Oxygen consumption changes with Yoga practices: a systematic review

Oxygen consumption changes with Yoga practices: a systematic review

Tyagi, A. & Cohen, M., (2013) Oxygen Consumption Changes With Yoga Practices A Systematic Review Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine vol. 18(4) 290-308

Abstract

 

Oxygen consumption varies with physical and mental activity as well as pathological conditions. Although there is a strong relationship between yoga and metabolic parameters, the relationship between yoga and oxygen consumption has not yet been formally reviewed. This systematic review attempted to include all studies of yoga that also measured oxygen consumption or metabolic rate as an outcome. A total of 58 studies were located involving between 1 and 104 subjects (average 21). The studies were generally of poor methodological quality and demonstrated great heterogeneity with different experimental designs, yoga practices, time periods, and small sample sizes. Studies report yoga practices to have profound metabolic effects producing both increase and decrease in oxygen consumption, ranging from 383% increase with cobra pose to 40% decrease with meditation. Compared to nonpractitioners, basal oxygen consumption is reported to be up to 15% less in regular yoga practitioners, and regular yoga practice is reported to have a training effect with oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise decreasing by 36% after 3 months. Yoga breathing practices emphasize breathing patterns and retention ratios as well as unilateral nostril breathing, and these factors appear critical in influencing oxygen consumption. A number of studies report extraordinary volitional control over metabolism in advanced yoga practitioners who appear to be able to survive extended periods in airtight pits and to exceed the limits of normal human endurance. More rigorous research with standardized practices is required to determine the mechanisms of yoga’s metabolic effects and the relevance of yoga practices in different clinical populations.

Yoga and hypertension: a systematic review

Yoga and hypertension: a systematic review

Tyagi, A., and Cohen, M. (2014) Yoga and Hypertension: A Systematic Review, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 20(2):32-59

Abstract

 

Lifestyle modification is a cornerstone of hypertension treatment, yet most recommendations currently focus on
diet and exercise and do not consider stress reduction strategies. Yoga is a spiritual path that may reduce blood
pressure through reducing stress, increasing parasympathetic activation and altering baroreceptor sensitivity;
however, despite existing reviews on yoga and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and anxiety
suggesting yoga may reduce blood pressure, no comprehensive review has focused on yoga and hypertension.
A systematic review of all published studies on yoga and hypertension was performed revealing 39 cohort studies,
30 non-randomised controlled trials, 48 randomised controlled trials and 3 case reports with durations ranging
from 1 week to 4 years and involving a total of 6693 subjects. Most studies reported that yoga effectively reduced
blood pressure in both normotensive and hypertensive populations. These studies suggest that yoga could be an
effective adjunct therapy for hypertension and worthy of inclusion in clinical guidelines, yet the great
heterogeneity of yoga practices and the variable quality of the research makes it difficult to recommend any
specific yoga practice for hypertension. Future research needs to focus on high quality clinical trials along with
studies on the mechanisms of action of different yoga practices.