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Background: Raja Yoga meditation is a simple and scientific technique to elicit physical and mental relaxation response, to change one’s attitude and transform life-style. Regular practice of it brings transformation in overall wellbeing of person. Aim and objective: To study the effect of Raja Yoga meditation on physiological and psychological well being of subjects practicing it.
Methods: We conducted a study among 100 practitioners of Brahmakumaris Raja Yoga meditation of either sex (33 men and 67 women) aged 30 years and above (mean age 52.06 ± 12.76 years). The subjects were divided into short term meditators (meditating for 6 months to 5 years with mean duration 3.37 ± 1.67 years) and long term meditators (meditating for more than 5 years with mean duration 11.19 ± 5.13 years). Physiological variables like heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR) per minute, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were recorded before meditation practice and twice during the practice of meditation after every fifteen minutes. Also, detailed history regarding addictions, negative attributes and spiritual practices before and after practicing meditation was inquired as per the predesigned questionnaire. Fasting blood sugar was also estimated by glucometer.
Results: Both short term as well as long term meditators showed a significant declining trend in HR, RR, SBP and DBP 15 minutes as well as 30 minutes after meditation (P<0.05). The study subjects particularly long term meditators got rid of addictions (tobacco chewing, smoking, alcohol, non-vegetarian diet) and negative attributes (anger, mental stress, negative/waste thoughts and irritability) after learning and practicing meditation. Subjects also experienced various benefits in the form of mental peace and happiness. Conclusions: Raja Yoga meditation provides significant improvements in physiological cardio-respiratory functions by tilting of autonomic balance from sympathetic in favour ofparasympathetic and also contributes significantly to the psychological well-being of subjects.
Meditation, Brahmakumaris Raja Yoga, Physiological variables, mental wellbeing