[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Falls are among the most common problems affecting older adults. At least 50% of those over the age of 80 fall annually. The goal of this pilot study was to assess the safety and feasibility of structured yoga in an elderly population with fall risk. Seniors at risk for falls were identified and enrolled in a single arm pilot trial. A chair based yoga program was provided twice a week for 8 weeks. The program was designed from previously published pilot data. A battery of validated instruments was administered at baseline and week eight and was used to identify which instruments may be sensitive to change as a result of a yoga program. Among sixteen seniors (median age of 88) with a previous history of falls, 87% provided data for assessment at the end of the intervention. Two patients withdrew, one due to a fall outside the institution and the other due to lack of time and interest. There were no adverse events during the yoga sessions. Paired-t tests compared pre-post changes and gains were noted in Fear of Falling (5.27 to 2.60; P = 0.029) and SPPB sit to stand subscale (0.31 to 1.00; P =.022). Improved trends were noted in anxiety and the timed up and go assessments. We found the modified chair-yoga program is safe and recruitment is feasible. Our data suggests that yoga may be beneficial in improving mobility and reducing fear of falling which warrants additional research via randomized controlled trial.
International Journal of Yoga 07/2012; 5(2):146-50.