Healing Yoga Improves Heart Health

Summarizing the results from 32 Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), researchers published a recent paper on the effectiveness of yoga for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, in the journal Preventive Cardiology. They concluded that there is promising evidence of yoga on improving cardio-metabolic health, and said, "Our review finds emerging evidence to support a role for yoga in improving common modifiable risk factors of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome ... it demonstrates the potential of yoga to have an impact on concrete, physiological outcomes that represent some of the greatest health burdens today."

Three years ago, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducted a pilot study on their patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) using the Niroga Healing Yoga protocol. The researchers concluded: "There was a significant reduction in weight and improvement in the severity of depression, as well as a trend toward increased quality of life ... This pilot demonstrates that it is feasible for patients with CHF to incorporate yoga into their lifestyle." [Kubo et al, 2011, Yoga for Heart Failure Patients: A Feasibility Pilot Study with a Multiethnic Population, International Journal of Yoga Therapy, 2011; 21: 48-54]