded that Yoga practice having a positive impact over the anxiety level of the normal persons.
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Objective: We intended to evaluate the efficacy of yogic exercise on cardio-respiratory fitness; memory, stress, mental health and plasma nitric oxide level in healthy adult subjects. We also aimed to find out the correlation between change in cardiorespiratory fitness & mental health and nitric oxide level due to yoga practice. Methods: In this yoga interventional study, the most prevalent yoga exercise model (Asanas, Pranayama and Meditation) was used. The study samples (n=200) were healthy male (n=120) and female (n=80) adults (mean age=39.95 years) were recruited by taking written consent. Subjects with any systemic and/or psychological disorders or under specific medications, pregnant women were excluded. Subjects who have never practiced or practicing yoga or other type of physical exercise and willing to practice yoga (1 hr per day; 6 days per week for 6 months) were included in the study. Data was collected at baseline (pre-yogic exercise) and after 6-months of yoga training (post-yogic exercise). The following parameters were measured at baseline and after yoga practice for 6 months: Cardio-respiratory parameters and fitness: Resting HR, resting BP, HR and BP after Harvard Step Test (HST), vital capacity, FEV1, PEFR, VO2max, physical fitness index (PFI); Mental health: memory, perceived stress (PSS), anxiety, depression, emotional balance, loss of behavioral or emotional control, general positive affect, life satisfaction, psychological distress & well-being, mental health index (MHI); and plasma nitric oxide level (NOx). The collected data was statistically analyzed with SPSS (24th version). Paired t-test was applied to determine the significance difference between baseline and post-yogic data values. The p-value was established at 5% level of significance. vii Results: We found significant decrease in resting heart rate (p<0.0001) and resting SBP and DBP (p<0.0001); significant increase vital capacity (p<0.0001), FEV1 (p<0.0001), PEFR (p<0.0001) and increase in VO2max (p<0.0001) by 14.43%, NOx (p<0.001) after yoga regimen. We found significant increase (p<0.0001) in physical fitness index by 56%. Yogic exercise for 6 months resulted in significant increase in memory score ((p<0.0001) and significant reduction in perceived stress score (PSS); anxiety (p<0.0001), depression (p<0.0001), and loss of behavioral or emotional control (p<0.0001) and psychological distress (p<0.0001) scores. Further, we found significant increase in general positive affect (p<0.0001), emotional ties (p<0.0001), life satisfaction (p<0.0001) scores. Regular practice of yoga for 6 months have resulted in significant increase in mental health index (p<0.0001). Conclusion: Significant improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness and mental health due to yoga practice suggests the extremely positive health benefits on physiological as well as psychological health. The results indicate the effectiveness of yoga as mind and body work out modality to improve the cardio-respiratory and mental health, if practiced regularly.
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The science of Yoga is a psychology of a philosophical nature. The very introduction of the system of Yoga by Patanjali is by way of an instruction that the mind has to be controlled – Yogahs-chitta-vritti-nirodhah. Patanjali does not go into the details of the philosophical background of the necessity to control the mind, the background that comes in Samkhya and Vedanta. He very simply explains that Yoga is control of the mind, restraint of the mind-stuff. Yoga is an experiential science. The most important benefit of yoga is it balances our physical and mental conditions. The aging process, which is largely an artificial condition, caused mainly by autointoxication or self-poisoning, can be slowed down by practicing yoga (Alleger, I. 2007). By keeping the body clean, flexible and well lubricated, we can significantly reduce the catabolic process of cell deterioration. To get the maximum benefits of yoga we need to combine the practices of yogasanas, pranayama and meditation.
The present study is an attempt to find out whether Yoga Intervention has any effect on State and Trait Anxiety and also on the Subjective well-being. Fifty, first year students were selected from Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences Course; on whom; Spielberger's State Trait Anxiety Inventory and Nagpal and Sell's Subjective well-being Inventory were administered in the beginning of the academic year and second time after a gap of one year. The data were analyzed by employing mean, SD and 't' ratio. Results reveal a significant decrease in both State and Trait Anxiety levels and positive change in the Subjective Well-being of the students. Yoga is considered to be one of the most important, effective and valuable tools available for man to overcome various physical and psychological problems. According to Kuvalayananda and Vinekar (1968) yoga includes cultivation of correct attitudes and reconditioning of the neuromuscular systems. Yoga helps the whole body to enable it to withstand greater stress and strain. Yoga proposes healthy diet and encourages the natural process of elimination, whenever it is necessary. Yoga aims at an integrated and harmonious development of all the potentialities of man. Anxiety and stress are the major problems of the modern world particularly of the youth and college going students who are loosing their health and well-being. Good health is one of the greatest resources for vitality, creativity and wealth, in contrast to poor health and negative feelings, which lead to various physical and psychological problems.
Yoga techniques practiced for varying durations have been shown to reduce state anxiety. In this study, there were 300 naive-to-yoga persons of both sexes who were attending a yoga therapy center in north India for stress relief as day visitors and were not residing at the center. They were assigned to two groups, yoga practice and yoga theory, and their state anxiety was assessed before and after a 2-hr. yoga session. A significant reduction in scores on state anxiety was found in the yoga practice group (14.7% decrease), as well as in the yoga theory group (3.4% decrease). The difference in scores following the sessions was statistically significant. Hence, yoga practice as well as learning about theoretical aspects of yoga appear to reduce state anxiety, with a greater reduction following yoga practice.
The primary goal of the study was to assess the efficacy of mindfulness-based meditation therapy on anxiety, depression, and spiritual well-being of Japanese patients undergoing anticancer treatment. A secondary goal was to assess the relationships among anxiety, depression, spiritual well-being, growth, appreciation, pain, and symptoms. The subjects were 28 patients who were receiving anticancer treatment. The subjects participated in two sessions of mindfulness-based meditation therapy, including breathing, yoga movement and meditation. Each patient was taught the program in the first session, then exercised at home with a CD, and subsequently met the interviewer in a second session after 2 weeks. Primary physicians recruited the patients and interviews were conducted individually by nurses or psychologists with training in the program. Patients completed preintervention and postintervention questionnaires on anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]), spiritual well-being (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual [FACIT-Sp]), and appreciation, growth, pain, and symptoms. HADS scores significantly decreased from 12 +/- 5.3 to 8.6 +/- 6.3 (p = 0.004) after the intervention, and FACIT-Sp increased from 32 +/- 6.5 to 33 +/- 6.9 (p = 0.69), but the change was not significant. There were significant associations between FACIT-Sp and HADS (r = -0.78, p = 000), FACIT-Sp and growth (r = -0.35, p = 0.04), FACIT-Sp and pain (r = -0.41, p = 0.02), and growth and appreciation (r = 0.45, p = 0.009). Mindfulness-based meditation therapy may be effective for anxiety and depression in Japanese cancer patients, and spiritual well-being is related to anxiety and depression, growth, and pain. The negative correlation of spirituality with growth differs from the results of previous studies and the mechanism of this effect needs to be investigated further.
The authors measured platelet MAO activity with phenylethylamine and tryptamine substrates in a group of 20 subjects with chronic anxiety before and after they underwent relaxation training. Levels of anxiety were quantified using a self-rating scale. Posttreatment values for anxiety and enzyme activity were significantly lower than pretreatment values. Anxiety and enzyme activity levels were not significantly correlated at any stage of the study.
Effect ofYoga Based Lifestyle Intervention on State and Trait Anxiety
  • R Sharma
  • R L Bijlani
Sharma, R. Bijlani, R. L. 2006; Effect ofYoga Based Lifestyle Intervention on State and Trait Anxiety; Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology Vol 50;No1, page(s) 41-47
Sinha's Comprehensive Anxiety Test (SCAT) National Psychological Corporation
  • P Sinhaak
  • Ln Sinha
SinhaAK P and Sinha LN K (1973) Sinha's Comprehensive Anxiety Test (SCAT) National Psychological Corporation,Agra.
  • K Kumar
Kumar K 2004; A Study on the Impact of Yoga Nidra on Anxiety and Stress Level; Yoga Mimamsa,Vol 36 no.3:163-169