Bikram Yoga Training and Physical Fitness in Healthy Young Adults
ABSTRACT There has been relatively little longitudinal, controlled investigation of the effects of yoga on general physical fitness, despite the widespread participation in this form of exercise. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the effect of short-term Bikram™ yoga training on general physical fitness. Young healthy adults were randomized to yoga training (N=10, 29 ± 6 yrs, 24 sessions in eight weeks) or a control group (N=11, 26 ± 7 yrs). Each yoga training session consisted of 90 min of standardized, supervised postures performed in a heated and humidified studio. Isometric deadlift strength, handgrip strength, lower back/hamstring and shoulder flexibility, resting heart rate and blood pressure, maximal oxygen consumption (treadmill), and lean and fat mass (DEXA) were measured before and after training. Yoga subjects exhibited increased deadlift strength, substantially increased lower back/hamstring flexibility, increased shoulder flexibility, and modestly decreased body fat compared with Control. There were no changes in handgrip strength, cardiovascular measures, or maximal aerobic fitness. In summary, this short-term yoga training protocol produced beneficial changes in musculoskeletal fitness that were specific to the training stimulus.
- SourceAvailable from: Brian K. MillerJournal of Exercise Physiology Online 01/2012; 15(5):32-39.
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ABSTRACT: Oxygen consumption varies with physical and mental activity as well as pathological conditions. Although there is a strong relationship between yoga and metabolic parameters, the relationship between yoga and oxygen consumption has not yet been formally reviewed. This systematic review attempted to include all studies of yoga that also measured oxygen consumption or metabolic rate as an outcome. A total of 58 studies were located involving between 1 and 104 subjects (average 21). The studies were generally of poor methodological quality and demonstrated great heterogeneity with different experimental designs, yoga practices, time periods, and small sample sizes. Studies report yoga practices to have profound metabolic effects producing both increase and decrease in oxygen consumption, ranging from 383% increase with cobra pose to 40% decrease with meditation. Compared to nonpractitioners, basal oxygen consumption is reported to be up to 15% less in regular yoga practitioners, and regular yoga practice is reported to have a training effect with oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise decreasing by 36% after 3 months. Yoga breathing practices emphasize breathing patterns and retention ratios as well as unilateral nostril breathing, and these factors appear critical in influencing oxygen consumption. A number of studies report extraordinary volitional control over metabolism in advanced yoga practitioners who appear to be able to survive extended periods in airtight pits and to exceed the limits of normal human endurance. More rigorous research with standardized practices is required to determine the mechanisms of yoga’s metabolic effects and the relevance of yoga practices in different clinical populations.Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 10/2013; 18(4):290-308. DOI:10.1177/2156587213492770
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ABSTRACT: To explore the effect of high temperature yoga exercise on improving physical and psychological well-being of overweight middle-aged and young women. 50 overweight middle-aged and young women from yoga clubs were selected. The indexes of their constitution, physiological functions, psychological adaptation were measured and compared before and after one year of uninterrupted high temperature yoga exercise. The indexes of the subjects' constitution and physiological functions were remarkably uplifted (P < 0.05); their psychological adaptation was improved as well. Aerobics represented by high temperature yoga can improve body shape, lower lipid, reduce weight, and exert an evident therapeutic effect on improving physiological functions and boosting psychological well-being.International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 12/2014; 7(12):5842-6. · 1.28 Impact Factor