Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Barriers in the Path of Yoga Practice: An Online Survey

Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Barriers in the Path of Yoga Practice: An Online Survey

Article excerpt

Byline: H. Dayananda, Judu. Ilavarasu, S. Rajesh, Natesh. Babu

Context: Clinical benefits of yoga have been well explored, but factors contributing to adherence to regular yoga practice are not well studied. Aims: To study the factors influencing adherence to yoga practices on those participants who have completed 1-month Yoga Instructors' course from a yoga university. Settings and Design: Online survey was conducted on participants who had finished 1-month Yoga Instructors' course at a yoga university. Materials and Methods: Online survey was conducted using Survey Monkey web portal with response rate of 42.5%. A total of 1355 participants were approached. Demographic items and a checklist of 21 items on a 5-point likert scale were prepared based on traditional yoga texts. A few items to assess modern lifestyle barriers were also included. Statistical Analysis: One-sample proportion test with chi square statistics was used for analysis. Results: Irregularity in lifestyle, family commitments, and occupational commitments are perceived as significant strong barriers. Dullness, excessive talking, strictly adhering to rules, laziness, physical and mental overexertion, fickleness and wandering of mind, unsteadiness of mind, procrastination, and oversleeping are considered as significant barriers of moderate nature. Conclusions: Modern lifestyle is the major challenge for yoga practitioners to adhere to regular practice of yoga. To address this, attention is required in strengthening the lifestyle management and the spiritual dimension of yoga practice as the spiritual component seems to be side-tracked.

Introduction

Yoga is becoming very popular not only in the East but also in the West. The results of the 2002 NHIS survey suggest that 5.1% of the U.S. population (over 10 million) practice yoga. [sup][1] Published literature suggests that majority of people take to yoga for health reasons and overall wellbeing. Various degrees of efficacy of yoga in medical condition have been discussed in a number of published review articles. Yoga for cancer, [sup][2] diabetes, [sup][3] asthma, [sup][4] and anxiety [sup][5] are few examples. Although some studies have focused on healthy adults, [sup][6],[7] older adults, [sup][8] and school children, [sup][9] majority of other studies have focused on therapeutic efficacy of yoga along with cognitive functions. Very few studies have attempted to look into the adherence to yoga practice. We suggest that the study of adherence to yoga practice is very essential because efficacy of yoga would also vary depending upon subject's involvement in therapy process. Importance of adherence in clinical trials is well acknowledged, especially interventions involving mind-body. [sup][10] Even for the placebo treatment, patients who adhered to prescribed medical regime had better health outcomes than those who adhered poorly. [sup][11] Strength and moderators of the adherence-outcome association in clinical setup have also been systematically reviewed. [sup][12] Such an extensive effort to study the influence of adherence in yoga has not been attempted yet. As yoga therapy at deeper level involves mind-body system, adherence to yoga practice could be a potential predictor of clinical efficacy. No doubt, if conviction in the practice is high, adherence to yoga practice may be strong. In a recent study, Baspure et al ., identified various factors including busy work schedule as barriers to yoga therapy for schizophrenia in India. [sup][13] A previous study reported that motivational variables played a key role in adherence to Iyengar yoga in breast cancer survivors. [sup][14] Therefore, it is necessary to understand various factors that determine long-term adherence to yoga practice. The current study aims at evaluating the factors influencing adherence to yoga practices by those who had completed 1-month Yoga Instructors' course from a yoga university. In order to give better functional direction to the study, we used the term barriers, which is the other side of the coin of adherence. …

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