Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Lanae Joubert


Purpose: Nursing students are prone to stress-related diseases, such as depression and anxiety, which are associated with chronically elevated cortisol levels due to the excessive firing of the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis. This study assessed three speeds of yoga and how they acutely affected salivary cortisol levels within female nursing students. Methods: Students participated in three yoga sessions cadenced at different speeds in a non-randomized order: (i) standard-speed yoga (SSY), (ii) high-speed yoga (HSY), and (iii) slow-speed yoga (SLSY). Each class integrated sequencing concepts from the brahmana/langhana strategy (BLS) and the Para Yoga Blueprint (PYB). Cortisol samples were collected at four time-points: (i) pre-asana (PREA), (ii) immediately post-asana (POA), (iii) immediately post-savasana/pranayama/dhyana (POSPD), and (iv) 15 min post-session (15-PO) during all three yoga sessions. Results: ReANOVA showed no significant differences in cortisol within the main effect of yoga speeds (p = 0.094) or between the yoga speed x time-points interaction (p = 0.231). The main effect across the four time-points were significantly different from each other (p < 0.001) and pairwise comparison showed significant decreases in cortisol from the PREA measurements to the three post-measurements (p = < 0.05). Conclusions: Yoga infused with PYB and BLS sequencing reduced salivary cortisol in nursing students. Further research may identify appropriate yoga interventions to help mitigate stress and prevent chronic stress-related disease in nursing students.

Access Type

Open Access