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 in the management of asthma.
Yoga for Asthma, a Cochrane review, the highest quality research article, shows the many benefits yoga has to people with asthma. The article analyses and summarizes 15 robust research articles showing that Yoga improves quality of life [5 studies, 375 participants], improves symptoms [SMD 0.37, 95% CI, 3 studies 243 participants], reduces medication usage [RR 5.35, 95% CI in 2 studies] and improves asthma control [0.10-0.19, 95% CI, in 7 studies, 340 participants] without any adverse effect.
Although it is well known that yoga with specific breathing techniques plus the relaxation effect helps reducing acute exacerbations and rescue bronchodilator, this robust Cochrane review proves it. In Yoga Therapy Greece we have seen these results working with numerous people with asthma.
The trials’ yoga interventions varied from two 15 minutes breathing practices per day for 6 months, to 30 min per day in the morning/ 5 days a week for a period of 6 months, to 90-minute sessions twice weekly for 4 weeks, to a twice a week 1 hour class and 30 minutes home practice (as it is done in yoga therapy groups), to 3-hour sessions 5 times per week for 3 weeks. All the yoga programs consisted of breathing, movements and guided relaxation except of one that included only the breathing technique of Bhastrika for 15 min daily for 6 weeks along with standard care (the normal medication).
The results are similar to a more recent Cochrane review (Santino et al., 2020) showing the effectiveness of yoga on people with asthma.
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