Yoga Research Abstracts (2015-2017)
Cheung C, Park J, Wyman JF. Effects of yoga on symptoms, physical function, and psychosocial outcomes in adults with osteoarthritis: a focused review. Am J Phys Rehabil. 2016;95:139-51.
METHODS: The purpose of this literature review was to evaluate the effects of yoga on osteoarthritis symptoms.
RESULTS: The study found that yoga resulted in decreased pain, swelling and stiffness.
Birdee GS, Sohl SJ, Wallston K. Development and psychometric properties of the yoga self-efficacy scale (YSES). BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016;16:3.
METHOD: The purpose of this study was to psychometrically evaluate the Yoga Self-Efficacy scale.
RESULTS: The yoga teachers scored significantly higher than the non-teachers. And, the non-significant correlations with gender and income suggested that the scale has good validity and might be used in future studies.
Nick N, Petramfar P, Ghodsbin F, Keshavarzi S, Jahanbin I. The effect of yoga on balance and fear of falling in older adults. PM R. 2016;8:145-51.
METHODS: In this study individuals were randomly assigned to yoga practice sessions or a control group that received no intervention to test the effects of yoga on balance and fear of falling.
RESULTS: The yoga group performed better on the fall and on the balance scale.
Youkana S, Dean CM, Wolff M, Sherrington C, Tiedemann A. Age Ageing. 2016;45:21-9.
METHODS: The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis, six trials involving 307 participants, was to measure the effects of yoga on balance.
RESULTS: The study showed positive effects for balance and for physical mobility.
Barriers to practicing yoga
Brems C, Justice L, Sulenes K, Girasa L, Ray J, Davis M, Freitas J, Shean M, Colgan D. Improving access to yoga: barriers to and motivators for practice among health professions students. Adv Mind Body Med. 2015;29:6-13.
METHOD: The purpose of this study was to study the barriers and motivators to practicing yoga in health professions students.
RESULTS: The barriers given included time, cost, lack of pragmatic information about access to yoga classes and stereotypes related to flexibility, athleticism and typical yoga practitioners. The motivators given included athleticism, health promotion, emotional well-being, seeking pain relief and sense of community.
Jiang Q, Wu Z, Zhou L, Dunlop J, Chen P. Effects of yoga intervention during pregnancy: a review for current status. Am J Perinatol. 2015;32:503-14.
METHODS: The purpose of this systematic review of 10 randomized controlled trials was to see the beneficial effects of yoga on pregnant women.
RESULTS: The study suggested that those in the yoga groups had a lower incidence of prenatal disorders, lower levels of pain and stress, higher relationship scores and greater gestational age offspring.
Rakhshani A, Nagarathna R, Mhaskar A, Thomas A, Gunasheela S. Effects of yoga on utero-fetal-placental circulation in high-risk pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Adv Prev Med. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to measure the effects of yoga on fetal growth measures and uterine artery resistance a yoga group was compared to a group who received standard care plus walking.
RESULTS: The results suggested significantly better growth measures for the fetuses of the yoga group including parietal diameter, femur length, head circumference and fetal weight, and uterine artery resistance was significantly lower in the yoga group, thus suggesting better fetal circulation.
Peppone LJ, Janeisins MC, Kamen C, Mohile SG, Sprod LK, Gewandter JS, Kirshner JJ, Gaur R, Ruzich J, Esparaz BT, Mustian KM. The effect of YOCAS yoga for musculoskeletal symptoms among breast cancer survivors on hormonal therapy. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015;150:597-604.
METHODS: The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to compare the effects of yoga and usual care on breast cancer survivors.
RESULTS: The study found that in the yoga group musculoskeletal pain was reduced.
Yagli NV, Ulger O. The effects of yoga on the quality of life and depression in elderly breast cancer patients. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2015;21:7-10.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of yoga versus exercise study on breast cancer patients.
RESULTS: In the study the yoga group showed greater physical activity and less sleep disturbance.
Long Parma D, Hughes DC, Ghosh S, Li R, Trevino-Whitaker RA, Ogden Sm, Ramirez AG. Effects of six months of yoga on inflammatory serum markers prognostic of recurrence risk in breast cancer survivors. Springerplus. 2015;4:143.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of yoga versus exercise study on breast cancer survivors.
RESULTS: The study showed no group differences on decreased body fat.
Ratcliff CG, Milbury K, Chandwani KD, Chaoul A, Perkins G, Nagarantha R, Haddad R, Nagendra HR, Raghuram NV, Spelman A, Arun B, Wei Q, Cohen L. Examining Mediators and moderators of yoga for women with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy. Integr Cancer Ther. 2016; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to compare yoga versus a stretching versus a waitlist control group on women with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy.
RESULTS: At the end of the six treatments the yoga group showed the greatest reduction in depressive symptoms and sleep problems.
Vardar Yagli N, Sener G, Arikan H, Saglam M, Inal Ince D, Savci S, Calik Kutukcu E, Altundag K, Kaya EB, Kutluk T, Ozsik Y. Do yoga and aerobic exercise training have impact on functional capacity, fatigue, peripheral muscle strength, and quality of life in breast cancer survivors? Integr Cancer Ther. 2015; 14:125-32.
METHODS: In this study, the effects of yoga compared to an aerobics exercise program (30 minutes a week for six weeks) in breast cancer survivors.
RESULTS: The study showed that both groups showed increased muscle strength and performance on the six minute walk test.
Hooke MC, Gilchrist L, Foster L, Langevin M, Lee J. Yoga For Children and adolescents after completing cancer treatment. J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2016;33:64-73.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of yoga on children and adolescents with pediatric cancer.
RESULTS: After the six week program the children had a significant decrease in anxiety scores.
Cardiovascular conditions ; Prehypertension
Thiyagarajan R, Pal P, Pal GK, Subramanian SK, Trakroo M, Bobby Z, Das AK. Additional benefit of yoga to a standard lifestyle modification on blood pressure in prehypertensive subjects: a randomized controlled study. Hypertens Res. 2015;38:48-55.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of yoga on prehypertensive subjects in a controlled experiment.
RESULTS: The study found that the group partaking in yoga showed significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Chu P, Gotink RA, Yeh GY, Goldie SJ, Hunink MM. The effectiveness of yoga in modifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2016; 23:291-307.
METHODS: The purpose of this systematic review was to find the effects of yoga on people with risks for cardiovascular disease.
RESULTS: The study found that yoga improved systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and waist circumference; as well as improving HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure and heart rate.
Luu K, Hall PA. Hatha yoga and executive function: a systematic review. J Altern Complement Med. 2016;22:125-33.
METHODS: Systematic review of 11 published studies on yoga and executive function.
RESULTS: In at least half of these studies significant improvement was noted on executive function tasks following Hatha yoga.
Gothe NP, McAuley E. Yoga and cognition: a meta-analysis of chronic and acute effects. Psychosom Med. 2015;77:784-97.
METHODS: In a meta-analysis on the effects of yoga, 15 randomized controlled trial studies were examined for the effects of yoga on cognition.
RESULTS: The strongest effect was noted for attention and processing speed followed by executive function and memory.
Cramer H. Pokhrel B, Fester C, Meier B, Gass F, Lauche R, Eggleston B, Walz M, Michalsen A, Kunz R, Dobos G, Langhorst J. A randomized controlled bicenter trial of yoga for patients with colorectal cancer. Psychoonccology. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to measure the effects of yoga on patients with colorectal cancer.
RESULTS: In the study, fewer sleep disturbances were noted following the end of the yoga intervention (90 minutes once weekly for 10 weeks) suggesting long-term effects.
Mc Call MC, Ward A, Heneghan C. Yoga in adult cancer: a pilot survey of attitudes and beliefs among oncologists. Curr Oncol. 2015;22:13-9.
METHODS: A survey was conducted about oncologists recommending yoga to their cancer patients.
RESULTS: Only a small number of the respondents recommended yoga, claiming that more research was needed to document positive effects of yoga.
de Maniincor M, Bensoussan A, Smith C, Fahey P, Bourchier S. Establishing key components of yoga interventions for reducing depression and anxiety, and improving well-being: a Delphi method study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015;15:85.
METHOD: The purpose of this study was to find the average dosage level of yoga.
RESULTS: On average, the study sessions were 30-40 minutes, 5 times per week for a period of 6 weeks.
Comparison treatment groups
Uebelacker LA, Battle CL, Sutton KA, Magee SR, Miller IW. A pilot randomized controlled trial comparing prenatal yoga to perinatal health education for antenatal depression. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: This study compared the results of prenatal yoga and perinatal health education.
RESULTS: Both groups experienced decreases in depression.
Buttner MM, Brock RL, O’Hara MW, Stuart S. Efficacy of yoga for depressed postpartum women: a randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2015;21:94-100.
METHODS: Study in which postpartum depressed women were randomly assigned to a yoga or waitlist control group, 16 classes over eight weeks.
RESULTS: The study led to a greater decrease in postpartum depression and anxiety and an increase in quality of life.
Rajbhoj PH, Shete SU, Verma A, Bhogal RS. Effect of yoga module on pro-inflammatory cytokines in industrial workers of Ionvla: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015;9:1-5.
METHODS: The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to assess the effects of yoga on pro – inflammatory and anti—inflammatory cytokines.
RESULTS: The trial found that the yoga group had a significantly lower level of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1 and a higher level of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, suggesting better immune function for the yoga group.
Dentists and nurses
Ramamoorthy A, Jeevakarunyam SJ, janardhanan S, Jeddy N, Vasan SA, Raja A, Ikram P. Survey on utility of yoga as an alternative therapy for occupational hazards among dental practioners. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2015;6:149-52.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to survey dentist, seeing if they found yoga as a good therapy for reducing their stress.
RESULTS: In this survey study musculoskeletal pain with stress was reported by 47% of the dentists but 53% of the dentists did not consider yoga as an alternative therapy and gave a lack of time as a reason.
Fang R, Li X. A regular yoga intervention for staff nurse sleep quality and work stress: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Nurs. 2015;24:3374-9.
METHODS: In the study on nurses, 120 nurses were randomly assigned to two groups, a yoga group and a non-yoga group. The yoga group practiced for twenty minutes after work two times per week.
RESULTS: After six months the nurses in the yoga group had better sleep quality and less work stress.
de Manincor M, Bensoussan A, Smith C, Fahey P, Bourchier S. Establishing key components of yoga interventions for reducing depression and anxiety, and improving well-being: a Delphi method study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: In the consensus survey, yoga teachers were asked for their recommendations for yoga practice.
RESULTS: The yoga teachers agreed that yoga classes should be on average 30 to 40 minutes, five times per week over six weeks. Postures and breath regulation were considered essential for reducing depression.
Gard T, Taquet M, Dixit R, Holzel BK, Lazar SW. Greater widespread functional connectivity of the caudate in older adults who practice kripalu yoga and vipassana meditation than in controls. Front Hum Neurosci. 2015;9:137.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to measure the connectivity in the brain in correlation with Kripalu yoga practice.
RESULTS: The study found that changes in well-being in result of practicing yoga may relate to greater connectivity between the caudate and other regions of the brain.
Grade school students
Ferreira-Vorkapic C, Feitoza JM, Marchioro M, Simoes J, Kozasa E, Telles S. Are there benefits from teaching yoga at schools? A systematic review of randomized control trials of yoga-based interventions. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHOD: In a grade school study, a literature search revealed nine RCTs on yoga from the years 1982 to 2014 .
RESULTS: The results suggested that the grade school children experienced reduced tension and anxiety and improved self-esteem and mood following yoga
Butzer B, Day D, Potts A, Ryan C, Coulombe S, Davies B, Weidknecht K, Ebert M, Flynn L, Khalsa SB. Effects of a classroom-based yoga intervention on cortisol and behavior in second-and third-grade students: a pilot study. J Evid Based Complement Altern Med. 2015;20:41-9.
METHOD: The purpose of this study was to see the effects of yoga on grade school children in a 10 week yoga program.
RESULTS: The study showed a reduction of cortisol levels in the grade school children.
Chia-Liang Dai, Laura A Nabors, Rebecca A Vidourek, Keith A Kin, Ching-Chen Chen. Evaluation of an afterschool yoga program for children. Int J Yoga. 2015;8:160-1.
METHOD: The purpose of this study was to see the effects of yoga afterschool in grade school children, after 2 sessions for four weeks.
RESULTS: Majority of the children participating reported positive mood changes, greater relaxation, and greater strength. The children were also able to recall five poses from the yoga sessions.
Richter S, Tietjens M, Ziereis S, Querfurth S, Jansen P. Yoga training in junior primary school-aged children has an impact on physical self-perceptions and problem-related behavior. Front Psychol. 2016;7:203.
METHOD: The purpose of this study was to compare yoga to physical skill training.
RESULTS: The study found that there were no differences in movement and cognitive skills between yoga and physical training.
Brems C. A yoga stress reduction intervention for university faculty, staff, and graduate students. Int J Yoga Therap. 2015;25:61-77.
METHOD: The purpose of the study was to see the effects of a 10 week yoga program (90 min sessions) on university graduate students, faculty & staff.
RESULTS: The study found that over the course of the program, stress was reduced in the participants and over 60% of the participants reenrolled. \
Boroujeni MZ, Marandi SM, Esfarjani F, Sattar M, Shaygannejad V, Javanmard SH. Yoga intervention on blood NO in female migraineurs. Adv Biomed Res. 2015;4:259.
METHODS: In a randomized controlled study on migraine headaches a medication group was compared to a medication plus yoga group who received 12 weeks of yoga training.
RESULTS: The yoga group experienced a significant reduction in headache frequency and severity, although no changes were noted in blood nitric oxide levels.
High school students
Daly LA, Haden SC, Hagins M, Papouchis N, Ramirez PM. Yoga and emotion regulation in high school students: a randomized controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHOD: Yoga was compared to physical education in a 16 week study on high school students, using randomized controlled trial design.
RESULTS: The 16 week yoga program, in comparison to physical education led to greater emotional regulation in the yoga group.
Butzer B, van Over M, Noggle Taylor JJ, Khalsa SB. Yoga may mitigate decreases in high school grades. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHOD: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of yoga versus physical education on high school students.
RESULTS: The study found that the grade point average of the students showed a lesser decline on the yoga group compared to the physical education group.
McIlvain SJ, Miller B, Lawhead BA, Barbosa-Leiker C, Anderson A. Piloting yoga and assessing outcomes in a residential behavioural health unit. J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2015;22:199-207.
METHOD: The purpose of this study was to see the effects of an 8 week yoga program (2x per week) on adolescents with behavioral problems.
RESULTS: The study found that the yoga program led to greater sociability and a decrease in behavior problems in the adolescents.
Agarwal RP, Kumar A, Lewis JE. A pilot feasibility and acceptability study of yoga/meditation on the quality of life and markers of stress in persons living with HIV who also use crack cocaine. J Altern Complement Med. 2015;21:152-8.
METHODS: In this study, individuals with HIV who also used crack cocaine attended 60 minute twice per week yoga sessions for two months and were compared to a no-contact control group.
RESULTS: The yoga group showed improved quality of life and better scores on the perceived stress scale and the impact of events scale, although their cortisol levels did not change.
Mawar N, Katendra T, Bagul R, Bembalkar S, Vedamurthachar A, Tripathy S, Srinivas K, Mandar K, Kumar N, Gupte N, Paranjape RS. Sudarshan Kriya yoga improves quality of life in healthy people living with HIV (PLHIV): results from an open label randomized clinical trial. Indian J Med Res. 2015;141:90-9.
METHODS: In this study, the effects of yoga versus the effects of standard care was measured in individuals with HIV.
RESULTS: Significant improvements were noted on all 3 of the health-related domains- the physical, psychological and independence domains.
Naoroibam R, Metri KG, Bhargav H, Nagaratna R, Nagendra HR. Effect of integrated yoga (IY) on psychological states and CD4 counts of HIV-1 infected patients: a randomized controlled pilot study. Int J Yoga. 2016;9:57-61.
METHODS: In the study that assessed CD-4 cell counts, integrated yoga sessions were given 60 minutes a day, six days a week for one month and this group was compared to a usual care control group.
RESULTS: The yoga group experienced a significant decrease in depression scores and a significant increase in CD4 cell counts. In contrast, the control group experienced increased depression scores and decreased CD4 cell counts.
Hypertension and blood pressure
Wolff M, Rogers K, Erdal B, Chalmers JP, Sundquist K, Midlov P. Impact of a short home-based yoga programme on blood pressure in patients with hypertension: a randomized controlled trial in primary care. J Hum Hypertens. 2016; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of Kundalini yoga to usual self-care.
RESULTS: The study found that after three months of 15 minutes, twice daily, there were no group differences on blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
Cramer H. The efficacy and safety of yoga in managing hypertension. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2016;124:65-70.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to see the effects of yoga in regards to hypertension.
RESULTS: The study found that the average of 10 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and 8mmHg in diastolic blood pressure has been attributed to increased parasympathetic activity and decreased sympathetic activity by increased GABA activity, counteracting the excessive activity of the sympathetic nervous system that has been associated with hypertension.
Intensity and safety
Peters NA, Schlaff RA. Examining the energy cost and intensity level of prenatal yoga. Int J Yoga. 2016;9:77-80.
METHODS: In a study on the intensity level of prenatal yoga, an armband monitor was worn by healthy pregnant women who experienced different intensity yoga poses.
RESULTS: Based on energy expenditure on average 93% of the classes were categorized as sedentary and 7% were considered moderate intensity physical activity.
Polis RL, Gussman D, Kuo YH. Yoga in pregnancy: an examination and fetal responses to 26 yoga postures. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126:1237-41.
METHODS: In a study examining the safety of prenatal yoga, maternal and fetal heart rate and temperature were taken during 26 different yoga poses.
RESULTS: A comparison of the post session with the pre session data showed no change in pregnant women’s heart rate, temperature or fetal heart rate and there were no falls or injuries during the total 650 poses. None of the participants reported fetal movement changes, contractions or vaginal bleeding, thus ensuring the safety of prenatal yoga even as late as 38 weeks gestation.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Shahabi L, Naliboff BD, Shapiro D. Self-regulation evaluation of therapeutic yoga and walking for patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot study. Psychol Health Med. 2016;21:176-88.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of lyengar yoga and walking between 16-biweekly sessions.
RESULTS: The study found that irritable bowel syndrome severity symptoms decreased for the yoga group, while overall G.I. symptoms decreased for the walking group.
Moonaz SH, Bingham CO 3rd, Wissow L, Bartlett SJ. Yoga in sedentary adults with arthritis: effects of a randomized controlled pragmatic trial. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: The purpose of this controlled experiment was to compare the effects of yoga on rheumatoid arthritis over an eight week period, two 60 minute sessions per week.
RESULTS: The study found that the yoga group showed significantly better performance on the six minute walk, on flexibility and on quality of life variables at eight weeks and as long as nine months later.
Guner S, Inanici F. Yoga therapy and ambulatory multiple sclerosis assessment of gait analysis parameters, fatigue and balance. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2015;19:72-81.
METHODS: The purpose of this experiment was to test the effects of yoga on individuals with multiple sclerosis.
RESULTS: After 12 weeks of biweekly yoga, significant improvement was noted in fatigue, balance, step length and walking speed.
Ensari l, sandroff BM, Motl RW. Effects of single bouts of walking exercise and yoga on acute mood symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis. Int J MS Care . 2016;18:1-8.
METHODS: The purpose of this experiment was to compare the effects of walking and yoga on the mood of people with multiple sclerosis.
RESULTS: The study found that when yoga was compared to walking, both conditions yielded similar reductions in total mood disturbance scores.
Sandroff BM, Hillman CH, Benedict RH, Motl RW. Acute effects of walking , cycling, and yoga exercise on cognition in cognitive processing speed. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2015;37:209-19.
METHODS: The purpose of this experiment was to compare the effects of walking and yoga on cognition in cognitive processing speed in people with multiple sclerosis.
RESULTS: The study found that when treadmill walking was compared to yoga, yoga had greater effects on reaction time during a cognitive task
Karbandi S, Gorji MA, Mazloum SR, Norian Aghaei N. Effectiveness of group versus individual yoga exercises on fatigue of patients with multiple sclerosis. N Am J Med Sci. 2015; 7:266-70.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of individual versus group yoga on the fatigue of people with multiple sclerosis.
RESULTS: When the effectiveness of individual versus group sessions were compared there was no significant difference between the conditions on fatigue scores
Dunleavy K, Kava K, Goldberg A, Malek MH, Talley SA Tutag-Lehr V, Hildreth J. Comparative effectiveness of pilates and yoga group exercise interventions for chronic mechanical neck pain: quasi-randomized parallel controlled study. Physiotherapy. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: In a chronic neck pain study Pilates and yoga exercise groups were compared following 12 sessions.
RESULTS: Pilates and yoga were equally effective for decreasing pain and disability, although surprisingly there were no changes on the more objective range of motion and postural measurements.
Motorwala ZS, Kolke S, Panchal PY, Bedekar NS, Sancheti PK, Shyam A. Effects of yogasanas on osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Int J Yoga. 2016;9:44-8.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to measure the effects of yogasanas on osteoporotic postmenopausal women.
RESULTS: In the study, improvement was noted in the DEXA scan following a 6 month yoga program of weight- bearing and non-weight bearing poses, breathing exercises and meditation.
Kim S, Bemben MG, Knehans AW, Bemben DA. Effects of an 8-month Ashtanga-based yoga intervention on bone metabolism in middle-aged premenopausal women: a randomized controlled study. J Sports Sci Med. 2015;14:756-68.
METHODS: The study was a randomized control group design testing the effects of an 8-month Ashtanga yoga program (60 minute sessions twice per week) on middle-aged premenopausal women.
RESULTS: The study showed that the yoga program had a small effect on bone formation but no effects on bone resorption.
Medina J, Hopkins L. Powers M, Baird SO, Smits J. The effects of a Hatha yoga intervention on facets of distress tolerance. Cogn Behav Ther. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: A group of 52 females with an overeating disorder were randomly assigned to an 8-week, twice-weekly Hatha yoga group or a waitlist control group.
RESULTS: Participants in the yoga group experienced a greater reduction in “emotional eating”.
Baird SO, Hopkins LB, Medina JL, Rosenfield D, Powers MB, Smits JA. Distress tolerance as a predictor of adherence to a yoga intervention: moderating roles of BMI and body image. Behav Modif. 2016;40:199-217.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to find predictors of adherence to yoga intervention.
RESULTS: Distress tolerance was related to, and believed to be a predictor of adherence to yoga intervention.
Netam R, Yadav RK, Khadgawat R, Sarvottam K, Yadav R. Interleukin-6 vitamin D & diabetes risk- factors modified by a short-term yoga based lifestyle intervention in overweight/obese individuals. Indian J Med Res. 2015;141:775-82.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to see the effects of a 10 day yoga intervention program on the weight loss and BMI of overweight and obese individuals.
RESULTS: By the tenth day the participants showed reduced weight, BMI, waist/hip ratio, blood glucose and pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-6 and neopterin. At a 30-day follow-up weight loss was sustained and systolic blood pressure was also reduced.
Krishna BH, Keerthi GS, Kumar CK, Reddy N. Association of leukocyte telomere length with oxidative stress in yoga practioners. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to measure the level of oxidative stress in yoga practitioners.
RESULTS: In this study practitioners of two years or more were noted to have higher levels of antioxidants than a control group.
Riley KE, Park CL. How does yoga reduce stress? A systematic review of mechanisms of change and guide to future inquiry. Health Psychol Rev. 2015;15:1-18.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to identify the mechanisms of underlying stress reduction by yoga.
RESULTS: The four biological mechanisms identified were the posterior hypothalamus (the initial point in the cortisol release pathway), elevated cortisol, increased interleukin-6 (as a pro-inflammatory cytokine), and C-reactive protein (another pro-inflammatory cytokine).
Sharma NK, Robbins K, Wagner K ,Colgrove YM. A randomized controlled pilot study of the therapeutic effects of yoga in people with Parkinson’s disease. 2015;8:74-9.
METHODS: In a yoga versus control group study, following a twice-weekly 12 week program, the therapeutic effects of yoga in people with Parkinson’s disease was tested.
RESULTS: The study showed significant improvement on the Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale, for diastolic blood pressure and average forced vital capacity.
Ni M, Signorile JF, Mooney K, Balachandran A, Potiaumpai M, Luca C, Moore JG, Kuenze CM, Eltoukhy M, Perry AC. Comparative effect of power training and high-speed yoga on motor function in older patients with Parkinson disease. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2016;97:345-354.
METHODS: The effects of yoga in two active groups (power training and high-speed yoga) were compared to a non-active control group in older patients with Parkinson’s disease.
RESULTS: After 12 weeks of twice a week classes, both active groups showed significant improvement on balance, single leg stance and postural sway tests with no differences between the active groups.
Perinatal depression and anxiety
Sheffield KM, Woods-Giscombe CL. Efficacy, feasibility, and acceptability of perinatal yoga on women’s mental health and well-being: a systematic literature review. J Holist Nurs. 2015;[Epub ahead of print].
METHOD: The purpose of this systematic review of literature was to see the effects of perinatal yoga on women’s health.
RESULTS: The study suggested that the yoga interventions reduced anxiety and depression.
Gong H, Ni C, Shen X, Wu T, Jiang C. Yoga for prenatal depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry. 2015;15:14.
METHOD: In a meta-analysis study six randomized controlled trials were identified, and the analysis involved comparison groups including prenatal care, exercise, social support and massage.
RESULTS: Depression was significantly lower in the yoga versus the comparison groups.
Rachiwong S, Panasiriwong P, Saosomphop J, Widjaja W, Ajjimaporn A. Effects of modified hatha yoga in industrial rehabilitation on physical fitness and stress of injured workers. J Occup Rehabil. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHOD: In a Hatha yoga study on flexibility, Hatha yoga was combined with physical therapy and compared to a physical therapy alone control group.
RESULTS: Following eight weeks of three one-hour sessions per week flexibility of the lower back and the hamstrings, hand grip strength and vital capacity were greater in the yoga plus physical therapy group.
Polsgrove MJ, Eggleston BM, Lockyer RJ. Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes. Int J Yoga. 2016;9:27-34.
METHOD: The purpose of this study was to measure the flexibility by joint angles after 10 weeks of yoga.
RESULTS: The study showed that in a yoga group versus a non-yoga group there was increased flexibility and balance during different yoga poses including downward dog, upward dog, right foot lunge and the chair pose.
Gothe NP, McAuley E. Yoga is as good as stretching-strengthening exercises in improving functional fitness outcomes: results from a randomized controlled trial. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016;71:406-11.
METHODS: This study compared yoga to stretching-strengthening exercises through a randomized controlled trial over eight weeks (1 hour, 3 times a week).
RESULTS: The study showed equivalent performance for both groups on measures of balance, strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Posttraumatic stress disorder
Johnston JM, Minami T, Greenwald D, Li C, Reinhardt K, Khalsa SB. Yoga for military service personnel with PTSD: a single arm study. Psychol Trauma. 2015;7:555-62.
METHOD: This study analyzed the effects of yoga practice on military service personnel with PTSD.
RESULTS: The yoga group experienced a significantly greater reduction in PTSD symptoms than a waitlist control group.
Jindani F, Turner N, Khalsa SB. A yoga intervention for posttraumatic stress: a preliminary randomized control trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; [Epub ahead of print]
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to measure the effects of Kundalini yoga on PTSD symptoms.
RESULTS: Kundalini yoga has reduced PTSD symptoms including sleep disturbances, stress and anxiety.
Rhodes A, Spinazzola J, van der Kolk B. Yoga for adult women with chronic PTSD: a long term follow-up study. J Altern Complement Med. 2016; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to compare yoga to other treatment groups for PTSD symptoms.
RESULTS: The results are not as conclusive; for example, in a comparison between yoga and women’s health education for one hour classes for 10 weeks, both groups showed decreases in PDS symptoms during the first half of treatment, but only the yoga group showed continuing improvements.
Duan-porter W, Coeytaux RR, McDuffe J, Goode A, Sharma P, Mennella H, Nagi A, Williams JW Jr. Evidence map of yoga for depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. J Phys Act Health. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: Systematic review on randomized controlled trials from 2008 to 2014.
RESULTS: Only two randomized controlled trials were found for PTSD that were high-quality studies, highlighting the need for more conclusive studies on PTSD and yoga.
Potential underlying mechanisms
Vinay AV, Venkatesh D, Ambarish V. Impact of short-term practice of yoga on heart rate variability. Int J Yoga. 2016;9:62-6.
METHODS: Non-controlled study in a pre-post, single arm design yoga was practiced daily for one month under the direction of a yoga instructor to test the impact of short-term practice of yoga on heart rate variability.
RESULTS: At the end of the month the low-frequency (LF) power spectrum was reduced as was the LF/high-frequency (HF) ratio, suggesting greater vagal activity or parasympathetic control.
Lin SL, Huang CY, Shiu SP, Yeh SH. Effects of yoga on stress, stress adaptation, and heart rate variability among mental health professionals—a randomized controlled trial. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2015;12:236-45.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to test the effects of yoga on stress, stress adaptation, and heart rate variability among mental health professionals in a randomized controlled trial, with a yoga group versus the control group.
RESULTS: The yoga group showed reduced work-related stress and a significant increase in heart rate variability (vagal activity) following a 12-week program.
Nagendra H, Kumar V, Mukherjee S. Cognitive behavior evaluation based on physiological parameters among young healthy subjects with yoga as intervention. Comput Math Methods Med. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cognitive behavior on physiological parameters among healthy youth in a five-month yoga program (90 minutes per day 6 days per week).
RESULTS: The yoga group versus a control group showed a significant increase in heart rate variability (vagal activity) and a reduction in the LF/HF ratio.
Desai R, Tailor A, Bhatt T. Effects of yoga on brain waves and structural activation: a review. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2015;21:112-118.
METHODS: In a review of 15 studies on the effects of yoga were analyzed on brain waves and structural changes and activation.
RESULTS: The study found increases in gray matter along with increased amygdala and frontal cortex activation.
Potential underlying mechanisms for pain reduction following yoga
Ferrari ML, Thuraisingam S, von Kanel R, Egloff N. Expectations and effects of a single yoga session on pain and perception. Int J Yoga. 2015;8:154-7.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to examine pain perception by applying a peg to the middle finger, earlobe and second toe before and after a 60 – minute yoga session
RESULTS: The study showed that while 67% of the yoga participants expected to perceive less pain after a yoga session, only 40% of the participants actually experienced less pain after yoga as compared to before the session.
Wu WL, Lin TY, Chu IH, Liang JM. The acute effects of yoga on cognitive measures for women with premenstrual syndromes. J Altern Complement Med. 2015; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: In this study cognitive function and EEG recordings were assessed before and after a yoga session in a group of women with premenstrual syndrome.
RESULTS: The study showed that alpha brain waves increased after yoga, suggesting that the participants felt more relaxed after yoga and they performed better with greater accuracy and shorter reaction time on attention tasks.
Spinal mobility and muscle endurance
Grabara M, Szopa J. Effects of hatha yoga exercises on spine flexibility in women over 50 years old. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27:361-5.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to measure spinal mobility in result of a 20 week yoga study (90 minute sessions, once a week).
RESULTS: Both spinal mobility and flexibility of the hamstring muscles were increased by the end of the study.
Shiraishi JC, Bezerra LM. Effects of yoga practice on muscular endurance in young women. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016;22:69-73.
METHODS: In a muscular endurance study yoga was compared to an inactive control group.
RESULTS: Following 18 sessions (three times per week for one hour per session) muscular endurance was measured in the upper limbs by push-ups and in the abdomen by sit ups. The yoga group, as would be expected, showed greater improvement in both upper limb and abdominal muscle endurance.
Studies on students
Khalsa SB, Butzer B. Yoga in school settings: a research review. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: In a bibliometric analysis, 47 publications on yoga in school settings were identified.
RESULTS: These studies were conducted primarily in the U.S. (N= 30) and India (N=15). Of the studies conducted from 2010 onward (N= 41), about half were non-randomized controlled trials. And, significant variability was noted in the yoga styles and characteristics including the number and duration of sessions.
Type II diabetes
Chimkode SM, Kumaran SD, Kanhere VV, Shivanna R. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015;9:1-3.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of yoga on volunteers with type II diabetes, as well as volunteers without type II diabetes.
RESULTS: The study found that fasting and postprandial blood sugar decreased in both type II diabetes and normal volunteers after six months of yoga training.
Innes KE, Selfe TK. Yoga for adults with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review of controlled trials. J Diabetes Res. 2016; [Epub ahead of print].
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of yoga on adults with type II diabetes in a systematic review on randomized controlled trials, in which 25 trials met criteria.
RESULTS: The trials suggested improved glycemic control, lipid levels, oxidative stress, blood pressure and pulmonary and autonomic function.
Singh VP, Khandelwal B, Sherpa NT. Psycho-neuro-endocrine-immune mechanisms of action of yoga in type ll diabetes. Anc Sci Life. 2015;35:12-7.
METHODS: The purpose of this study was to analyze the psycho-neuro-endocrine-immune mechanisms of yoga on type II diabetes.
RESULTS: This study found that yoga effects on type II diabetes derive from parasympathetic activation and decreased stress including less HPA axis activation leading to better metabolic and psychological profiles, increased insulin sensitivity and improved glucose tolerance and lipid metabolism.
Cramer H, Ward L, Steel A, Lauche R, Dobos G, Zhang Y. Prevalence, patterns, and predictors of yoga use: results of a U.S. nationally representative survey. Am J Prev Med. 2016;50:230-5.
METHOD: The purpose of this survey was to see how many people within the U.S. practice yoga & the benefits they believe they gained.
RESULTS: 21 million Americans practiced yoga, mainly young, non Hispanic white, college educated, healthy, living in the west females. They mainly reported an increase in energy, an enhance in immune function, and heart and disease prevention.
Park CL, Braun T, Siegel T. Who practices yoga? A systematic review of demographic, health-related, and psychosocial factors associated with yoga practice. J Behav Med. 2015;38:460-71.
METHOD: The purpose of this systematic review to see who practiced yoga & why.
RESULTS: The most common practitioners of yoga were women who practiced to relieve distress and physical problems, for better health.
Yoga research trends
Jeter PE, Slutsky J, Singh N, Khalsa SB. Yoga a therapeutic intervention: A bibliometric analysis of published research studies from 1967 to 2013. J Altern Complement Med. 2015;21:586-92.
METHOD: The purpose of this bibliometric analysis was to analyze the increase in publications about yoga and what type of research was being done.
RESULTS: There was a 45% increase in studies being randomized controlled trials, 18% being controlled, and 37% being uncontrolled trials.
Matsushita T, Oka T. A large-scale survey of adverse events experienced in yoga classes. Biopsychosoc Med. 2015;18:9.
METHOD: The purpose of this survey in Japan was to see the adverse effects of yoga on its practitioners.
RESULTS: Close to thirty percent of yoga practitioners noted having undesirable experiences with yoga. However, they were in poor physical condition prior to taking yoga and reported the classes were physically and mentally stressful.
Cramer H, Ward L, Saper R, Fishbein D, Dobos G, Lauche R. The safety of yoga: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Epidemiol. 2015;182:281-93.
METHOD: The purpose of this meta-analysis was to see if yoga was in fact a safe practice.
RESULTS: The study found that yoga was just as safe as typical exercise, and there are no difference in adverse effects reported from yoga from those that come from regular exercise.