Objectives: There is evidence that yoga practice is associated with decreased stress, worry, and depression, and with improved mindfulness-based skills. These findings had not been previously replicated for a sample of college students. This study evaluated whether iRest yoga-nidra practice was associated with reduced perceived stress, worry, and depression, and increased mindfulness in a sample of college student s.
Methods: Sixty-six students age 18-56 completed an 8-week iRest yoga-nidra intervention that was offered for 8 semesters. Assessment occurred 1 week prior to intervention onset and during the class period following the intervention. Qualitative data were collected at Weeks 4 and 8.
Results: Statistically significant pre- to posttest improvements in perceived stress, worry, and depression were found. Pre-existing depression accounted for most of the change in worry and perceived stress scores. Pre- to post test improvements in mindfulness-based skills were also detected.
Conclusions: iRest yoga-nidra practice may reduce symptoms of perceived stress, worry, and depression and increase mindfulness-based skills.
Keywords: college students; depression; iRest; mindfulness; perceived stress; worry; yoga; yoga-nidra.