This chapter briefly reviews recent psychological, physiological, molecular biological, and anthropological research which has important implications, both direct and indirect, for the recognition and understanding of the potential life span and health span enhancing effects of the basic yoga meditational regimen. This regimen consists of meditation, yogic breath control practices, physical exercises (of both a postural- and movement-based, including aerobic nature), and dietary practices.
The Indo-Tibetan tradition claims that proficiency in the suggested longevity practices of meditation, diet, and physical exercise (yoga), will result in profound anti-aging, stress-mediating and health enhancing effects. Western biomedical research has begun to demonstrate that the psychobiological states induced and cultivated by cognitive behavioral practices which are emblematic of those contained within the Indo-Tibetan tradition (hypnosis, meditation, visualization, systematic relaxation), indeed do have a profound impact on the body's protective and regulatory systems.
BACKGROUND: This study examined the effects of brief daily yogic meditation on mental health, cognitive functioning, and immune cell telomerase activity in family dementia caregivers with mild depressive symptoms. METHODS: Thirty-nine family dementia caregivers (mean age 60.3 years old (SD = 10.2)) were randomized to practicing Kirtan Kriya or listening to relaxation music for 12 min per day for 8 weeks. The severity of depressive symptoms, mental and cognitive functioning were assessed at baseline and follow-up.
The present study aims to explore the existence of a relationship between the extent of yoga practice and two dimensions of psychological wellbeing: meaning in life and gratitude. Both of the variables are positive psychology constructs; there is theoretical affinity and empirical evidence that they are related to overall psychological wellbeing. One hundred and twenty four participants aged 18 years and above, with yoga experience ranging from none to over six years, responded to a number of scales.