Background: Aging is of recent origin. It is not a disease. Most of the age-related functional changes in the respiratory system result from three physiologic events-progressive decreases in the compliance of the chest wall, in the static elastic recoil of the lung, and in the strength of respiratory muscles. Meditation by the Sahaja yoga technique is, according to tradition, an innately therapeutic process, which is beneficial for all chronic diseases, mental or physical, including asthma.
Aims and Objectives: To evaluate and compare the effect of Sahaja yoga meditation on pulmonary functions in subjects aged older than 40 years before and after the practice of Sahaja yoga meditation and to correlate pulmonary function test (PFT) parameters with age.
Materials and Methods: The study included 100 subjects (50 male and 50 female subjects) aged older than 40 years who were selected from Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College campus and Wardha city. PFTs were carried out on all subjects, and Sahaja yoga meditation training was given, and all of them were advised to practice Sahaja yoga for 6 months. Statistical analysis was done using Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Pearson’s correlation coefficient.
Results: The mean FEV1% predicted increased from 65.55% ± 26.76% to 82.30% ± 29.81%. The forced vital capacity (FVC) % predicted increased from 75.76% ± 30.78% to 85.90% ± 30.49% at the posttest. The mean FEV1/FVC ratio was 0.93 ± 0.40 and 0.94 ± 0.11 at the pre- and posttest, respectively. All the parameters except peak expiratory flow rate were significantly negatively correlated with age. All the PFT parameters significantly increased at the posttest.
Conclusion: Sahaja yoga meditation aims to promote the experience of “thoughtless awareness.” Age-related decline in respiratory functions can be modified by the daily practice of Sahaja yoga meditation, which is specifically convenient in elderly individuals to prevent the risk of pulmonary diseases related to age.
Aging; Sahaja Yoga Meditation; Pulmonary Functions