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 cardiac rehabilitation.
The high quality RCT (7/10 in Pedro scale) ‘Integrated Yoga Practice in Cardiac Rehabilitation Program: A randomized Control Trial’ by Sharma et al. (2020) aimed to determine the feasibility of integrating yoga therapy in a cardiac rehabilitation centre and its effect in cardiac function and in patients with left ventricular dysfunction.
In this Randomized Control trial (RCT) the yoga therapy programme took place under supervision from an experienced certified yoga therapist 3 times a week for 12 weeks, a 1 hour home practice was suggested with the aid of handouts while the compliance was tracked through a diary. The control group was standard care.
This is the way we share yoga therapy to groups in Yoga Therapy Greece, meeting them as a group once a week taking the benefits of the group dynamics and make the intervention financially feasible for more people while they are supported by a personalized short home practice that is developed based on the personal intake at the start of the program.
The study of the 66 participants after 12 weeks showed significant differences in metabolic equivalents (METs) (U=136, P=0) and in quality of life (QoL) measured by Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) (U=146, P=0).
[MET is the objective measure of the ratio of the rate at which a person expends energy, relative to the mass of that person, while performing some specific physical activity compared to a reference, set by convention at 3.5 mL of oxygen per kilogram per minute, which is roughly equivalent to the energy expended when sitting quietly.]
These findings were in accordance with other RCTs measuring yoga’s effectiveness on individuals with metabolic syndrome (Lau et al., 2015) and in patients in a cardiac rehabilitation after coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) (Raghuram et al., 2014), showing yoga’s effectiveness in improved psychologic wellbeing leading to improved lifestyle and eating habitsand as a result to improved biochemical profile (Pischke et al., 2008).
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