Impact of Yoga Practice on Level of Stress During COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Selma Sinanovic1,2, Ana Vidacek3,4, Mirsad Muftic5,6
1 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University Clinical Center Tuzla, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 Medical Faculty, University of Tuzla, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 Departmet of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University Clinical Hospital Mostar, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Medical Faculty University of Mostar, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 Sarajevo Medical School, University Sarajevo, School of Science and Technology, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 Faculty of Health Sciences University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Conference/Journal: Mater Sociomed
Date published: 2022 Jun 1
Other: Volume ID: 34 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 118-120 , Special Notes: doi: 10.5455/msm.2022.34.118-120. , Word Count: 246

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a major cause of stress and anxiety worldwide. It has generated stress among people from all sections of society, especially to workers who have been assigned to cater to healthcare service or those constrained to secure daily essential items. Yoga practice is actively sought to achieve reduced anxiety and stress so that improved sleep may positively impact immunity.

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine whether those who practice Yoga during the COVID-19 pandemic have lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression than those who do not.

The sample consists of 51 females who have been attending Yoga sessions for many years and who continued this practice during the COVID-19 pandemic twice a week. The control group consisted of 50 non-Yoga respondents. The survey was conducted during April 2021. The Revised Event Impact Scale (IES-R) (4) and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) (Derogatis, 1993) were used to assess stress. Student T-test was used to check the statistical significance of differences.

In our research yoga practitioners show a statistically significantly lower average severity of stress symptoms compared to those who do not practice yoga on 5 of the 6 stress indicators shown. The only statistically significant difference was not obtained on the measure of total number of symptoms (PST).

The results suggest that yoga practice during COVID-19 pandemic is associated with lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression.

Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19 pandemic; Depression; Stress; Yoga practice.

PMID: 36199848 PMCID: PMC9478528 DOI: 10.5455/msm.2022.34.118-120