(% Women)

Mean Age, Years (SD)

Type of musculo­skeletal disorder


Park & McCaffrey 39 Time series design (repeated measures) 10 (86%) 77 (3.6) Osteo­arthritis Sit ‘N’ Fit Chair yoga:  45 minutes twice/week
Park et al. 22 Time series design  21
Osteo­arthritis 8 week sessions Sit ‘N’ Fit Chair yoga:  45 minutes twice/week, Reiki: 30 minutes, once/week, Pain Education: 90 minutes every other week
Ebnezar, Nagarathna, Bali, & Nagendra 23 prospective randomized parallel active control study 235
(70 %)
59 (10) Osteoarthritis of knee joints Yoga Group: 40 min (per day) after 20 min of physiotherapy for 2 weeks.

Components: (a)Yogic sukshmavyayamas (loosening and strengthening practices), (b) Relaxation techniques, (c) Asanas (physical postures), (d) Pranayama, (e) Meditation

Control Group: 40 min of therapeutic exercises after 20 min of physiotherapy for 2 weeks
Taibi & Vitiello47 Pretest/
 13 (100%) 65.2 (6.9) Osteo­arthritis Gentle Hatha yoga: 75 minutes weekly for 8 weeks

20 min of nightly home practice.

Components: (a) relaxation and body awareness, (b) progressed to seated poses, (c) supine poses, (d) breathing exercises, (e) deep relaxation
Ülger & Yaglı 48 pretest/ posttest 27 (100%) 43.70 (7.35) musculo­skeletal problems Yoga: regular yoga, 60 minutes including asansa, stretching exercise, and breathing techniques; 8 sessions (twice weekly for 4 weeks)

Components: (a) Ardha Kati Chakrasana, (b) Ardhachakrasana (c) Padahastasana, (d) Trikonasana, (e) Vriks, (f) asana, (g) Veerab­hadrasana, (h) Sasankasana, (i) Suptavajrasana, (j) Paschimatana­sana, (k) Bhujangasana, (l) Salab­hasana
Bukowski et al. 50 Pretest/
15 (100%)
67.75 Osteo­arthritis Iyengar yoga: 61.5 minutes traditional stretching and strengthening exercise (5 minutes warm-up, stretching, 5 minutes cool-down)

Component: Mountain pose-basic standing pose; Standing extended triangle pose; standing lunge pose; Supine mountain pose; Supine foot pose; Standing-bending pose;  Seated restrained angle pose; Seated restrained angle pose; Seated restrained angle pose
Garfinkel et al. 24 Randomized controlled trial 25
52–79 Hand osteo-arthritis Supervised yoga and relaxation techniques and patient education: 60-minute session (Sessions 1 and 10 devoted to pretest/posttest)

Stretching, strengthening exercise. They raised and straightened their arms above their heads, intertwined their fingers, then turned the palms upwards and lifted from the scapulae.
Kolasinski et al.
58.6 Knee osteo‑
Modified Iyengar yoga: 90 minutes once weekly for 8 weeks

Posture including standing, sitting, and supine positions

Components: Mountain pose and basic standing pose, standing extended triangle pose; staff pose, Supine Mountain pose; Supine foot pose
Telles, Dash & Naveen 53
Randomized controlled trial 291
(% not reported)
31.9 (10.2) -32.8 (8.6) Musculo­skeletal dis­comfort Yoga group: Daily 1-hour yoga sessions during a period set aside for recreation

Components: asanas, exercises for the joints and back, regulated breathing, visual cleansing exercises, and guided relaxation.

Wait-List Control: spent the same time in their usual recreational activities.
Tul et al.
Qualitative in-depth interviews, observation 7
(% not reported)
46.6 Back pain Hatha yoga: 8-weeks of weekly group sessions and at-home practice
Tilbrook et al. 27 Parallel-group, randomized controlled trial  313
46.4 (11.3) Lower back pain Iyengar yoga: 12 weeks, gradually progressing yoga program delivered over 3 months;

Components: Pain-relieving or settling-in relaxing poses; a program of seated, standing, prone, and supine poses; educative postural advice; and 5 to 15 minutes of relaxation.

Usual care:
Williams et al.
Randomized controlled trial  90
Chronic low back pain Iyengar yoga: 90 minutes biweekly for 24 weeks

Components: supine, seated, standing, forward bends, twists, and inversions.

Wait-listed control group: self-directed standard medical care (SMC)
Saper et al.
Pilot randomized controlled trial  30
Chronic low back pain Yoga group: weekly 75-minute Hatha yoga classes for 12 weeks

Each class began and ended with svasana, a relaxation exercise. Classes included postures and berthing techniques.

Usual care control group: offered the yoga intervention after 26 weeks
et al.
Low back pain Hatha yoga: 8 sessions and a 10-week follow-up period.

Components: Energetic breathing exercise, mindfulness/mediation and/or conceration,
Tekur et al. 28 Randomized controlled trial 80
49 (3.6) -
48 (4.0)
Chronic low back pain Yoga group: 1-week intensive residential yoga program (integrated approach to yoga therapy)

Components: Supine postures; Prone posture; Quick relaxation technique; Sitting postures; Standing postures; Deep relaxation technique

Control group: physical exercises performed in 1-week intensive program
Sherman et al.
Randomized controlled trial  101 (66%) 44
Low back pain Yoga group: 75-minute weekly yoga sessions for 12 weeks

Exercise group: 12-session conventioal therapeutic exercise class

Self-care book: mailed a copy of The Back Pain Helpbook
Williams et al.
Randomized controlled trial 60
Low back pain Yoga group: one 1.5-hour class weekly for 16 weeks at a community yoga studio

Educational control group: two1-hour lectures on occupational/ physical therapy education
Galantino et al. 43 Randomized controlled trial 22
Chronic low back pain Yoga group: modified Hatha yoga protocol, 1 hour, twice a week for 6 weeks

Control group: Over the same 6-week period, instructed to continue with usual daily activities

Diaphragmatic breathing/relaxation postures; stretching postures; asanas/preparatory exercises; sun salutation; relaxation and meditation.
Bosch et al. 31 Pretest/posttest design 16 (% not reported) Yoga 56.3 (7.6)
Control 66.7 (5.8)
RA Three yoga classes: 75-minute yoga session 3 times a week for 10 weeks

Supine breathing activities; traditional posture and stretches; meditation.
Badsha et al. 29 Pretest/posttest design 47
(% not reported)
RA Vishwas-Raj Yoga: 1-hour session twice a week for 6 weeks

Components: Stretches, strengthening, meditation and deep breathing
Dash & Telles
Pretest/posttest design 286 31 (7.4) RA Yoga group: 60 minutes (asanas or postures) yoga asanas or postures, pranayama or voluntarily regulated breathing, meditation, and lectures about yoga philosophy.

Control group
Curtis et al. 34 Time series design 22 (100%) 47.4 (13.7) Fibro­myalgia 75-minute yoga  class twice weekly for 8 weeks

Components: traditional, modified, and restorative yoga postures (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama), a brief meditation (dhyana), intention setting, mindfulness exercise and an introduction to the eight limbs of yoga.
Carson et al. 32 Randomized controlled trial Women
53 (100%)
Fibro­myalgia Yoga group: 120-minute weekly classes (7-12 patients/group) for 8 weeks

Gentle stretching poses, mindfulness meditation (e.g., awareness of breath), breathing techniques, didactic presentations on the application of yogic principles to optimal coping

Wait-listed control group: standard care
da Silva et al. 33 Randomized controlled trial 40
44 (8.0) -46  (8.9)
Fibro­myalgia Relaxing Yoga (RY): 50-minute weekly sessions for 8 weeks

Relaxing Yoga plus Touch (RYT): 50-minute weekly sessions for 8 weeks
Yağlı & Ülger Ö 49 pre/post design  12 (100%) 66.00 (3.87) Osteo­porosis Yoga exercise program 1hour

Components: breathing exercise; warm-up activities; physical poses in the supine, seated, and standing position; corpse pose
Tüzün et al.35 Randomized controlled trial 26
60.62 (8.43) Osteo­porosis Yoga education 1 hour twice/week for 12 weeks
Fishman et al.36 repeated measures  18
68 Osteo­porosis or osteo­penia Yoga: 10 minutes daily for 2 years
Balk et al. 37 Prospective, pre/post design 13 (100%) 55 (4.5) Osteo­porosis and  osteo­penia  Hatha yoga: 60 minutes, once a week for 12 weeks
Boyle et al.
Time-series design, repeated measures 24
38.3 Muscle soreness in lower extremity Kripaiustyic yoga: 90-minute gentle or moderate session (at the facility where they normally practiced yoga) at 24 and 72 hours after initial testing
Oken et al. 38 Randomized controlled trial 57 Yoga: 49.8  (7.4) Multiple Sclerosis Iyengar yoga: 90 minutes once per week for 6 months

Components: breathing for concentration and relaxation during the session. Each class ended with a 10-minute deep relaxation with the subject lying supine. Progressive relaxation, visualization, and mediation techniques were introduced.

Exercise: Aerobic exercise (bicycling on recumbent or dual-action stationary bicycles) Waiting list
Garfinkel et al. 17 Randomized, single-blind, controlled trial 42
48.9 Carpal tunnel syn­drome Iyengar approach to Hatha yoga: 1 to 1.5 hours for strength­en­ing, stretching, balancing upper body joints plus relaxa­tion twice weekly for 8 weeks

Wait-list control group
Table 1: Summary of 31 Studies of Yoga Interventions: Design and Interventions.