A study by IITDelhi scientists has revealed that those who practised yoga during the pandemicinduced lockdown had lower stress, anxiety and depression, higher wellbeing and more peace of mind as compared to nonpractitioners. The study was undertaken by National Resource Centre for Value Education in Engineering (NRCVEE), an academic centre at IITDelhi.
‘Study on over 600 adults
The institute said its researchers led by Pooja Sahni carried out the study on a total of 668 adults during lockdown between April 26 and June 8, 2020, and the participants were grouped as yoga practitioners, other spiritual practitioners, and nonpractitioners based on their responses to daily practices that they follow.s
Yoga practitioners were further examined based on the duration of practice as longterm, midterm, and beginners.
“The longterm practitioners reported higher personal control and lower illness concern in contracting COVID19 than the midterm or beginner group. The long term and midterm practitioners also reported perceiving lower emotional impact of COVID19 and lower risk in contracting the virus than the beginners,” the institute said. It added that general wellbeing was reported higher by the longterm and midterm practitioners than the beginners group.
Further, the longterm practitioners were found to have the highest peace of mind, lowest depression and anxiety with no significant difference in the midterm and the beginner group.
“While yoga has been recommended as one of the ways to manage stress during COVID19, there was a lack of empirical evidence to support the claims. Our study has mapped the effect of yoga on the cognitive and emotional problems of COVID19, besides showing beneficial effects of yoga on general wellbeing during adversity,” Dr. Sahni said. She added that evidence supports that yoga was found as an effective self-management strategy to cope with stress, anxiety and depression, besides helping to maintain wellbeing during COVID19 lockdown
Kamlesh Singh, Associate Professor at Humanities and Social Sciences Department, IIT Delhi and one of the authors of the study feel that evidence from this research can be used by the health care practitioners to include yoga as an alternate therapy for selfmanagement of stressrelated problems during conditions like COVID19 pandemic.
Source : The Hindu