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Effects of yoga on flexibility and balance: a quasi-experimental study

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p>Despite having number of health benefits, yoga also has a proven role in enhancing performance of athletes boosting specific components of fitness. Our aim was to study the effect of yoga on flexibility and balance among shooting trainee athletes at BKSP, Bangladesh. A quasi-experimental study was conducted among shooting trainee athletes. In total 20 athletes took part in this study. In each group we had 10 participants (10 in yoga group and other 10 in non-yoga group). Regular yoga session have been conducted early morning biweekly over a period of six weeks. All the participants were allowed to take part in regular training session, while only yoga group took part in additional yoga session. Measurements of flexibility and balance including Sit and Reach (SR) test and Stork Stand (SR) test were taken immediately before and after the yoga training period. Independent t-test and paired t-test were used to determine the significant effect of yoga within and between the groups before and after yoga training. Sixty percent of our participants were male. Participant’s age were between 12-17 years. All of them had normal level of BMI. Significant improvement were observed in the yoga group for flexibility (SR, P=0.017) and balance (SS, P=0.004) during within group comparison. No significant improvement were seen for flexibility and balance in the non-yoga group. Between group comparison (Yoga and Non-yoga) also shows significant enhancement in both flexibility (SR, P=0.018) and balance (SS, P=0.021).Our findings helped us to conclude that regular yoga training may improve the balance and flexibility of shooting athletes even within short period of time (6 weeks), can also improve the athletic performances that demands high flexibility and balance. Asian J. Med. Biol. Res. June 2017, 3(2): 276-281 </p
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Asian J. Med. Biol. Res. 2017, 3 (2), 276-281; doi: 10.3329/ajmbr.v3i2.33580
Asian Journal of
Medical and Biological Research
ISSN 2411-4472 (Print) 2412-5571 (Online)
www.ebupress.com/journal/ajmbr
Article
Effects of yoga on flexibility and balance: a quasi-experimental study
Shah Noman Md. Iftekher1, Md. Bakhtiar2 and Kh. Shafiur Rahaman3*
1Post Graduate Diploma in Exercise Physiology student, Department of Exercise Physiology, Institute of Sports
Science, Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Prathisthan (BKSP), Dhaka, Bangladesh
2Senior Research Officer, Department of Exercise Physiology, Institute of Sports Science, Bangladesh Krira
Shikkha Prathisthan (BKSP), Dhaka, Bangladesh
3GIBACHT fellow, German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security, Germany
*Corresponding author: Kh. Shafiur Rahaman, BSL Residential Complex, Flat # Bakul 804, Mirpur-13, Dhaka-
1216, Bangladesh. Phone: +880 1670 215 932; Email: rajib_pt@yahoo.com
Received: 07 June 2017/Accepted: 25 June 2017/ Published: 29 June 2017
Abstract: Despite having number of health benefits, yoga also has a proven role in enhancing performance of
athletes boosting specific components of fitness. Our aim was to study the effect of yoga on flexibility and
balance among shooting trainee athletes at BKSP, Bangladesh. A quasi-experimental study was conducted
among shooting trainee athletes. In total 20 athletes took part in this study. In each group we had 10 participants
(10 in yoga group and other 10 in non-yoga group). Regular yoga session have been conducted early morning
biweekly over a period of six weeks. All the participants were allowed to take part in regular training session,
while only yoga group took part in additional yoga session. Measurements of flexibility and balance including
Sit and Reach (SR) test and Stork Stand (SR) test were taken immediately before and after the yoga training
period. Independent t-test and paired t-test were used to determine the significant effect of yoga within and
between the groups before and after yoga training. Sixty percent of our participants were male. Participant’s age
were between 12-17 years. All of them had normal level of BMI. Significant improvement were observed in the
yoga group for flexibility (SR, P=0.017) and balance (SS, P=0.004) during within group comparison. No
significant improvement were seen for flexibility and balance in the non-yoga group. Between group
comparison (Yoga and Non-yoga) also shows significant enhancement in both flexibility (SR, P=0.018) and
balance (SS, P=0.021).Our findings helped us to conclude that regular yoga training may improve the balance
and flexibility of shooting athletes even within short period of time (6 weeks), can also improve the athletic
performances that demands high flexibility and balance.
Keywords: yoga; flexibility; balance; athletes; shooting game
1. Introduction
Regular practice of yoga has numerous health benefits (Wolff et al., 2013; Pal et al., 2011; McDermott et al.,
2014; Parikh et al., 2014). Yoga also brings positive changes in physical performance and well-being if
practiced regularly (Akhtar et al., 2013; Ross and Thomas, 2010) by improving flexibility and balance (Boehde
et al., 2005) as well as cardiovascular functions (Bera and Rajapurkar, 1993). Moreover, yoga may have direct
link to improve the common elements of athletic performance (Harrelson and Swann, 2003). It is also evident
that yoga can be an important element of training program along with the other regular traditional exercise or
even may replace those (Broad, 2012). Regular yoga practice results in enhanced flexibility very rapidly as this
process involves gentle stretching of muscle, connective tissues around bones and joints (Woodyard, 2011).
Yoga also has profound effect on balance, muscular strength, endurance and coordination because of its highly
structural activity and involvement (Carrico, 1997).
Asian J. Med. Biol. Res. 2017, 3 (2)
277
Yoga differs from other typical forms of exercise training as it requires multi-structural involvement that gives a
difficult task to the body in various ways (Gulati and Sharma, 2011; Kaminoff and Matthews, 2007). Proper
positioning trough yoga enhances movement abilities and reduces movement limitation, thus improves body
functioning among athletes. It also helps to maintain continuous and stable breathing through a series of Asanas
(static posture) involving required muscle groups under tension. Interacting breathing mechanism to the tensed
musculoskeletal system brings comprehensive changes to the whole body while performing those Asanas
(Coulter, 2010).
Traditional exercise emphasizes on improving specific fitness for a given sports achievement (Bryant and
Green, 2006). Though specific components of fitness increases, it is difficult to use these in attaining optimal
athletic performance (Aaberg, 2002). On the other hand, regular yoga practice improves many specific
components of fitness (e.g. increase alignment, increase range of motion, and enhance muscle fibers
recruitment) by increasing flexibility and reducing muscle tension thus allows new movements to take place and
help joints to move freely (Clark and Powers, 2012). Thus sport skill improves.
In shooting game, balance and flexibility is important for athletes to hold their gun for longer period and without
bouncing it. According to the evidence above, yoga helps to strengthen and refine connective muscle tissue and
some of those really small muscle that are responsible for balance and stillness. A good practice of yoga could
be of great help for shooting athletes in this regard.
Therefore, the main intention of this paper was to investigate the effect of yoga on specific components of
fitness particularly flexibility and balance related to athletic performance. Thus, through an improvement of
specific fitness elements, the core ability for athletic performance should increase. To apply our results to
competitive situations, we performed our experiment on trainee athletes who were participating in regular
training at shooting department of Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Prathisthan (BKSP), Bangladesh for their athletic
events.
2. Materials and Methods
A quasi-experimental study was carried out for a period of 7 weeks (Measurement days and yoga training
session) to assess the impact of yoga on specific aspects of athletic fitness among the suitable sportsperson
participating in regular shooting training at BKSP. The study measurements were taken in the Department of
Exercise Physiology at Institute of Sports Science, BKSP and the yoga training session was conducted in the
shooting complex of BKSP. The study duration was from April, 2017 to May, 2017. Yoga training were given
over a period of 6 weeks at a frequency of twice per week. We have selected 20 participants according to their
availability and suitability guided by the coaches allowing the researchers to collect the data on their athletes.
Participants (n = 20) were trainee athletes in shooting department both male and female. The subjects were
divided among yoga group (n=10) and non-yoga group (n=10).The participants had no previous experience with
yoga and were free from injury. History of any existing medical condition were also asked before including
them in this study. Students who passed at least one year training at BKSP were included. New students were
excluded from the study as without particular sports training it can bias our study hypothesis.
2.1. Procedures
The yoga group and the non-yoga group was comprised of shooting trainee players. During the period of yoga
sessions for 6 weeks, members of both group have also participated the regularly pre-scheduled sport specific
training. Common training included static stretching exercises, weight and endurance training, and running for
both groups. In addition to their regular training, the yoga subjects took part in yoga sessions in early morning
(Monday and Thursday) each week before any other physical activity. Sessions were conducted by professional
yoga expert. The yoga expert demonstrated variety of yoga poses (Asanas) and the participants then followed
and imitated those poses. Each session took place for an hour. Measures of flexibility and balance were taken
immediately before and shortly after the 6-week yoga sessions.
Assessments for each group were completed separately. One day before the initiation of first yoga session, the
measurements were taken with the same testing protocol from both yoga and non-yoga group members.
Similarly, at the end of 6 weeks yoga training session, one day after, the testing protocol was repeated with the
yoga group and non-yoga group athletes respectively. Without any warm up session, the following assessment
protocol was completed: (1) Sit-reach (SR) test and (2) Stork stand (SS) test. The measures of flexibility were
determined by an SR test (Baechle, 2008), while a test of balance was conducted with a stork stand (SS) test
(Coulson and Archer, 2011). We have reported the best attempts out of three.
Asian J. Med. Biol. Res. 2017, 3 (2)
278
2.2. Statistical analysis
Standard descriptive statistics (mean ± standard deviation) were determined for directly measured and derived
variables. Before-after comparison of means were calculated for all measured values. Paired t-test were used for
the comparison of various characteristic variables between two groups. Data were analyzed using SPSS
(Statistical Package for Social Science) version 22.0. A 5% level of probability was used to indicate statistical
significance.
3. Results
A total number of 20 participants (10 from each group, i.e. yoga and non-yoga group) were included in this
study. Participants were both male and female trainee athletes of shooting game at BKSP. The Mean age of the
participants were 13.70 ± 1.33 (SD) for yoga group ranging from 14-17 years of age. Mean age for non-yoga
group members were 13.60 ± 0.97 (SD) ranging from 12-17 years. Sixty percent were male and forty percent
were female in both groups.
The mean (±SD) height was slightly higher among the non-yoga group. There was no remarkable difference in
mean weight of our participants among the two groups. BMI (Body Mass Index) of all participants were within
the normal range. The BMI level was slightly higher among yoga group participants. From the table below it is
clearly visible that in all aspects of selected anthropometric variables, there was no big gap among yoga and
non-yoga group. The means and standard deviation of the anthropometric variables of the two group of are
given below (Table 1).
Flexibility test score difference were observed among yoga group compared to non-yoga group. In yoga group,
according to the test performed before and after yoga training, significant difference (P=0.017) were found in
the score and the mean difference was -2.00. This implies that an average of 2 inches of flexibility has increased
among yoga group participants after the training. On the other hand, no significant difference in the mean score
of flexibility test were observed among the non-yoga group participants (Table 2).
Improvement in balance were observed in the yoga group over 6 weeks period of yoga training session.
Performance in the ST test had a mean increase from 24.10 seconds (Standard deviation [SD] = 16.33) to 26.30
seconds (Standard deviation [SD] =17.33) which was statistically significant (P=0.004). But no significant
difference were found among the non-yoga group who performed the same test having regular forms of training
(Table 3).
In addition to this, between group (yoga and no-yoga) comparison revealed that there was also significant
difference in the SR test for flexibility (P=0.018) and ST test for balance (P=0.021) at the finishing of 6 weeks
of yoga training period (Tables 2 and 3).
Table 1. Descriptive statistics of selected anthropometric variables.
Variables
Yoga (n=10)
Non-yoga (n=10)
Mean
SD
Mean
Height (Cm)
153.16
24.50
163.79
Weight (Kg)
51.80
12.96
53.30
BMI (Body Mass Index)
22.23
3.61
19.88
SD = Standard deviation, n = number of participants
Table 2. Analytical statistics for yoga and non-yoga traditional measures for flexibility.
Measures
Sit reach (SR) test (Inches)
Yoga Group
Non-yoga Group
Yoga non-yoga Group
Mean ± SD (before)
35.50 ± 5.33
37.20 ± 5.03
36.85 ± 5.05
Mean ± SD (after)
38.50 ± 6.62
37.30 ± 4.95
37.90 ± 5.72
Mean difference
-2.00
- 0.10
- 1.05
Standard error of mean
0.68
0.18
1.82
t statistics
-2.93
- 0.56
-2.58
P value
0.017*
0.591
0.018*
* Significant level p< 0.05
Asian J. Med. Biol. Res. 2017, 3 (2)
279
Table 3. Analytical statistics for yoga and non-yoga traditional measures for balance.
Measures
Stork stand (ST) test (Seconds)
Yoga Group
Non-yoga Group
Yoga non-yoga Group
Mean ± SD (before)
24.10 ± 16.33
16.50 ± 4.71
20.30 ± 12.33
Mean ± SD (after)
26.30 ± 17.73
16.30 ± 4.52
21.30 ± 13.60
Mean difference
-2.20
0.20
-1.0
Standard error of mean
0.57
0.13
0.40
t statistics
-3.84
1.50
-2.52
P value
0.004*
0.168
0.021*
* Significant level p< 0.05, SD= Standard Deviation
4. Discussion
Flexibility and balance are important components of fitness of any sportsperson which plays an important role
on their performance. In this particular study, our main focus was to determine if yoga has any additional effect
on the flexibility and balance of shooting game athletes despite of their regular forms of training. Athletes from
both groups took part in their regular training programs. Regular training session included warm up exercise,
strength and endurance training, sport specific skill training and participating in their sport regularly. Only yoga
group was given additional yoga training. Evidence have shown that flexibility training and yoga increases the
range of motion of joints (McHugh and Cosgrave, 2010; Amin and Goodman, 2014) compared to those who are
untrained. Therefore, we hypothesized that both group will show improvement in the flexibility test because all
of them took part in regular warm-up sessions.
In our findings, it shows that in addition to the regular training session, yoga training significantly increases the
measures of flexibility. On the contrary, the non-yoga group did not show any improvement in flexibility
measures. Moreover, participants of yoga group also had higher flexibility than the participants of non-yoga
group. Thus, 6 weeks of practicing yoga did help to improve flexibility measures in the actively training athletes
while warm up stretching did not.
We have also hypothesized that both groups (yoga and non-yoga) will improve in balance test because
participating regularly in strength and endurance training, sport specific skills particularly for shooting game
provokes stability and balance (Zech et al., 2010). Furthermore, regularyoga practice supposed to increase the
balance (Zech et al., 2010; Boehde et al., 2005), we expected that the additional yoga training will also improve
the balance. Improvement in balance measures were observed significantly among yoga group according to our
expectation. However, the non-yoga group failed to show any improvement. The effects of yoga was again
revealed with significantly higher balance for yoga group versus non-yoga group. According to the findings
above, we can again establish the fact that additional yoga training has positive effect on balance with traditional
training even within shorter period of time (6 weeks).
Our study finds similarity with other studies too. In a study conducted among college athletes for about 10
weeks of yoga session in similar setting. Significant improvement were seen in both flexibility and balance
among those participant who were belong to yoga group, in contrast, non-yoga group did not show any changes
in their performance after the tests performed for measurement (Polsgrove et al., 2015). This evidence also
supports our finding. Yoga can indeed enhance the flexibility and balance of athletes alongside with their
traditional training.
Another study conducted among Olympic weightlifters revealed that 7-weeks of yoga training did not show any
significant differences between groups on flexibility measures (Ernst and Jensen, 2016). Though the result
contradicts the finding of our result, many other studies have shown the positive impact of yoga on flexibility.
Hence, excluding only one evidence, we can surely recommend to include yoga session along with their regular
training among athletes.
The athletes who practiced yoga for 6 weeks have shown the improvement in both flexibility and balance
measures. According to our findings, we could expect that yoga group athletes would frequently exceed the non-
yoga group athletes in flexibility and balance. Participating in additional training that focused on multiple
components of fitness, may explain the improved measures of flexibility and balance for the yoga group
athletes.
Based on the above cited literatures and consultations with many others the investigator confidently arrived at
the conclusion that the trainee athletes who took part in the yoga session had enhanced flexibility and balance
than the other group who took part only in the regular training, therefore, it would be beneficial if professional
yoga expert can be included with the coaching team to provide regular training to improve the overall
Asian J. Med. Biol. Res. 2017, 3 (2)
280
performance of shooting players. Furthermore, our study opened a room for further research in near future
overcoming the limitation (time and samples size) revealed in this project. Our study population were mostly
young adolescent. If we could include professional and adult sport persons, our result would have been
different. Further research can also be done in other departments of BKSP adding more weeks of yoga training
session with more outcome variables and measurement techniques to build the strong evidence. Yoga also has
pshychological benefits which has not been studied in our study but this is also an important apsects to be added
in future research.
5. Conclusions
Based on our findings, we can conclude that taking part in yoga session alongside with the traditional training
methods has helped to improve flexibility and balance among shooting trainee athletes. Thus, yoga may support
to enhance performance of those athletes by increasing specific components of fitness. Further studies to
evaluate the impact of yoga including large sample size with different age groups, others port departments, other
components of fitness and measurement tools, psychological aspects and more time may help to create more
strong evidence. Hence, at this moment we can recommend that yoga professional could be included with the
team to conduct yoga session on a regular basis to enhance performance of athletes. Coaches could also be
trained on yoga poses so that they can conduct yoga session with their trainee athletes along with the other
regular training.
Acknowledgements
We are grateful to the coaches and authorities at the shooting department of BKSP for their cooperation
throughout the study period. We are also thankful to our participants for their active participation in this study
that helped us to successfully complete the project.
Conflict of interest
None to declare.
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... Nowadays it is acknowledged that practicing hatha yoga improves joint ROM [25,34,35]. Several authors have investigated the effect of frequent yoga practice for several weeks among young [36], middle-aged [34] and older adults [37], but also among athletes, although research in this latter population is still limited [35,38]. In further detail, Grabara [36] reported improvements in the flexibility of young adults (19-22 years old), when applying a total of 90 min exercises, once a week, for a total of 13 weeks. ...
... Similar improvements in the flexibility were also observed by Grabara and Szopa [37] among aged above 50 years, after the implementation of a 90 min comprehensive program, once per week, for 20 weeks in total. Among athletes, Iftekher et al. [38] reported improvements in the flexibility of shooting athletes after the performance of hatha yoga exercises, twice a week, for 7 weeks in total. Similar findings were observed by Polsgrove et al. [35] in a sample of college soccer and baseball athletes, when hatha yoga was performed for 10 weeks in total. ...
... The findings herein cannot be directly compared to similar studies conducted among soccer players, athletes or other population, mainly due to methodological differences. However, the results are in agreement with similar protocols results that performed static stretching in acute conditions in soccer players [43,44] and handball players [45], as well as with results from protocols examining the effects of hatha yoga asanas in athletes [35,38] and untrained individuals of various age groups [34,36,37]. ...
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Researchers have shown a great interest in empirical studies, review and meta-analysis publications on yoga from the last few years. This paper aims to review and simplify some of the common research designs that can be implemented in yoga as a practice, yoga for physical fitness and health function. Most of the studies involve yoga and its effects on fitness, health and psychiatric and medical conditions. These include frustration, intelligence, stress, obesity, fitness components like strength, flexibility, blood pressure, low back pain, asthma, diabetes, balance so on and so forth. It is important to understand that whether such studies have followed a proper yoga protocol, are they experimental or quasi-experimental designs or not. Whether there was control groups involved or not etc. As on date it is found that more randomized controlled studies are needed in which yoga is compared to active exercise groups. Physical and mental health benefits of yoga apart, it makes it ethically questionable to assign participants to inactive control groups. Shorter sessions need to be investigated for cost-effectiveness and for daily self practice or practice under controlled conditions by a qualified yoga instructor. It is important to understand that paper pencil tests that are implemented may not be much reliable and understandable when they are used with rural population and children below 13 years of age. It is also pertinent to conduct productivity audit of studies so that the cost involved in studies can be justified and to decide upon the course of action with regard to research designs that are model best practices that can be replicated by future researchers in yoga.
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Rhythmic movement, also referred to as “dance”, involves the execution of different motor skills as well as the integration and sequencing of actions between limbs, timing and spatial precision. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate and compare the effect of a 16-week rhythmic movement intervention on flexibility, dynamic balance, agility, power and local muscular endurance of academy rugby players in the Western Cape, according to positional groups. Players (N = 54) (age 18.66 ± 0.81 years; height 1.76 ± 0.69 cm; weight 76.77 ± 10.69 kg), were randomly divided into a treatment-control [TC A ] (n = 28) and a control-treatment [CT B ] (n = 26) group. In this crossover experimental design, the interaction effect of the treatment order and the treatment time between the TC A and CT B group, was determined. Results indicated a statistically significant improvement (p < 0.05) in agility ² (p = 0.06), power ² (p = 0.05), local muscular endurance ¹ (p = 0.01) & 3 (p = 0.01) and dynamic balance (p < 0.01). Likewise, forwards and backs also showed statistically significant improvements (p < 0.05) per positional groups. Therefore, a rhythmic movement intervention has the potential to improve rugby-specific bio-motor skills and furthermore, improve positional specific skills should it be designed with positional groups in mind. Future studies should investigate, not only the effect of rhythmic movement on improving specific rugby bio-motor skills, but the potential of its application as an alternative training method during off-season (or detraining phases) or as a recovery method.
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Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem in many countries including India. Yoga may be an effective type 2 diabetes prevention strategy in India, particularly given its cultural familiarity. This was a parallel, randomized controlled pilot study to collect feasibility and preliminary efficacy data on yoga for diabetes risk factors among people at high risk of diabetes. Primary outcomes included: changes in BMI, waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, blood pressure, and cholesterol. We also looked at measures of psychological well-being including changes in depression, anxiety, positive and negative affect and perceived stress. Forty-one participants with elevated fasting blood glucose in Bangalore, India were randomized to either yoga (n = 21) or a walking control (n = 20). Participants were asked to either attend yoga classes or complete monitored walking 3–6 days per week for eight weeks. Randomization and allocation was performed using computer-generated random numbers and group assignments delivered in sealed, opaque envelopes generated by off-site study staff. Data were analyzed based on intention to treat. This study was feasible in terms of recruitment, retention and adherence. In addition, yoga participants had significantly greater reductions in weight, waist circumference and BMI versus control (weight −0.8 ± 2.1 vs. 1.4 ± 3.6, p = 0.02; waist circumference −4.2 ± 4.8 vs. 0.7 ± 4.2, p < 0.01; BMI −0.2 ± 0.8 vs. 0.6 ± 1.6, p = 0.05). There were no between group differences in fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, insulin resistance or any other factors related to diabetes risk or psychological well-being. There were significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, anxiety, depression, negative affect and perceived stress in both the yoga intervention and walking control over the course of the study. Among Indians with elevated fasting blood glucose, we found that participation in an 8-week yoga intervention was feasible and resulted in greater weight loss and reduction in waist circumference when compared to a walking control. Yoga offers a promising lifestyle intervention for decreasing weight-related type 2 diabetes risk factors and potentially increasing psychological well-being. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identified NCT00090506.
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Medical treatment of hypertension is not always sufficient to achieve blood pressure control. Despite this, previous studies on supplementary therapies, such as yoga, are relatively few. We investigated the effects of two yoga interventions on blood pressure and quality of life in patients in primary health care diagnosed with hypertension. Adult patients (age 20-80 years) with diagnosed hypertension were identified by an electronic chart search at a primary health care center in southern Sweden. In total, 83 subjects with blood pressure values of 120-179/<=109 mmHg at baseline were enrolled. At baseline, the patients underwent standardized blood pressure measurement at the health care center and they completed a questionnaire on self-rated quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF). There were three groups: 1) yoga class with yoga instructor (n = 28); 2) yoga at home (n = 28); and 3) a control group (n = 27). The participants were matched at the group level for systolic blood pressure. After 12 weeks of intervention, the assessments were performed again. At baseline a majority of the patients (92%) were on antihypertensive medication, and the patients were requested not to change their medication during the study. The yoga class group showed no improvement in blood pressure or self-rated quality of life, while in the yoga at home group there was a decline in diastolic blood pressure of 4.4 mmHg (p < 0.05) compared to the control group. Moreover, the yoga at home group showed significant improvement in self-rated quality of life compared to the control group (p < 0.05). A short yoga program for the patient to practice at home seems to have an antihypertensive effect, as well as a positive effect on self-rated quality of life compared to controls. This implies that simple yoga exercises may be useful as a supplementary blood pressure therapy in addition to medical treatment when prescribed by primary care physicians.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01302535).
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The objective of this study is to assess the findings of selected articles regarding the therapeutic effects of yoga and to provide a comprehensive review of the benefits of regular yoga practice. As participation rates in mind-body fitness programs such as yoga continue to increase, it is important for health care professionals to be informed about the nature of yoga and the evidence of its many therapeutic effects. Thus, this manuscript provides information regarding the therapeutic effects of yoga as it has been studied in various populations concerning a multitude of different ailments and conditions. Therapeutic yoga is defined as the application of yoga postures and practice to the treatment of health conditions and involves instruction in yogic practices and teachings to prevent reduce or alleviate structural, physiological, emotional and spiritual pain, suffering or limitations. Results from this study show that yogic practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.
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To observe the effect of regular yogic practices and self-discipline in reducing body fat and elevated lipids in CAD patients. In this study one hundred seventy (170) subjects, of both sexes having coronary artery disease were randomly selected form Department of Cardiology. Subjects were divided in to two groups randomly in yoga group and in non-yoga group, eighty five (85) in each group. Out of these (170 subjects), one hundred fifty four (154) completed the study protocol. TIME LINE: The yogic intervention consisted of 35-40 min/day, five days in a week till six months in the Department of Physiology CSMMU UP Lucknow. Body fat testing and estimation of lipid profile were done of the both groups at zero time and after six months of yogic intervention in yoga group and without yogic intervention in non yoga group. In present study, BMI (p<0.04), fat % (p<0.0002), fat free mass (p<0.04), SBP (p<0.002), DBP (p<0.009), heart rate (p<0.0001), total cholesterol (p<0.0001), triglycerides (p<0.0001), HDL (p<0.0001) and low density lipoprotein (p<0.04) were changed significantly. Reduction of SBP, DBP, heart rate, body fat%, total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL after regular yogic practices is beneficial for cardiac and hypertensive patients. Therefore yogic practices included in this study are helpful for the patients of coronary artery disease.
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As a result of inconsistencies in reported findings, controversy exists regarding the effectiveness of balance training for improving functional performance and neuromuscular control. Thus, its practical benefit in athletic training remains inconclusive. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of training interventions in enhancing neuromuscular control and functional performance. Two independent reviewers performed a literature search in Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Register and Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database), and SCOPUS. Randomized controlled trials and controlled trials without randomization with healthy and physically active participants aged up to 40 years old were considered for inclusion. Outcomes of interest were postural control, muscle strength, agility, jump performance, sprint performance, muscle reflex activity, rate of force development, reaction time, and electromyography. Data of interest were methodologic assessment, training intervention, outcome, timing of the outcome assessment, and results. Standardized mean differences and 95% confidence intervals were calculated when data were sufficient. In total, 20 randomized clinical trials met the inclusion criteria. Balance training was effective in improving postural sway and functional balance when compared with untrained control participants. Larger effect sizes were shown for training programs of longer duration. Although controversial findings were reported for jumping performance, agility, and neuromuscular control, there are indications for the effectiveness of balance training in these outcomes. When compared with plyometric or strength training, conflicting results or no effects of balance training were reported for strength improvements and changes in sprint performance. We conclude that balance training can be effective for postural and neuromuscular control improvements. However, as a result of the low methodologic quality and training differences, further research is strongly recommended.
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Background: With clearer evidence of its benefits, coaches, and athletes may better see that yoga has a role in optimizing performance. Aims: To determine the impact of yoga on male college athletes (N = 26). Methods: Over a 10-week period, a yoga group (YG) of athletes (n = 14) took part in biweekly yoga sessions; while a nonyoga group (NYG) of athletes (n = 12) took part in no additional yoga activity. Performance measures were obtained immediately before and after this period. Measurements of flexibility and balance, included: Sit-reach (SR), shoulder flexibility (SF), and stork stand (SS); dynamic measurements consisted of joint angles (JA) measured during the performance of three distinct yoga positions (downward dog [DD]; right foot lunge [RFL]; chair [C]). Results: Significant gains were observed in the YG for flexibility (SR, P = 0.01; SF, P = 0.03), and balance (SS, P = 0.05). No significant differences were observed in the NYG for flexibility and balance. Significantly, greater JA were observed in the YG for: RFL (dorsiflexion, l-ankle; P = 0.04), DD (extension, r-knee, P = 0.04; r-hip; P = 0.01; flexion, r-shoulder; P = 0.01) and C (flexion, r-knee; P = 0.01). Significant JA differences were observed in the NYG for: DD (flexion, r-knee, P = 0.01: r-hip, P = 0.05; r-shoulder, P = 0.03) and C (flexion r-knee, P = 0.01; extension, r-shoulder; P = 0.05). A between group comparison revealed the significant differences for: RFL (l-ankle; P = 0.01), DD (r-knee, P = 0.01; r-hip; P = 0.01), and C (r-shoulder, P = 0.02). Conclusions: Results suggest that a regular yoga practice may increase the flexibility and balance as well as whole body measures of male college athletes and therefore, may enhance athletic performances that require these characteristics.
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In recent years the practice of yoga has gained popularity as a form of physical fitness and exercise, and has been said to improve strength and flexibility. The main objective of this research project was to evaluate the effects of a six week Iyengar yoga intervention on flexibility. N = 16 low to moderately active females (52.37±7.79 years) attended iyengar yoga practice for a total of 6 weeks, consisting of one 90min session per week. Lumbar and hamstring flexibility were assessed pre and post-intervention using a standard sit and reach test. The results show a significant increase in flexibility, indicating 6 weeks of single session yoga training may be effective in increasing erector spinae and hamstring flexibility. This is important when considering that much of the population find it difficult to attend more than one session a week into their training schedule.
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Yoga has proven beneficial effects on various health domains including musculoskeletal conditions, cardiopulmonary conditions through the practice of asana and pranayamas as well as on mental health, as it is known to enhance the body-and mind coordination. There is paucity of data on the effect of yoga on functional capacity in literature using 6 min walk test. The present study aims to look at the effect of yoga on 6-min walked distance, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), recovery time following the walk and state of well being. This is a hospital-based longitudinal study where 30 physiotherapy students of the age group 18 - 22 years of either sex were enrolled. Subjects having musculoskeletal problems, cardio respiratory disease and those who were not willing to volunteer were excluded They received Yoga intervention in form of Yogic practices which included a combination of asanas, pranayamas and omkar chanting for 1 h for 30 sessions. A baseline 6-min walk test was conducted on subjects and the 6-min walked distance, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) on modified Borg's scale were recorded. The baseline state of well-being was noted using the Warwick- Edinburgh mental well-being scale and similar recording was done post intervention after 30 sessions. Of the 30 subjects, there were no drop outs as these were committed college students. Of them, 24 were females and 6 were males with a mean age of 21.5 years SD 2.38. Statistically significant improvements were observed in 6-min walk distance (P value = 0.000), RPE (P value < 0.000), recovery time (P value < 0.000) and sense of well being score (P value < 0.000). Yoga practices are beneficial in improving the functional capacity in young healthy adults. Yoga can very well be incorporated in medical practice for increasing the patient's functional capacity, for those who have limitations in performing aerobic training due to various health reasons. The improved state of well being motivates the patients to adhere to yogic practices.