The power of yoga: do you have time?

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Publication details

Linegar, PJ, Moloney, G & Stevens, CJ 2018, 'The power of yoga: do you have time?', abstract presented to the 15th Annual Phsychology Honours Research Conference, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, 4-5 October.

Abstract available on Open Access


Aim: Yoga can improve mood and frequent yoga practice has been associated with decreased symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders. The relaxation-response has been used to explain this mood improvement after ‘mind-body’ practices and may be elicited within minutes. However, research also suggests that the magnitude of mood improvements may be greater for exercise durations up to 60-minutes. Whether this extends to the practice of power yoga is uncertain. The current study compared the effects of a 30-minute and 60-minute power yoga practice on several mood states. Method: Thirty-seven participants (male =14, female =23, Mage= 41.16 SD=15.87) took part in separate 30-minute and 60-minute power yoga sessions one-week apart in a randomised cross-over design. Pre- and post- profile of mood states (POMS; abbreviated version) measures were taken before and after each class, and perceived pleasure and enjoyment were measured at the completion of each class. Results: The POMS total mood disturbance improved from pre- to post-practice in both the 30-minute and 60-minute durations with no significant difference between durations. For both durations, the negative subscales of the POMS (tension, anger, depression, fatigue and confusion) significantly decreased from pre- to post-practice. An increase was found for the POMS positive mood subscale esteem-related affect, but not vigour. The responses across all mood subscales were of the same magnitude regardless of duration. No significant differences were found between durations for the pleasure and enjoyment ratings with both practices perceived as pleasant and enjoyable. Conclusion: A 30-minute duration of power yoga practice resulted in mood improvement, with no further improvements observed for the longer 60-minute session. These findings offer tentative support that power yoga can be practised in shorter durations and achieve similar psychological effects as longer durations. Short duration yoga practices have the potential to overcome time-restraints which may limit exercise engagement.