Stacy D Hunter
Pure Action, Inc. USA
Stacy Hunter is the Research Director for Pure Action, Inc. a nonprofi t organization devoted to funding yoga research and providing yoga to underserved populations. She is also an affi liate of the University of Texas at Austin where she received her PhD in Clinical Exercise Physiology studying the effects of yoga on vascular function in the Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory. She has published several studies on the impact of various styles of yoga on vascular function and glucose tolerance and traveled the US and abroad presenting her fi ndings
Insulin resistance is associated with obesity and advancing age. Although much evidence supports a positive role of traditional exercise in improving metabolic function, only a few studies have employed yoga as an interventional strategy. Yoga may present a feasible alternative exercise for obese adults due to the low-impact nature and moderate-intensity of this activity. As indirect evidence has shown benefi cial eff ects of stretching and thermal therapy on glucose metabolism, we investigated the eff ect of 8 weeks of hot yoga, a combination of thermal therapy and fl exibility training on glucose tolerance in both lean and obese adults. Although no changes in anthropometric measures occurred in lean adults, body mass and body mass index signifi cantly declined in obese subjects as a result of the hot yoga intervention. Glucose tolerance also improved in obese but not in lean adults. Bikram yoga may be an eff ective alternate therapy for the treatment of obesity-related metabolic dysfunction.