In Yoga Therapy Greece we combine the ancient yoga wisdom and the evidence informed practices suggested by research. Critically evaluating the latest and most robust research articles, we are happy to share a small summary of them hoping that you will find it interesting to read and a help to understand the effectiveness of yoga and how much yoga can offer in the support of older people with or without health conditions.
The systematic review ‘Yoga-based exercise improves health-related quality of life and mental well-being in older people’ by Tulloch et al. (2018) through 12 high methodological quality (mean Pedro score 6.1) RCTs investigated the effect of yoga in a total of 752 people aged 60+ being healthy or having chronic health conditions such as cancer, COPD, knee osteoarthritis, lower back pain, Parkinson’s Disease. The yoga intervention lasted from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, was given for 8-24 weeks, in 1-3 classes per week while a home yoga programme was suggested in the majority of the trials. The systematic review showed yoga’s statistically significant effect on HRQOL (SMD 0.51, 95% CI 0.25-0.76, P<0.001) and a small statistically significant effect (SMD 0.38, 95% CI, 15-0.62, P<0.001) on mental wellbeing compared to usual care. The results were similar among the RCTs and consistent to previous systematic reviews (Desveux et al., 2015), increasing generalisability of the results.
This systematic review, like many others, indicate the benefits of yoga in quality of life and mental health when it is given in a safe and knowledgeable way to older people, either when they are healthy, or when they have medical conditions.
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