Influence of Vipassana, Raja Yoga and Sudarshan Kriya Yoga on Well-being and Character strengths

  • Nikhil Mahindroo Research Scholar, School of Business Management, NMIMS, Mumbai & Assistant Professor, K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management, Mumbai
  • Manjari Srivastava Associate Dean & Professor, School of Business Management, NMIMS, Navi Mumbai
  • Vidya Naik Retired Professor, School of Business Management, NMIMS, Mumbai
Keywords: Character strengths, Flourishing, Raja Yoga, Sudarshan Kriya Yoga, Vipassana mindfulness meditation, Well-being


The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages using evidence-based traditional yoga and meditation practices for the promotion of mental health and well-being. This study intends to examine the influence of three Indian meditation practices, i.e., Vipassana mindfulness meditation, Raja Yoga and Sudarshan Kriya Yoga, by employing a cross-sectional design. 168 healthy adults - 84 meditators (n=28 for each practice) and 84 non-meditators – had voluntarily participated. Meditators reported significantly higher subjective wellbeing (satisfaction with life, positive affect), psychological well-being (flourishing), presence of meaning in life, and character strengths (hope, gratitude, curiosity, zest and love), and significantly lower negative affect as compared to non-meditators. The medium to large effect sizes (Cohen’s d: .572 to .955), except for zest, were marked with a significant association (rp: |.245 to .487|, p<.05) with the duration of meditation, thereby signifying enhanced benefits of sustained practice. 60.2% of the variance in flourishing was explained by satisfaction in life, positive affect, hope, gratitude and presence of meaning. These evidence-based universal practices accessible across the globe and acceptable to people of all ages and backgrounds are worthy targets of rigorous research, adoption at the workplace and widespread dissemination to further SDG 3 – ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.’