A Case Study Examining Participants' Perceived Stress after Hot Yoga and Restorative Yoga


yoga, hot, restorative, stress, case study, qualitative, quantitative


Social Work

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Participants who engage in yoga interventions throughout their lifetime experience decreased stress and physical tension, yet few studies compare types of yoga and their effect on participants’ perceived stress. This study examines the cases of nine yoga participants who were non-randomly assigned to eight classes of either hot yoga (n=4) or restorative yoga (n=5). Yoga classes lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, twice a week for four weeks. Participants completed a self-administered standardized assessment, i.e., the Ardell Wellness Stress Test, a 25-item Likert scale examining physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of their lives. Additionally, participants responded to a questionnaire consisting of six open-ended questions asking them to describe their perceived stress before and after each class. Participants in both yoga groups demonstrated no change in stress levels according to the Ardell Wellness Stress Test but did report a small decrease in perceived stress after each yoga class. The open-ended questions were analyzed by examining word frequency. Restorative yoga participants used words such as “relaxed” and “good” while hot yoga participants used similar words such as “relaxed” and “peace”. In both yoga groups, there was even an increased strength in feelings towards God.