Health-Related Quality of Life Outcomes with Regular Practice of Heartfulness Yoga and Meditation: Findings from a Multinational, Cross-Sectional Study
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JMIR Res. 2022 Apr 24. doi: 10.2196/37876. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Although the benefits of yoga are well established around the world, there are few studies exploring the long-term interrelationship between yoga, meditation and health. Specifically, there is little research exploring differences in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) between regular meditators and non-meditators.
OBJECTIVE: The present study explored the difference in 7 domains of HRQOL, including quality of life, ability to adopt a healthy lifestyle, ability to relax, frequency of nervousness and stress, management daily stress, work productivity and maintaining good health. during the COVID-19 pandemic among yoga and meditation practitioners.
METHODS: An online cross-sectional survey was distributed to all members who participated in a 100-day yoga and meditation program, culminating in the “International Day of Yoga” event, hosted by the Heartfulness Institute in partnership with the CCRYN, Ministry of AYUSH, SVYASA University, Ministry of AYUSH and Patanjali Yoga Institute, India. The program consisted of daily sessions of virtual yoga, meditation and guest speakers. Data were analyzed by Mann-Whitney U nonparametric test and Kruskal Wallis tests for continuous variables and chi-square test for categorical variables.
RESULTS: A total of 3,164 participants from 39 countries completed the survey. The mean age was 33.8 years (SD 13.6), with the majority of participants being women (52%) and students (41.5%). Regular practice of yoga and meditation was associated with a positive impact on all 7 HRQOL domains (Mann-Whitney P
CONCLUSIONS: This is one of the first cross-sectional studies to explore health-related quality of life outcomes among participants of a 100-day virtual yoga and meditation program. Overall, the practice of yoga and meditation has proven to be an effective tool for promoting health-related quality of life. Regular yoga and meditation practice was associated with factors promoting health and well-being, with long-term meditation practice associated with increased benefits.
CLINICAL TRIAL: Not applicable.