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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 111-117

A study of the effect of Raj yoga on cardiorespiratory parameters in young adult Indians

Department of Physiology, Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arunima Chaudhuri
Krishnasayar South, Borehat, Burdwan - 713 102, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-6308.180172

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Introduction: Perceived stress negatively affects cardiorespiratory functions by altering cardiovascular reactivity. Aims: To evaluate the effect of Raj yoga on stress management in healthy young adults of an urban population of a developing country. Materials and Methods: The present study was conducted after taking Institutional Ethical clearance and informed consent of the subjects. Hundred healthy young adults in the age group of 18-35 years performing Raj yoga regularly were selected as study subjects, and hundred age- and sex-matched subjects from the local population were chosen as control. The group practicing Raj yoga was named as meditators and another not practicing the same as nonmeditators. Stress level in the subjects was assessed according to the presumptive life event stress scale (PSLES). The perceived stress scale of Sheldon Cohen was used to measure perceived stress scores. Anthropometric measurements, resting pulse rate, and blood pressure were recorded, followed by the orthostatic tolerance test (OTT), isometric hand grip test, 40 mm endurance test, and pulmonary function tests. Results: Both the groups were age-, sex- matched, and their food habits were same. Their PSLES showed no significant difference, but perceived stress score was significantly higher in the case of nonmeditators. Body mass index and waist/hip ratio were significantly more in nonmeditators. Resting pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure were significantly lower in meditators. Results of OTT and isometric hand grip test showed significantly lower values in meditators. Results of 40 mm endurance test were significantly raised in meditators. Conclusions: Cardiorespiratory fitness parameters in young adults are correlated with perceived stress. Perceived stress shifts autonomic balance toward sympathetic dominance, hampering cardiovascular and respiratory functions. Practice of Raj yoga meditation can help in overcoming these bouts of stress and thereby stress-related hazards.

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