Yoga

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Asthma

  • In 2010 the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences published a study in which 24 asthma patients were either assigned to a control group or a yoga group which practiced yoga daily for 50 minutes for a 4-week period. After the intervention the yoga group reduced albuterol inhaler use by 67 percent and albuterol tablet intake by 58 percent and saw a decrease the number of daytime and nighttime asthma attacks. [Source]
  • In 2009 the International Journal of Yoga published a study in which 5 bronchial asthma patients were assigned to either deep breathing exercises or meditation, both for 20 minutes, twice daily for 12 weeks. Assessments showed that subjects in the deep breathing group experienced significant improvements in asthma symptoms and lung function compared to the meditation group. The authors of the study recommend deep breathing as a part of regular therapy for asthma patients. [Source]

Quality of Life

  • In 2011 the International Journal of Yoga published a paper which detailed a variety benefits from practicing yoga, including reductions in stress, anxiety and depression, improvements in muscle strength, cardiovascular health, respiratory function and sleep patterns and an enhanced state of overall well-being. [Source]

Stress and Academic performance

  • In 2009 the International Journal of Yoga published a study involving 301  adolescents which found that students who practiced yoga performed better in academics than students who did not practice yoga – likely due to a reduction in stress. [Source]
  • In 2012 the International Journal of Yoga published a study involving 100 clinical dental students which found that practicing yoga significantly reduced the stress levels before their first surgery. [Source]
  • In 2011 the International Journal of Yoga published a study which found that 30 first-year college students who performed 35 minutes of yoga daily for 12 weeks had lower levels of stress hormones and reduced impairment in cellular immunity during an examination when compared to a control group of 30 students. [Source]

Depression and Stress

  • In 2013 the Indian Journal of Psychiatry published a study involving 54 patients which found that a greater number of depressed individuals who performed yoga had reductions in cortisol compared to a group treated with anti-depressant medication only. Additionally, in the yoga group cortisol drop correlated with antidepressant effect. [Source] 
  • In 2012 the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research published a quasi-experimental study which found that a yoga program consisting of two sessions for 8 weeks was an effective strategy for coping with stress for a group of 34 intensive care unit nurses. [Source]

Improved Mood

  • In 2010 the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study in which 15 subjects were assigned to a walking group and 19 were assigned to a yoga group. After 12 weeks individuals in the yoga group had greater improvements in mood and reductions anxiety. According to the authors, this is likely due to greater increases in GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) – a substance which can promote relaxation –  in the yoga group. [Source]

Improved Sleep

  • In 2013 the Indian Journal of Psychiatry published a study in which 87 elderly individuals in old age homes were assigned to a yoga group which consisted of daily sessions or a wait-list group. Scores taken at 6 months showed those in the yoga group experienced improved sleep quality and improvements in overall quality of life compared to the wait-list group. [Source] 
  • In 2013 the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine published a study analyzing data from 35 elderly subjects who practiced yoga and 30 elderly subjects who did not practice yoga. Quality of life and sleep quality scores across the sample showed that practicing yoga regularly was associated with higher sleep and quality of life scores. [Source]

Insomnia

  • In 2004 Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback published a study which showed that 8 weeks of yoga significantly improved sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, sleep onset latency and wake time after sleep onset in 20 insomnia patients. [Source]

Quality of Sleep Among Cancer Survivors

  • In 2013 the Journal of Clinical Oncology published a study in which 410 cancer survivors were suffering from sleep disruption were assigned to standard care or standard care plus a 4-week specialized yoga program (known as Yoga for Cancer Survivors) consisting of two 75-minute sessions per week. Compared to routine care alone, the yoga group demonstrated greater improvements in quality of sleep, daytime dysfunction and medication. [Source]

Fatigue among cancer survivors

  • In 2011 Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study which demonstrated significant improvements in fatigue as well as depressed mood and physical function in 11 breast cancer survivors who completed a 3-month yoga program. [Source]

Depression

  • In 2013 the Indian Journal of Psychiatry published a study in which 62  depressed patient were treated with either antidepressants, yoga or yoga + antidepressants for 12 weeks. Results showed that the yoga-only group had the greatest drop in depression scores, followed by the yoga + medication group. [Source]

Cholesterol Reduction

  • In 2008 The Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology published a study involving 49 normal female volunteers which found that practicing Raja yoga was associated with lower LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol in postmenopausal women. [Source]

Type 2 Diabetes

  • In 2005 the Nepal Medical College Journal published a study which found that 40 days of yoga practice resulted in a significant reduction in waist-to-hip ratio and improvements insulin levels and fasting blood sugar in a group of 20 type 2 diabetics. The authors of the study to concluded that yoga may be used as an adjunct therapy in the management of type 2 diabetes. [Source]

Fibromyalgia

  • In 2014 Biopsychosocial Medicine published a study in which 30 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome who did not respond to conventional therapy for at least 6 months were assigned to a conventional pharmocotherpay treatment alone or combined with daily yoga sessions for 2 months. Fatigue scores decreased significantly in the yoga group but not in the conventional treatment group. [Source]
  • In 2011 the Journal of Pain Research published a pilot study in which 22 fibromyalgia sufferers were recruited to participate in a 75-minute yoga class twice weekly for 8 weeks. Post-intervention scores revealed that practicing yoga reduced pain and catastrophizing thinking in women with fibromyaglia. [Source]

Chemotherapy-associated symptoms

  • In 2012 the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a controlled pilot study involving 16 participants which found that breathing techniques involved in yoga helped reduced anxiety and sleep disturbance in chemotherapy patients, while improving mental outlook. [Source]

Lower back pain

  • In 2013 Pain Research and Management published a meta-analysis including 8 trials and 743 patients which concluded that yoga can be useful in improving lower back pain and is particularly useful in providing short-term benefits on functional disability. [Source]

Osteoarthritis of the knee

  • In 2012 the International Journal of Yoga published a study in which 250 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were assigned to a control group or a yoga group which consisted of 40-minute daily sessions 6 days per week – with both groups receiving transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment. After 3 months yoga proved to be more effective than physical therapy as an adjunct treatment in reducing knee pain. [Source]
  • In 2014 BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study in which 36 older subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee were assigned to an 8-week yoga program or a wait list group. Results showed that yoga improved pain, stiffness and function with no adverse effects. [Source]

Arthritis

  • In 2014 the Journal of Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine published a review which noted that 21 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from arthritis. The authors reviewed 9 studies from 2010 to 2013 and determined that yoga appears to be a promising complementary treatment for arthritis.[Source] 

Sedentary adults

  • In 2015 the Journal of Rheumatology published a study in which 75 sedentary adults with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis of the knee were assigned an 8 week yoga program consisting of two 60-minute classes per week plus 1 in-home session per week or a wait-list. Yoga was associated with clinically significant improvements in physical and mental health, fitness, and psychological function, while safely increasing activity levels. [Source]

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

  • In 2006 Pain Research Management published a study in which 25 adolescents (aged 11 to 18) with IBS were assigned to a 4-week yoga intervention or a waitlist. Compared to subjects on the waitlist, those in the yoga group reported lower levels of functional disability and significantly lower scores for gastrointestinal symptoms compared to baseline. The participants indicated they found the yoga treatment helpful and indicated they would continue to use it. [Source]
  • In 2016 Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology published a meta-analysis involving 6 trials and 273 patients which showed that yoga provided benefits over conventional IBS treatments, with a significant decreases in bowel symptoms, IBS severity and anxiety and improvements in overall quality of life. [Source]

Chronic Neck Pain

  • In 2012 the Journal of Pain published a pilot study in which 54 patients with chronic neck pain were assigned to a 9-week yoga program consisting of 90-minute weekly classes or a self-care/exercise program. Yoga resulted in greater pain relief and functional improvements and according to the authors of the study may be an effective treatment option for chronic neck pain. [Source]

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