A comparative study of psychological distress among practitioners and non-practitioners of Yoga
Sudha, P., Jyotsna, G.N., Sumita, K. & Nalini, B.
There has been a growing concern in our country about the inappropriateness of applying western models of psychotherapy. A need for principles and practices based on the Indian ethos and the socio-cultural milieu is widely recognized. Yoga is gaining prominence as a psychophysiological system of self-regulation with therapeutic implications. Long term practitioners show voluntary control over autonomic process and lower levels of neuroticism. Thus, the objective of the study was to see if there is a difference in the prevalence and intensity of psychological distress between yoga practitioners and non-practitioners as measured by the GHQ-28. 40 medium-term practitioners and 40 non-practitioners were matched according to their ages and were administered the GHQ-28. A cut-off score of 5 and above was taken as an indication of caseness. Results revealed significant differences in psychological distress between the two groups. The non-practitioners also scored higher on each individual dimension of the GHQ-28. Also more number of non-practitioners showed caseness as against the practitioners, majority of whom were normal. This points out that yoga could be a valuable tool in establishing and maintaining health and well being of individuals.