The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of yoga and breathing techniques on physiological and psychological well-being of long-term practitioners.
Main parameters measured were: psychological parameters encompassing general health status, satisfaction with life, quality of life, self-esteem, emotional status, anxiety, neuroticism, social distance, spirituality and religion tolerance, smoking and eating habits, and alcohol consumption; physiological parameters encompassing metabolic status, blood pressure and lung capacity.
This study showed that long-term practitioners exhibit less anxiety, higher level of positive and lower level of negative affect and higher level of emotional stability when compared with the control group. They expressed fewer limitations due to physical and emotional functioning, higher levels of energy, less bodily pain and better general health. Regarding social functioning and emotional well-being, long-term practitioners reported the ability to perform normal social activities without interference due to physical or emotional problems as well as peaceful, happy, and calm state of the mind. Increased self-esteem, satisfaction with life and tolerance were also measured.
Analysis of physiological data showed that long-term practice of Art of Living (AOL) techniques has beneficial effect on the physical health. Major indicators of pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases are within the healthy ranges or improved. Combined with development of healthy habits such as non-smoking and vegetarian-diet, this yogic program has a strong disease-preventive potential. Therefore investigated intervention could serve as an effective holistic approach for the prevention of the number of acute and chronic diseases.