Viniyoga and mindfulness programs helped participants significantly reduce their perceived stress levels
Does yoga reduce stress? Aetna, a leading health insurance company, affirms that two programs – a Viniyoga program and a mindfulness meditation program – reduced stress among employees.
This is exciting news from my teacher, Gary Kraftsow, MA, E-RYT 500, Founder and Director of the American Viniyoga Institute and developer of the Viniyoga Stress Reduction Program. He says, “The AVI/Aetna collaboration represents a significant step in the integration of ancient insights into health and healing with modern evidence-based research. Hopefully this type of collaboration will lead to more widespread adoption of self-care practices that support people in their wellness and reduce the burden of stress-related disease on the health care system.”
The Aetna, Inc. Mind-Body Stress Reduction in the Workplace Trial, recently published in the online version of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, investigated the Viniyoga Stress Reduction Program (therapeutic yoga) and Mindfulness at Work (meditation) for improvement in perceived stress level and other variables. These programs helped participants significantly reduce their perceived stress levels while improving their ability to respond to stress.
Participants in the mind-body stress reduction treatment groups showed significant improvements in perceived stress with 36 and 33 percent decreases in stress levels respectively, as compared to an 18 percent reduction for the control group as measured with the Perceived Stress Scale. Participants in the two mind-body interventions also saw significant improvements in a biological marker called heart rhythm coherence, suggesting that their bodies were better able to manage stress.
Developed and studied in a collaborative effort with Aetna, Duke Integrative Medicine, eMindful and the American Viniyoga Institute, this study contributes to the body of evidence for the use of mind-body approaches to reduce stress and improve health.
Viniyoga is distinguished from other types of yoga by the emphasis on breath as the medium for movement in postures, safe sequencing of postures, and adapting the pattern of breathing in and the form of the posture to produce specifically required effects.
Please contact me if you would like to discover the effects of what these healing practices can do.