Introduction: Nowadays, people are showing a keen interest in yoga and meditation as an alternative therapy to manage psychological stress and stress-related diseases. Yoga is a spiritual discipline with many proven health benefits. There are different types of yoga techniques practiced worldwide for their known health enhancement effects and for reduction of stress and its related disorders. One of the meditation techniques is Sahaja Yoga. It is a unique technique of meditation that involves mental state of internalized attention characterized by mental silence and emotionally positive experience of bliss. The present study has been undertaken to find out the heart rate variability (HRV) in Sahaja Yoga meditators during rest and meditation.

Objectives: To study the HRV in Sahaja Yoga meditators during rest and meditation.

Materials and methods: A total of 20 volunteers aged 25 to 40 years were considered for the study. The volunteers were practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation (SYM) regularly for 5 years or more. The HRV was recorded during rest with eyes closed and 15 minutes of SYM in a quiet room.

Results: Statistical analysis was done using student paired t test. Results are given as mean ± standard deviation (SD). The mean R-R interval, total power (TP), low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and LF/HF ratio were studied during rest and during meditation. The HF (during rest 16.2383 ± 11.1896 and during meditation 28.4875 ± 14.5112) was high and LF/HF ratio (during rest 2.262211 ± 1.346382 and during meditation 1.30545 ± 1.200041) was low during meditation compared with that during rest, which was statistically significant.

Conclusion: Increase in HF and decrease in LF/HF ratio during meditation signifies that meditation shifts sympathovagal balance toward the parasympathetic side, hence signifying a relaxed state of body and mind in Sahaja Yoga meditators.

Keywords: Heart rate variability, Meditation, Sahaja Yoga meditators, Stress, Sympathovagal balance.

How to cite this article: Rai MS, Kattimani YR, Rai SU, Chandak M. Effect of Sahaja Yoga Meditation on Heart Rate Variability. MGM J Med Sci 2016;3(3):126-130.

Source of support: MGMIHS

Conflict of interest: None