Khalsa, S.B., Shorter, S.M., Cope, S., Wyshak, G., Sklar, E. (2009). Yoga ameliorates performance anxiety and mood disturbance in young professional musicians. Applied psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 34, 279-289.
METHODS: Musicians were randomized to a yoga lifestyle intervention group or to a group practicing yoga and meditation only for 2 months. Both yoga groups attended three Kripalu Yoga or meditation classes each week. The yoga lifestyle group also experienced weekly group practice and discussion sessions as part of their more immersive treatment. RESULTS: Both yoga groups showed a trend towards less music performance anxiety and significantly less general anxiety/tension, depression, and anger at end-program relative to controls.
Sahasi, G., Mohan, D., and Kacker, C. (1989). Effectiveness of yogic techniques in the management of anxiety. Journal of Personality and Clinical Studies, 5, 51-55.
METHODS: Yoga practices were compared with drug (diazepam) therapy in anxiety-neurotic outpatients. RESULTS: Data indicated a significant rate of improvement in yoga subjects who completed the prescribed length (5 days/wk for 3 months) of yoga practices as compared with drug therapy. At least 7% of yoga subjects were reported to be completely asymptomatic as compared with none of the drug therapy subjects.
Telles, S., Gaur, V. & Balkrishna, A. (2009). Effect of a yoga practice session and a yoga theory session on state anxiety. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 109, 924-930.
METHODS: Yoga novices were assigned to two groups, yoga practice and yoga theory, and their state anxiety was assessed before and after a 2-hr. yoga session. RESULTS: A reduction in state anxiety was found in the yoga practice group, as well as in the yoga theory group. Yoga practice as well as learning about theoretical aspects of yoga reduced state anxiety, with a greater reduction following yoga practice.
Evans, S., Moieni, M., Taub, R., Subramanian, S.K., Tsao, J.C., Sternlieb, B., & Zeltzer, L.K. (2010). Iyengar yoga for young adults with rheumatoid arthritis: results from a mixed-methods pilot study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 39, 904-913.
METHODS: In this pilot study young adults with rheumatoid arthritis attended biweekly Iyengar yoga for 6 weeks. RESULTS: Significant improvements were reported on pain, pain disability, depression, mental health, vitality, self-efficacy, RA symptoms and functioning.
Garfinkel, M. S., Schumacher, H. R. Jr, Husain, A., Levy, M., and Reshetar, R. A. (1994). Evaluation of a yoga based regimen for treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands. Journal of Rheumatology, 21, 2341-2343.
METHODS: Patients with OA of the hands were randomly assigned to receive either yoga or no therapy. Yoga techniques were supervised by one instructor once/week for 8 weeks. RESULTS: The yoga treated group improved on pain during activity, tenderness and finger range of motion.
Kolasinski, S.L., Garfinkel, M., Tsai, A.G., Matz, W., Van Dyke, A. & Schumacher, H.R. (2005). Iyengar yoga for treating symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knees: a pilot study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11, 689-693.
METHODS: Participants with osteoarthritis of the knee were instructed in Iyengar yoga postures during 90-minute classes once weekly for 8 weeks. RESULTS: Reductions in pain, and improved physical function, were observed when participants' status were compared to their pre-course status.
Nagarathna, R. and Nagendra, H. R. (1985). Yoga for bronchial asthma: A controlled study. British Medical Journal Clinical Research Ed, 291, 1077-1079.
METHODS: Patients with asthma had training for two weeks in yoga exercises including breathing exercises, physical postures, breath slowing techniques, meditation, and a devotional session, and were told to practice these exercises for 65 minutes daily. RESULTS: Greater improvement was noted in the group who practiced yoga in the weekly number of asthma attacks, drug treatment, and peak flow rate.
Nagendra, H. R. and Nagarathna, R. (1986). An integrated approach of yoga therapy for bronchial asthma: A 3-54-month prospective study. Journal of Asthma, 23, 123-137.
METHODS: After an initial integrated yoga training program of 2 to 4 weeks, asthmatics were followed up for 3 to 54 months. RESULTS: The regular practitioners showed the greatest improvement. Peak expiratory flow rate values were improved after yoga, and 72, 69, and 66% of the patients stopped or reduced parenteral, oral, and cortisone medication, respectively.
Jain, S. C., Rai, L., Valecha, A., Jha, U. K., Bhatnagar, S. O., and Ram, K. (1991). Effect of yoga training on exercise tolerance in adolescents with childhood asthma. Journal of Asthma, 28, 437-442.
METHODS: Adolescent asthma patients were admitted for yoga training. RESULTS: Yoga training resulted in improved pulmonary function and exercise capacity. A follow-up study spanning two years showed a good response with reduced symptom scores and drug requirements in these subjects.
Jain, S. C. and Talukdar, B. (1993). Evaluation of yoga therapy programme for patients of bronchial asthma. Singapore Medical Journal, 34, 306-308.
METHODS: Yoga effects were studied in patients with asthma including exercise capacity, pulmonary functions and blood gases. RESULTS: Yoga resulted in increased in pulmonary functions and exercise tolerance. A one-year follow-up study showed a reduced symptoms scores and drug requirements in these subjects.
Khanam, A. A., Sachdeva, U., Guleria, R., and Deepak, K. K. (1996). Study of pulmonary and autonomic functions of asthma patients after yoga training. Indian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, 40, 318-324.
METHODS: Asthma patients were given yoga training for seven days. RESULTS: Heart rate and sympathetic reactivity was reduced following yoga.
Sathyaprabha TN. Murthy H. Murthy BT. (2001). Efficacy of naturopathy and yoga in bronchial asthma--a self controlled matched scientific study. Indian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, 4, 80-86.
METHODS: Patients with asthma received treatment including 1. Diet therapy 2. Nature cure treatment and 3. Yoga RESULTS: The results showed significant improvement in clinical pulmonary measures including PEFR, VC, FVC, FEV1, FEV/FEC %, MVV, ESR and absolute eosinophil count.
Manocha, R., Marks, G.B., Kenchington, P., Peters, D., & Salome, C.M. (2002). Sahaja yoga in the management of moderate to severe asthma: A randomized controlled trial. Thorax, 57, 110-115.
METHODS: Yoga and control groups attended a 2 hour session once a week for 4 months. Asthma related quality of life (AQLQ), Profile of Mood States (POMS), level of airway hyperesponsiveness to methacholine ( AHR ), and a diary card based combined asthma score ( CAS ) reflecting symptoms, bronchodilator usage, and peak expiratory flow rates were measured at the end of the treatment period and again 2 months later. RESULTS: The AHR and the AQLQ mood subscale improved more in the yoga group, as did the summary POMS score.
Sodhi, C., Singh, S., & Dandona, P.K. (2009). A study of the effect of yoga training on pulmonary functions in patients with bronchial asthma. Indian Journal of Physiological Pharmacology, 53, 169-174.
METHODS: Patients with asthma were randomized into a yoga or a control group. RESULTS: The yoga group showed improvement in clinical pulmonary measures including peak expiratory flow rate, forced expiratory volume in the first second, forced vital capacity, forced mid expiratory flow in 0.25-0.75 seconds and FEV1/FVC% ratio at 4 weeks and 8 weeks.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Jensen PS, Kenny DT (2004). The effects of yoga on the attention and behavior of boys with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Journal of Attention Disorders, 7, 205-216.
METHODS: Boys diagnosed with ADHD by specialist pediatricians and stabilized on medication were randomly assigned to a 20-session yoga group or a control group. RESULTS: Improvements from pre-test to post-test were found for the yoga, but not for the control group on five subscales of the Conners' Parents Rating Scales.
Malathi, A., Damodaran, A., Shah, N., Patil, N., & Maratha, S. (2000). Effect of yogic practices on subjective well being. Indian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, 44, 202-226.
METHODS: Healthy volunteers who participated in yoga over a period of 4 months were assessed on the Subjective Well Being Inventory. RESULTS: A significant improvement in 9 of the 11 factors of the SWBI was observed at the end of 4 months in these participants.
Saper, R.B., Sherman, K.J., Cullum-Dugan, D., Davis, R.B., Phillips, R.S., & Culpepper, L. (2009). Yoga for chronic low back pain in a predominantly minority population: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 15, 18-27.
METHODS: Adults with moderate-to-severe chronic low back pain participated in weekly hatha yoga classes for 12 weeks and were compared to a waitlist control group. RESULTS: At 12 weeks the yoga group participants reported less analgesic use, less opiate use, and greater overall improvement.
Schmid, A.A., Van, Puymbroeck, M., & Koceja, D.M. (2010). Effect of a 12-week yoga intervention on fear of falling and balance in older adults: a pilot study. Archives of Physical medicine and Rehabilitation, 91, 576-583.
METHODS: Older adults who had a fear of falling participated in a biweekly 12-week yoga intervention. RESULTS: Fear of falling decreased, balance increased and lower-body flexibility increased.
Chandwani, K.D., Thornton, B., Perkins, G.H., Arun, B., Raghuram, N.V., Nagendra, H.R., Wei, Q., & Cohen, L. (2010). Yoga improves quality of life and benefit finding in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer.Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology, 8, 43-55.
METHODS: Women with breast cancer were randomly assigned to either yoga or a wait-list group. Yoga classes were taught biweekly during the 6 weeks of radiotherapy. RESULTS: The yoga group had better general health perception and physical functioning scores.
Culos-Reed, S., Carlson, L., Daroux, L. & Hately-Aldous, S. (2006). A pilot study of yoga for breast cancer survivors: Physical and psychological benefits. Psychooncology, 15, 891-897.
METHODS: breast cancer survivors were assigned to a yoga or a control group. RESULTS: The intervention and control group differed at post-intervention (i.e. global quality of life, emotional function, and diarrhea) and physical fitness variables.
Carson, J.W., Carson, K.M., Porter, L.S., Keefe, F.J., Shaw, H. & Miller, J.M. (2007). Yoga for women with metastatic breast cancer: Results from a pilot study. Journal of Pain Symptom Management, 33, 331-341.
METHODS: breast cancer survivors were assigned to a yoga or control group. RESULTS: Yoga practice women experienced significantly lower levels of pain and fatigue, and higher levels of invigoration, acceptance, and relaxation.
Speed-Andrews, A.E., Stevinson, C., Belanger, L.J., Mirus, J.J & Courneya, K.S. (2010). Pilot Evaluation of an Iyengar Yoga Program for Breast Cancer Survivors.Cancer Nursing. [Epub ahead of print]
METHODS: Breast cancer survivors participated in Iyengar yoga classes for 12-weeks. RESULTS: Several indicators of quality of life improved including mental health, vitality and bodily pain.
Cohen, L., Warneke, C., Fouladi, R.T., Rodriguez, M.A. & Chaoul-Reich, A. (2004) Psychological adjustment and sleep quality in a randomized trial of the effects of a Tibetan yoga intervention in patients with lymphoma. Cancer, 100, 2253-2260.
METHODS: Patients with lymphoma were assigned to a yoga group or to a wait-list control group. Patients in the yoga group participated in 7 weekly yoga sessions, and patients in the wait-list control group were free to participate in the yoga program after the 3-month follow-up assessment. RESULTS: Patients in the yoga group reported significantly lower sleep disturbance scores.
Ulger, O., & Yağli, N.V. (2010). Effects of yoga on the quality of life in cancer patients. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 16, 60-63.
METHODS: Breast cancer patients participated in 8 yoga sessions that included warming and breathing exercises, poses, relaxation in supine position, and meditation. RESULTS: Patients' quality of life scores improved after the yoga program, and their anxiety levels decreased.
Bowman, A. J., Clayton, R. H., Murray, A., Reed, J. W., Subhan, M. M., and Ford, G. A. (1997). Effects of aerobic exercise training and yoga on the baroreflex in healthy elderly persons. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, 27, 443-449.
METHODS: The effects of aerobic exercise on elderly persons were determined. Baroreflex sensitivity was quantified by high frequency (reflecting parasympathetic activity) and mid-frequency (reflecting sympathetic activity). RESULTS: Heart rate decreased following yoga but not aerobic training. VO2 max increased by 11% following yoga and by 24% following aerobic training. No significant change in alpha MF or alpha HF occurred after aerobic training.
Cade, W.T., Reeds, D.N., Mondy, K.E., Overton, E.T., Grassino, J., Tucker, S., Bopp, C., Laciny, E., Hubert, S., Lassa-Claxton, S., & Yarasheski, K.E. (2010). Yoga lifestyle intervention reduces blood pressure in HIV-infected adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors. HIV Medicine, 11, 379-388.
Manchanda, S.C. Narang, R., Reddy, K.S. Sachdeva U. Prabhakaran D. Dharmanand S. Rajani M. Bijlani R. (2000). Retardation of coronary atherosclerosis with yoga lifestyle intervention. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, 48, 687-694.
METHODS: Yoga effects were evaluated on coronary atherosclerotic disease. In this prospective, randomized, controlled trial, men with coronary artery disease were randomized to control and yoga groups and were followed for one year. RESULTS: At one year, the yoga group had fewer anginal episodes per week, improved exercise capacity and decreased body weight. Serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels also decreased as compared with the control group. Revascularization procedures (coronary angioplasty or bypass surgery) were less frequently required in the yoga group. Coronary angiography repeated at one year showed that significantly more lesions regressed (20% versus 2%) and less lesions progressed (5% versus 37%) in the yoga group.
METHODS: Two yoga practices, one combining "calming and stimulating" measures and the other, a "calming" technique, were compared. The oxygen consumption, breath rate, and breath volume of male volunteers were assessed before and after sessions. RESULTS: The magnitude of change on all 3 measures was greater after the calming and stimulating session: (1) Oxygen consumption decreased 32% compared with 10%; (2) breath rate decreased 18% versus 15%; and (3) breath volume increased 29% versus 16%.
Damodaran, A., et al (2002). Therapeutic potential of yoga practices in modifying cardiovascular risk profile in middle aged men and women. The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, 50, 633-640.
METHODS: Patients with mild to moderate hypertension attended yoga sessions daily for one hour for three months. RESULTS: Results showed decreased blood pressure blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides and improved subjective well-being and quality of life.
Harinath, K., et al. (2004). Effects of Hatha yoga and Omkar meditation on cardiorespiratory performance, psychologic profile, and melatonin secretion. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10, 261-268.
METHODS: Healthy men were randomly assigned two groups. Controls performed body flexibility exercises for 40 minutes and slow running for 20 minutes during morning hours and played games for 60 minutes during evening hours daily for 3 months. Group 2 subjects practiced selected yogic postures for 45 minutes. RESULTS: Yoga practices for 3 months resulted in improved cardiorespiratory performance and psychologic profiles. Plasma melatonin also increased after three months of yoga.
Madanmohan, Udupa, K., Bhavanani, A.B., Shatapathy, C.C. & Sahai, A. (2004). Modulation of cardiovascular response to exercise by yoga training. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 48, 461-465.
METHODS: Cardiovascular responses to exercise were determined by the Harvard step test where subjects were asked to step up and down the platform at a rate of 30/min for a total duration of 5 min or until fatigue. Heart rate (HR) and blood pressure response to exercise were measured in the supine position before exercise and for several minutes after the exercise. RESULTS: Exercise increased HR and blood systolic pressure and a decreased diastolic pressure. After two months of yoga exercise-induced changes in these parameters were reduced.
Telles, S., Joshi, M., Dash, M., Raghuraj, P., Naveen, K.V., & Nagendra, H.R. (2004). An evaluation of the ability to voluntarily reduce the heart rate after a month of yoga practice. Integrative Physiological and Behavior Science, 39, 119-225.
METHODS: This study determined whether yoga reduced heart rate and whether the reduction would be more after 30 days of yoga training. Yoga and control groups were assessed on Day 1 and on Day 30. During the intervening 30 days, the yoga group received training in yoga techniques. At each assessment the baseline heart rate was recorded for one minute. This was followed by a six-minute period during which participants were asked to attempt to voluntarily reduce their heart rate, using any strategy. RESULTS: Both the baseline heart rate and the lowest heart rate achieved voluntarily during the six-minute period were lower in the yoga group on Day 30 compared to Day 1 by a group average of 10.7 beats per minute (i.e., bpm) and 6.8 bpm, respectively.
Yogendra, J., et al. (2004). Beneficial effects of yoga lifestyle on reversibility of ischaemic heart disease: Caring heart project of International Board of Yoga. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, 52, 283-289.
METHODS: Coronary artery disease patients were given a Yoga Program. RESULTS: At the end of one year of yoga training, total cholesterol was reduced by 23% in the yoga group as compared to 4% in controls and serum LDL cholesterol was reduced by 26% in the yoga group as compared to 3% in the control group.
Garfinkel, M.S., Singhal, A., Katz, W.A., Allan, D.A., Reshetar, R. & Schumacher, H.R.J. (1998). Yoga-based intervention for carpal tunnel syndrome: A randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280, 1601-1603.
METHODS: Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome were assigned a yoga group receiving yoga postures designed for strengthening, stretching and balancing each joint in the upper body along with relaxation given twice weekly for 8 weeks. Patients in the control group were offered a wrist splint to supplement their current treatment. RESULTS: Yoga was more effective than wrist splinting in relieving symptoms and signs of carpal tunnel syndrome including grip strength, pain intensity, sleep disturbance, Phalen sign, and Tinel sign, and in median nerve motor and sensory conduction time.
METHODS: One group of school children received yoga 1 hour per week for 12 weeks and the other group did not. RESULTS: The yoga group had enhanced wellbeing and improved strength, flexibility and balance.
METHODS: Children who received 10 days of yoga training and children who did not receive yoga training were assessed on Day 1 and Day 10 for visual perceptual sensitivity through Critical Flicker Fusion Frequency (CFF) and degree of illusion. RESULTS: Following 10 days of yoga training, the yoga group showed a significant increase in CFF and a decrease in degree of illusion.
METHODS: Performance on a maze learning task was assessed in 31 adults before and after 30 days of yoga training and in a control group of subjects who did not receive yoga training. Subjects were blind-folded and used the dominant hand to trace a path in a wooden pencil maze. At each assessment, subjects were given 5 trials, without a gap between them. Performance was based on the time taken to complete the maze and the number of blind alleys taken. RESULTS: The time and error scores of Trial 1 were significantly less after 30 days of yoga.
Kamei, T., Toriumi, Y., Kimura, H., Ohno, S., Kumano, H. & Kimura, K. (2000). Decrease in serum cortisol during yoga exercise is correlated with alpha wave activation. Perception and Motor Skills, 90, 1027-1032.
METHODS: This study examined changes in brain waves and blood levels of serum cortisol during yoga exercise. RESULTS: Alpha waves increased suggesting increased attentiveness and serum cortisol decreased. These two measures were negatively correlated.
Boyle, C.A., Sayers, S.P., Jensen, B.E., Headley, S.A. & Manos, T.M. (2004). The effects of yoga training and a single bout of yoga on delayed onset muscle soreness in the lower extremity. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18, 723-729.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of yoga training on the intensity of delayed onset muscle soreness. Yoga-trained and non-yoga-trained women were administered a bench-stepping exercise. Muscle soreness was assessed using a Visual Analog Scale. Groups were also compared on body awareness, flexibility using the sit-and-reach as well as perceived and exertion. RESULTS: Muscle soreness decreased and flexibility increased using the sit-and-reach-test after yoga.
Platania-Solazzo, A., Field, T. M., Blank, J., Seligman, F., Kuhn, C., Schanberg, S., and Saab, P. (1992). Relaxation therapy reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. Acta Paedopsychiatrica, 55, 115-120.
METHODS: The immediate effects of relaxation therapy (RT) were assessed in hospitalized children and adolescents with diagnoses of adjustment disorder and depression. These effects were assessed using a within subjects pre-test/post-test design and by comparison with a control group of depressed and adjustment disorder patients who watched a 1-h relaxing videotape. The 1-h RT class consisted of yoga exercise, a brief massage and progressive muscle relaxation. RESULTS: Decreases were noted in both self-reported anxiety and in anxious behavior and fidgeting as well as increases in positive affect in the RT group. In addition, adjustment disorder patients and a third of the depressed patients showed decreases in cortisol levels following RT. Thus, both diagnostic groups appeared to benefit from the RT class.
METHODS: The effectiveness of yoga was examined as a therapeutic technique to alleviate depression. Female university students diagnosed with severe depression were assigned to yoga or control groups. RESULTS: Yoga alleviated depression.
Uebelacker, L.A., Tremont, G., Epstein-Lubow, G., Gaudiano, B.A., Gillette, T., Kalibatseva, Z., & Miller, I.W. (2010). Open trial of Vinyasa yoga for persistently depressed individuals: evidence of feasibility and acceptability. Behavior Modification, 34, 247-264.
METHODS: Young adults with mild levels of depression were randomly assigned to a yoga or a wait-list control group. Subjects in the yoga group attended two 1-hour Iyengar yoga classes each week for 5 consecutive weeks. The classes emphasized yoga postures thought to alleviate depression, particularly back bends, standing poses, and inversions. RESULTS: Subjects in the yoga group had decreased depression and trait anxiety.
Streeter, C.C., Jensen, J.E., Perlmutter, R.M., Cabral, H.J., Tian, H., Terhune, D.B., Ciraulo, D.A., & Renshaw, P.F. (2007). Yoga practitioners completed a 60-minute yoga session and comparison subjects completed a 60-minute reading session. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 13, 419-426.
METHODS: Yoga practitioners completed a 60-minute yoga session and comparison subjects completed a 60-minute reading session. RESULTS: A 27% increase in GABA levels occurred in the yoga after the yoga session.
METHODS: Changes in blood glucose and glucose tolerance by oral glucose tolerance test were investigated after 40 days of yoga in non-insulin-dependent diabetics. RESULTS: A reduction in hyperglycemia and a decrease in oral hypoglycemic drugs required for maintenance of normoglycemia occurred by the end of the study.
METHODS: Type 2 diabetic subjects were studied to assess the effect of 40 days of Yoga asanas on nerve conduction velocity. The Yoga exercises were performed for 30-40 minutes every day for 40 days. RESULTS: Right hand and left hand median nerve conduction velocity increased. Control group nerve function parameters deteriorated over the period of study.
METHODS: Individuals with Type 2 diabetes cases were trained in yoga asanas 30-40 min/day for 40 days. RESULTS: Fasting blood glucose levels as well as glycosylated hemoglobin levels decreased. Pulse rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure also decreased.
METHODS: Children with eating disorders were randomized to an 8-week trial of standard care vs. individualized yoga plus standard care. The No Yoga group was offered yoga after study completion as an incentive to maintain participation. RESULTS: The Yoga group demonstrated greater decreases in eating disorder symptoms. Food preoccupation decreased after each session. Both groups maintained current BMI levels and decreased in anxiety and depression over time.
Narayan, R., Kamat, A., Khanolkar, M., Kamat, S., Desai, S. R., & Dhume, R. A. (1990). Quantitative evaluation of muscle relaxation induced by Kundalini yoga with the help of EMG integrator. Indian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, 34, 279-281.
METHODS: male high school students were assigned to a yoga group and control group. RESULTS: A significant improvement in ideal body weight, body density, cardiovascular endurance and anaerobic power occurred following yoga.
Raju, P. S., Madhavi, S., Prasad, K. V., Reddy, M. V., Reddy, M. E., Sahay, B. K., & Murthy, K. J. (1994). Comparison of effects of yoga & physical exercise in athletes. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 100, 81-86.
METHODS: yoga breathing practice on exercise tests was studied in athletes in two phases; sub-maximal and maximal exercise tests. RESULTS: At the end of phase I (one year) both groups (control and experimental) achieved significantly higher work rate and reduction in oxygen consumption per unit work. There was a significant reduction in blood lactate in the experimental group, at rest. At the end of phase II (two years), the oxygen consumption per unit work was found to be significantly reduced and the work rate significantly increased in the yoga group. Blood lactate also decreased at rest in the yoga group only.
METHODS: Firefighters participated in yoga classes over a period of 6 weeks. The classes included pranayama (breathing), asanas (postures), and shavasana (relaxation). RESULTS: Improvements were noted in functional fitness, trunk flexibility and perceived stress. Participants also reported favorable perceptions of yoga: feeling more focused and less musculoskeletal pain.
Oken, B., Zaidel, D., Kishiyama, S., Flegal, K., Dehen, C., Haas, M., Kraemer, D., Lawrence, J. & Leyva, J. (2006). Randomized, controlled, six-month trial of yoga in healthy seniors: effects on cognition and quality of life. Alternative Therapy Health Medicine, 12, 40-47.
METHODS: Six months of yoga was assessed in seniors. RESULTS: The yoga intervention produced improvements in physical measures (e.g., timed 1-legged standing, forward flexibility) as well as a number of quality-of-life measures related to sense of well-being and energy and fatigue compared to controls.
METHODS: Ss wit headaches were randomly assigned to 4 months of yoga therapy and control groups. RESULTS: Reduction occurred in headache activity, medication intake, symptoms, stress perception and coping behavior for the yoga group.
METHODS: Heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol, prolactin and growth hormone were measured in a yoga group and a control group of young female volunteers. RESULTS: The yoga group had decreased heart rate during yoga, better scores on life satisfaction, excitability, aggressiveness, openness, emotionality and somatic complaints and coping with stress and mood high spirits and extravertedness by the end of the study.
Cade, W.T., Reeds, D.N., Mondy, K.E., Overton, E.T., Grassino, J., Tucker, S., Bopp, C., Laciny E., Hubert, S., Lassa-Claxton, S., & Yarasheski, K.E. (2010). Yoga lifestyle intervention reduces blood pressure in HIV-infected adults with risk factors. HIV Medicine, [Epub ahead of print]
METHODS: HIV adults with mild-moderate cardiovascular disease risk were assigned to 20 weeks of yoga or standard care. RESULTS: Resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures decreased more in the yoga group.
METHODS: Hypertensive patients were assigned at random either to six weeks of yoga methods with biofeedback or to general relaxation. RESULTS: Both groups showed a reduction in blood-pressure, although the decrease was significantly greater for the yoga group. The control group was then trained in yoga relaxation and their blood-pressure fell to that of the other group (now used as controls).
METHODS: Hypertensive patients were assessed on systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate and body weight. The subjects were randomly assigned to three groups: a yoga group, a group who received medical treatment by the physician and a control group. Yoga was offered in the morning and in the evening for 1 hr/session for 11-weeks. RESULTS: Pre-post tests revealed that yoga was effective.
METHODS: Novices and experts were exposed to yoga, movement control, and passive-video control during three separate visits. RESULTS: The yoga session boosted participants' positive affect compared with the control conditions, and their serum interleukin levels were higher as was their C-reactive protein levels.
Pullen, P.R., Thompson, W.R., Benardot, D., Brandon, L.J., Mehta, P.K., Rifai, L., Vadnais, D.S., Parrott, J.M., & Khan BV. (2010). The Benefits of Yoga for African American Heart Failure Patients. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42, 651-657.
METHODS: Patients with systolic or diastolic heart failure were randomized to a yoga or a control group. All patients were asked to follow a home walk program. RESULTS: Yoga improved cardiovascular endurance, quality of life, inflammatory markers (interlukin-6 and C-reactive protein) and flexibility.
METHODS: A simple daily yoga treatment was evaluated in a chronic insomnia population consisting of sleep-onset and/or sleep-maintenance insomnia and primary or secondary insomnia. Participants maintained sleep-wake diaries during a pretreatment 2-week baseline and a subsequent 8-week intervention, in which they practiced the treatment on their own following a single in-person training session with subsequent brief in-person and telephone follow-ups. RESULTS: Improvements were noted in sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, sleep onset latency, wake time after sleep onset, number of awakenings, and sleep quality measures based on sleep-wake diary entries.
METHODS: Residents in a home for the aged were randomly allocated to three groups i.e., Yoga (physical postures, relaxation techniques, voluntarily regulated breathing and lectures on yoga philosophy), Ayurveda (an herbal preparation), and Wait-list control (no intervention). RESULTS: After six months the Yoga group showed a significant decrease in the time taken to fall asleep, an increase in the total number of hours slept and in the feeling of being rested in the morning based on a rating scale.
Hartfiel, N., Havenhand, J., Khalsa, S.B., Clarke, G., & Krayer, A. (2010). The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: To assess Yoga effects on stress in the workplace, employees were randomized to either yoga or a wait-list control group. The yoga group was offered six weeks of a 60-minute Yoga class per week. RESULTS: The yoga group reported enhanced feelings of clear-mindedness, composure, elation, energy, and confidence. In addition, the yoga group reported increased life purpose, satisfaction, and feelings of greater self-confidence during stressful situations.
Sherman, K.J., Cherkin, D.C., Erro, J., Miglioretti, D.L. & Deyo, R.A. (2005). Comparing yoga, exercise, and a self-care book for chronic low back pain: A randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 143, 118.
METHODS: Adults with chronic low back pain were given 12-week sessions of yoga or conventional therapeutic exercise classes or a self-care book. RESULTS: Back-related function in the yoga group was superior to the book and exercise groups at 12 and 26 weeks.
Williams, K.A., Petronis, J., Smith, D., Goodrich, D., Wu, J., Ravi, N., Doyle, E.J. Jr., Gregory-Juckett, R., Munoz-Kolar, M., Gross, R. & Steinberg, L. (2005). Effect of Iyengar yoga therapy for chronic low back pain. Pain, 115, 107-117.
METHODS: Subjects with chronic low back pain were randomly assigned to an Iyengar yoga or an educational control group. Both programs were 16 weeks long. RESULTS: Decreased pain intensity (64%), functional disability (77%) and pain medication usage (88%) was noted in the yoga group at the post and 3-month follow-up assessments.
METHODS: Spirometric parameters were assessed in randomly selected healthy male, athletes, yogis and sedentary workers. RESULTS: The highest mean FEV1 and PEFR were observed in the yogis, and both the yogis and athletes had significantly better FEV1 as compared to sedentary workers.
Uma, K., Nagendra, H. R., Nagarathna, R., Vaidehi, S., & Seethalakshmi, R. (1989). The integrated approach of yoga: A therapeutic tool for mentally retarded children: a one-year controlled study. Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 33, 415-421.
METHODS: Children with mild, moderate and severe mental retardation were given yoga for one academic year (5 hours per week) including breathing exercises and meditation. RESULTS: Improvement on IQ and social adaptation scores occurred for the yoga group as compared to the control group.
METHODS: Patients with migraine headaches were randomly assigned to yoga or self-care groups for 3 months. Primary outcomes were headache frequency (headache diary), severity of headaches, and pain. Secondary outcomes were anxiety and depression medication score. RESULTS: Headache intensity, frequency, pain rating, anxiety and depression scores and symptomatic medication use were significantly lower in the yoga group.
METHODS: The participants were randomly assigned to an 8-week yoga group or a wait-list control. RESULTS: The yoga group experienced a greater increase in mindfulness including; Attention to the present moment and Accepting and open attitudes toward experience.
METHODS: Women with binge eating disorder and a BMI>25, participated in a 12-week yoga program. RESULTS: The yoga group self-reported reductions in binge eating and increases in physical activity, and BMI, hips and waist measurements decreased.
Telles, S., Naveenm V.K., Balkrishna, A., Kumar, S. (2010). Short term health impact of a yoga and diet change program on obesity. Medical Science monitor, international medical journal of experimental and clinical research, 16, 35-40.
METHODS: Obese individuals practiced yoga for 5 hours every day and had a low fat, high fiber, vegetarian diet. RESULTS: Following the 6-day program, participants showed a decrease in BMI, waist and hip circumference, fat-free mass, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting serum leptin levels and an increase in postural stability and hand grip strength.
METHODS: Resting in a supine position was compared with yoga plus resting. RESULTS: Oxygen consumption decreased by 19 percent below baseline values after CM. The combination of yoga postures with supine rest reduced the oxygen consumption more than resting supine alone did.
Tüzün, S., Aktas, I., Akarirmak, U., Sipahi, S., Tüzün, F.(2010). Yoga might be an alternative training for the quality of life and balance in postmenopausal osteoporosis. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 46, 69-72.
METHODS: Postmenopausal osteoporotic women were assigned to a yoga exercise or a classic osteoporosis exercise program. RESULTS: Yoga had a positive effect on pain, physical functions and social functions.
METHODS: Pancreatitis patients were randomized to two groups. Patients in the yoga group received biweekly yoga sessions for 12 weeks. RESULTS: Improvements were seen in quality of life, symptoms of stress, mood changes, alcohol dependence and appetite after the 12 week period apart from the general feeling of well-being and desire to continue with the yoga group program.
Baldwin, M. C (1999). Psychological and physiological influences of Hatha Yoga training on healthy, exercising adults. (yoga, stress, wellness). Dissertation Abstracts International Section A. Humanities and Social Sciences, 60, 1031.
METHODS: The Yoga Group added a weekly yoga class to their regular exercise program while the Control Group received a yoga class at a later time. At the end of eight weeks, exercise logs were collected and post tests were conducted. RESULTS: The yoga group had (1) more positive mood change (2) more immediate positive affect from yoga than from cardiovascular or resistance training activities, (3) more compliance with yoga than with cardiovascular or resistance training activities, (4) comparable perceived exertion ratings for 'moderate' Hatha Yoga and routine aerobic exercise, (5) an 8% gain in spinal and hamstring flexibility, and (6) decreased vulnerability to stress.
METHODS: Pregnant women in their second or third trimesters attended weekly mindfulness meditation and prenatal Hatha yoga classes for 7 weeks. RESULTS: Women who began the intervention in the second trimester had significantly fewer awakenings (based on wrist activity monitors), less wake time during the night, and less perceived sleep disturbance post intervention than at baseline.
METHODS: Pregnant women were divided into experimental and control groups. The yoga program involved six, 1-hour sessions at prescribed weeks of gestation. RESULTS: The yoga group had higher levels of maternal comfort during labor and 2h post-labor, and experienced less labor pain than the control group. The yoga group also had a shorter duration of the first stage of labor as well as the total time of labor.
METHODS: Yoga practices, including physical postures, breathing and meditation were practiced by the yoga group one hour daily, from the date of entry into the study until delivery. The control group walked 30 minutes twice a day during the study period. RESULTS: The number of babies with birth weight > or = 2500 grams was significantly higher in the yoga group. Preterm labor was significantly shorter in the yoga group. Complications such as isolated intrauterine growth retardation and pregnancy-induced hypertension were also less frequent in the yoga group.
Telles, S., Singh, N., Joshi, M., Balkrishna, A. (2010). Post traumatic stress symptoms and heart rate variability in Bihar flood survivors following yoga: a randomized controlled study. BMC Psychiatry, 2, 10-18.
METHODS: Flood survivors were randomly assigned a yoga and a wait-list control group. The yoga group practiced yoga for an hour daily. Both groups' heart rate variability, breathing rate, and four symptoms of emotional distress using visual analog scales, were assessed on the first and eighth day of the program. RESULTS: The yoga group experienced decreased sadness and the control group had increased anxiety.
METHODS: Volunteers undergoing a ten week yoga course were assessed by ventilatory function tests. RESULTS: The observations recorded at the end of ten weeks of the course showed improved ventilatory functions in the form of lowered respiratory rate, increased forced vital capacity, FEV1, maximum breathing capacity and breath holding time.
Rai, L., Ram, K., Kant, U., Madan, S. K., & Sharma, S. K. (1994). Energy expenditure and ventilatory responses during Siddhasana--a yogic seated posture. Indian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, 38, 29-33.
METHODS: Cardio-ventilatory responses were studied in horizontal supine, chair-sitting and yoga seated postures. RESULTS: Sitting in the yoga posture was characterized by greater ventilation, larger tidal volume, higher oxygen consumption, greater CO2 elimination, higher heart rate frequency, greater oxygen pulse compared with other two postures.
METHODS: College students were taught yoga poses, breathing techniques, and relaxation in two 50-minute class meetings per week for 15 weeks. RESULTS: The study showed a significant improvement in vital capacity across all categories over time.
METHODS : This study assessed whether chemoreflex sensitivity could be affected by the practice of yoga, and whether it was specifically because of a slow breathing rate obtained during yoga or as a general consequence of yoga. RESULTS: Slow breathing rate per se substantially reduced chemoreflex sensitivity, but long-term yoga practice was responsible for a generalized reduction in chemoreflex.
METHODS: Diabetic patients trained in yoga asanas 30-40 min/day for 40 days. RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in fasting blood glucose levels and postprandial blood glucose levels and improved pulmonary function.
METHODS: Pulmonary tuberculosis patients were allocated to yoga or breathing awareness groups. RESULTS: At the end of 2 months, the yoga group showed a significant reduction in symptom scores, and an increase in weight, and improved pulmonary function. Improved level of infection, radiographic picture, and FVC, and the weight gain and reduced symptoms in the yoga group suggest a complementary role for yoga in the management of pulmonary tuberculosis.
REVIEW: Although yoga is historically a spiritual discipline, it has also been used clinically as a therapeutic intervention. A bibliometric analysis on the biomedical journal literature involving research on the clinical application of yoga has revealed an increase in publication frequency over the past 3 decades with a substantial and growing use of randomized controlled trials. Types of medical conditions have included psychopathological (e.g. depression, anxiety), cardiovascular (e.g. hypertension, heart disease), respiratory (e.g. asthma), diabetes and a variety of others. A majority of this research has been conducted by Indian investigators and published in Indian journals, particularly yoga specialty journals, although recent trends indicate increasing contributions from investigators in the U.S. and England. Yoga therapy is a relatively novel and emerging clinical discipline within the broad category of mind-body medicine, whose growth is consistent with the burgeoning popularity of yoga in the West and the increasing worldwide use of alternative medicine.
METHODS: Using Pub Med and the key word "yoga," a comprehensive search of the research literature was conducted. The most common comparison intervention involved exercise. RESULTS: In the studies reviewed, yoga was equal or superior to exercise on the outcome measures except for physical fitness.
Donohue, B., Miller, A., Beisecker, M., Houser, D., Valdez, R., Tiller, S. & Taymar, T. (2006). Effects of a brief yoga exercises and motivational preparatory interventions in distance runners: Results of a controlled trial. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 40, 60-63.
METHODS: Elderly individuals were randomly assigned to three groups i.e., Yoga, Ayurveda (an herbal preparation), and Wait-list control. RESULTS: After six months, of respective interventions the Yoga group showed a significant decrease in the time taken to fall asleep an increase in the total number of hours slept and in the feeling of being rested in the morning.
METHODS: Children were assessed on a steadiness test, at the beginning and again at the end of a 10-day period during which one group received training in yoga, while the other group did not. The yoga group received training postures, breathing maintenance of silence, as well as visual focusing exercises and games to improve their attention span and memory. RESULTS: After 10 days, the 'Yoga' group showed a significant improvement.
Michalsen, A., Grossman, P., Acil, A., Langhorst, J., Ludtke, R., Esch, T., Stefano, G.B. & Dobos GJ. (2005). Rapid stress reduction and anxiolysis among distressed women as a consequence of a three-month intensive yoga program. Medical Science Monitor, 11, 555-561.
METHODS: Female subjects who perceived themselves as emotionally distressed attended two-weekly 90-min Iyengar yoga classes. RESULTS: Compared to the wait-list women, those who participated in the yoga-training demonstrated significant improvements in perceived stress, State and Trait Anxiety, well-being, vigor, fatigue and depression. Physical well-being also increased, and those subjects suffering from headache or back pain reported marked pain relief. Salivary cortisol decreased significantly after participation in a yoga class.
Kristal, A., Littman, A., Benitez, D. & White, E. (2005). Yoga practice is associated with attenuated weight gain in healthy, middle-aged men and women. Alternative Therapy Health Medicine, 11, 28-33.
METHODS: Weight gain was monitored in normal weight and overweight individuals who practiced yoga. RESULTS: Yoga practice for four or more years was associated with a 3-lb lower weight gain among normal weight participants and an 19-lb lower weight gain among overweight participants.