Author(s): Tran MD, Holly RG, Lashbrook J, Amsterdam EA
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Abstract Ten healthy, untrained volunteers (nine females and one male), ranging in age from 18-27 years, were studied to determine the effects of hatha yoga practice on the health-related aspects of physical fitness, including muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and pulmonary function. Subjects were required to attend a minimum of two yoga classes per week for a total of 8 weeks. Each yoga session consisted of 10 minutes of pranayamas (breath-control exercises), 15 minutes of dynamic warm-up exercises, 50 minutes of asanas (yoga postures), and 10 minutes of supine relaxation in savasana (corpse pose). The subjects were evaluated before and after the 8-week training program. Isokinetic muscular strength for elbow extension, elbow flexion, and knee extension increased by 31\%, 19\%, and 28\% (p<0.05), respectively, whereas isometric muscular endurance for knee flexion increased 57\% (p<0.01). Ankle flexibility, shoulder elevation, trunk extension, and trunk flexion increased by 13\% (p<0.01), 155\% (p<0.001), 188\% (p<0.001), and 14\% (p<0.05), respectively. Absolute and relative maximal oxygen uptake increased by 7\% and 6\%, respectively (p<0.01). These findings indicate that regular hatha yoga practice can elicit improvements in the health-related aspects of physical fitness. (c)2001 CHF, Inc.
This article was published in Prev Cardiol
and referenced in Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy