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Effects of high-intensity hatha yoga on cardiovascular fitness, adipocytokines, and apolipoproteins in healthy students: a randomized controlled study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, ISSN 1075-5535, E-ISSN 1557-7708, Vol. 22, no 1, 81-87 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Yoga exercises are often used as a form of body and mind exercise to increase performance. However, knowledge about the physiologic effects of performing high-intensity Hatha yoga exercises over a longer time period remains limited.

Objective: To investigate the effects of high-intensity yoga (HIY) on cardiovascular fitness (maximal oxygen consumption, estimated from the Cooper running test), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), heart rate (HR), heart rate recovery (HRR), blood pressure (BP), adipocytokines, apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1), apolipoprotein B (ApoB), and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in healthy students.

Methods: The 44 participants (38 women and 6 men; median age, 25 years [range, 20–39 years]) were randomly assigned to an HIY or a control group. The HIY program was held for 6 weeks (60 minutes once a week). Cardiovascular fitness, RPE, HR, HRR, BP, adipocytokines, HbA1c, ApoA1, and ApoB were measured at baseline and after 6 weeks in both groups.

Results: HIY had no significant effects on cardiovascular fitness (mean dose: 390 minutes [range, 210–800 minutes]), HR, HRR, BP, or any of the blood parameters. However, ApoA1 (1.47 ± 0.17 to 1.55 ± 0.16 g/L; p = 0.03) and adiponectin (8.32 ± 3.32 to 9.68 ± 3.83 mg/L; p = 0.003) levels increased significantly in the HIY group after 6 weeks.

Conclusions: Six weeks of HIY did not significantly improve cardiovascular fitness. However, ApoA1 and adiponectin levels increased significantly in the HIY group. This finding suggests that HIY may have positive effects on blood lipids and an anti-inflammatory effect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 22, no 1, 81-87 p.
Keyword [en]
Hatha yoga, cardiovascular fitness, adipocytokines, apolipoproteins, anti-inflammatory
National Category
Psychology Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems Physiology Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-127606DOI: 10.1089/acm.2015.0082ISI: 000368518200011PubMedID: 26565690OAI: diva2:910195

The authors thank all who volunteered to participate. They also thank Birger Andrén for helping out with the statistics, the yoga instructors (Ulrika Hedlund, Maddalena Maresca, and Vera Engdahl), and the test leaders (Matilda Johansson, Agnes Karlsson-Pyk, Maria Andersson, Johanna Öster, and Catarina Levin) for helping out with measurements. No funding was received for this study. All data are stored at an academic primary care center.

Available from: 2016-03-08 Created: 2016-03-08 Last updated: 2016-08-05Bibliographically approved

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Lindfors, Petra
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