Sudarshan Kriya Yoga for Improving Antioxidant Status and Reducing Anxiety in Adults

Agte, Vaishali Vilas; Chiplonkar, Shashi Ajit
April 2008
Alternative & Complementary Therapies;Apr2008, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p96
Academic Journal
S udarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) is a practice designed to minimize stress in living. We conducted a study among adults in a free-living population in Pune, India, to evaluate the effect of 2 months of SKY practice on health and behavior. The study involved 37 apparently healthy adult volunteers who were given a 6-day course of training in rhythmic breathing, meditation, yogic postures, interactive discussions for attitude training, and adherence to a vegetarian diet, followed with 7 weeks of short, 30-minute daily sessions of practice of SKY and once-weekly 75-minute sessions of SKY. State and trait anxiety scores and patience score were used as behavioral outcome measures, together with assessment of daily diet, micronutrient intakes, blood pressure, anthropometric measurements, assessment of morbidity, and measurement of blood levels of glucose, lipids, zinc, superoxide dismutase (SOD) as an indicator of antioxidant capacity, and lipid peroxidation. The scores and other measures were recorded at the beginning and again at the end of the 2-month study period. Practice of SKY for 2 months was accompanied by a significant reduction in anxiety score ( P = 0.039) and stress score ( P = 0.017), and by marginal improvement in patience score ( P = 0.134). Although no significant changes in diet pattern were seen, a significant increase in antioxidant capacity as SOD was observed after SKY practice ( P < 0.00001), as was also a reduction in triglycerides ( P = 0.025). A marginal reduction was observed in oxidative stress as reflected by plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) ( P = 0.20). A sense of well being was reported by 67% of the subjects, improved sleep quality was reported by 50%, and 33% experienced increased enthusiasm for doing their work. Regular practice of SKY for 30 minutes per day across the 2-month study period reduced the anxiety score to a greater extent than did less-frequent, once-weekly practice for 75 minutes. We conclude that SKY is helpful as a regimen with which normal individuals can maintain health.


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