Metabolic syndrome is a precursor for chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The study titled, ‘Restorative yoga in adults with metabolic syndrome: a randomized, controlled pilot trial’, aims at investigating whether restorative yoga benefits adults suffering from metabolic syndrome, who are mostly overweight and underactive. The authors of the study include B. E Cohen, A. A Chang, D. Grady, and A. M. Kanaya.
What is restorative yoga?
Restorative yoga deals with relaxing body in restful yoga asanas/poses. The rest provided helps the body rejuvenate and heal. The body is eased into postures and then props are used for allowing body to relax. This way a person can surrender to the pose.
- 26 overweight and underactive men and women were randomized.
- A 3-hour introduction class was rendered.
- This was followed by classes twice a week for a period of 5 weeks
- Subsequent to this, one class every week for 5 weeks was held.
- Participants who received yoga intervention were asked to practice yoga 3 times a week outside class and monitor activity in a logbook.
- Control group did not receive any yoga intervention.
- Outcome was measured using the following parameters:
- Waist circumference
- Insulin sensitivity
- Blood pressure
- Plasma glucose
- Plasma insulin
- HDL and LDL
- Demographic information
- Perceived stress (PSS)
- Dietary information (using food frequency questionnaire)
- Physical activity
- Quality of life
- Self rating of overall health using Likert scale
Results and Discussion
- A trend towards improved blood pressure was observed in yoga group.
- Well being, stress, and slight changes in weight and BMI were also part of yoga group evaluations.
- However, no changes were detected in any of the serological measures of both groups.
- Yoga group reported an increased sense of well being and improved energy levels.
- There were no discernable changes in physical activity or diet.
- Majority of participants found restorative yoga poses easy to follow.
The study had a small sample size that limited statistical power of the results. Restorative yoga seemed to be a feasible intervention for adults suffering from metabolic syndrome. The efficacy should be further studied in a larger randomized trial.
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