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Assessment of long-term yoga training as a complementary therapeutic measure for anxiety, depression, and psychological distress in healthy individuals

Sharadchandra G Wankhede, Vishnu D Udhan, Pramod Shinde.

Abstract
Background: Sustained increase in disturbed psychological health is a global concern at present. Complementary therapies in addition to pharmacological interventions are frequently advised to prevent consequential systemic and psychological disorders. However, data pertaining to long-term yoga practice as a complementary therapeutic intervention in healthy adults with large sample size are least available, indicating the significant gap in the scientific literature.

Aims and Objectives: The present study aims to assess the usefulness of yoga as complementary measure for anxiety, depression, and psychological distress in healthy individuals.

Materials and Methods: The pre- and post-interventional yoga interventional study was conducted on healthy individuals (n = 200) with age ranging from 30 to 50 years (mean age = 39.95 years). Yoga intervention was given for 6 months (1 h/day; 6 days/week). Baseline and post-interventional anxiety, depression, life satisfaction, loss of emotional control, general positive affect, emotional ties, psychological distress, and well-being scores were measured using a questionnaire-based mental health inventory-38. The data were collected in SPSS and analyzed using paired t-test. Significance was established at 5% P-value.

Results: An intervention of yoga for 6 months caused highly significant (P < 0.0001) reduction in anxiety, depression, and psychological distress scores and improvement in the loss of emotional control, general positive affect, life satisfaction, and psychological well-being scores.

Conclusion: Positive results indicate the usefulness of long-term yogic exercise modality as a complementary therapeutic intervention for anxiety, depression, and psychological distress in healthy individuals.

Key words: Anxiety; Depression; Mental Stress; Psychological Distress; Yoga


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