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The influence of yoga therapy on anxiety

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dc.contributor.advisor Edwards, S.D.
dc.contributor.advisor Thwala, J.D. Clark, Lindsay Clare 2012-08-27T09:14:31Z 2012-08-27T09:14:31Z 2010
dc.description A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree: Masters of Arts Degree in Psychology (Counselling), in the Department of Psychology of the University of Zululand, South Africa, 2010. en_US
dc.description.abstract Anxiety is a major concern within society, owing to its high prevalence. It is usually treated with psychopharmacological medications, which are costly for government health departments. Although there are reports of its effectiveness and minimal expense of yoga therapy as a treatment for anxiety, such reports lack any substantial evidence base. This relative gap in the scientific literature provided motivation for the present research. It was hypothesised that the influence of yoga therapy would decrease levels of anxiety among individuals. The study was conducted using a mixed approach, by means of a quasi-experimental design with both quantitative and qualitative methods and repeated measures ANOVA and thematic content analysis as research techniques. The experimental group consisted of a convenience sample of 18 practitioners of yoga, who practiced yoga at least twice a week for the duration of three months. The control group similarly comprised a convenience sample of 19 participants, selected from the clinical and counselling psychology masters class at the University of Zululand, who did not practice yoga over the time of the yoga therapeutic intervention. The Beck Anxiety Inventory was administered to the experimental group and the control group prior to and immediately after the three months of intervention. Prior to the intervention of yoga therapy, the experimental group completed a qualitative questionnaire. This assessed their perceptions and experiences of yoga, as well as their experience of the influence of yoga therapy on anxiety. The influence of yoga intervention was evaluated by the difference in anxiety levels prior to and immediately succeeding the intervention. The data from the Beck Anxiety Inventory was analysed quantitatively through the use of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The qualitative questionnaires were evaluated according to thematic analysis. The quantitative results indicated that, although regular yoga therapy was associated with significant decreases in anxiety over a period of three months, these changes were not significant when compared with a control group. Hence no causative inferences can be made. However, the analysis revealed significant between group differences for age and education, indicating that older and more educated participants’ anxiety scores decreased significantly more than those of younger and less educated participants. The qualitative results from the experimental group revealed positive outcomes. The participants reported that yoga practice provided relief from anxiety by means of encouraging them to remain focussed in the present moment, gain a sense of equilibrium in life, as well as feel calm and relaxed. Although further randomised controlled studies with larger samples are needed, this research provided some scientific evidence that yoga therapy may be an effective intervention for decreasing perceived anxiety as a potentially cost effective intervention for anxiety reduction. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Zululand en_US
dc.subject Yoga therapy en_US
dc.subject Anxiety. en_US
dc.title The influence of yoga therapy on anxiety en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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