I know from personal experience that Viniyoga is an amazing tool for reducing workplace stress—that’s what hooked me on it almost fifteen years ago, when I still worked at Microsoft. But now, research proves it!
Aetna, inc. recently studied methods of stress reduction in the workplace. The results were published in the online version of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. The study evaluated the effectiveness of Mindfulness Meditation (a specific type of meditation) and Viniyoga on both perceived levels of stress and biological markers of stress. The Viniyoga intervention used in the study was designed by my teacher, Gary Kraftsow. The study participants included 239 Aetna employees located in California and Connecticut who were split into three groups: the Mindfulness Meditation group, the Viniyoga group, and a control.
The results were encouraging. Both the Mindfulness Meditation and the Viniyoga interventions saw over a 30% reduction in perceived stress levels. Participants also showed significant improvements in several heart rate measurements, suggesting that their bodies were better able to manage stress. Even better, both Viniyoga and Mindfulness Meditation worked in about half the time as other commonly used mind-body interventions.
The Viniyoga intervention included a twelve-week yoga program that used physical yoga postures, breathing techniques, and guided relaxation. Participants met in class once a week and received practice handouts to use at home and in the office. Which just goes to prove what I’ve said all along—a well-conceived home practice gets results!
For more details on the study, check out the article on Aetna’s web site.
Be well, and come see me in class soon to reduce your stress!