I love these types of comparative studies that show yoga health benefits. In this study, despite low energy expenditure, yoga practices are better in some cardiorespiratory fitness parameters than other aerobic activities recommended by current guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) prevention.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in developed countries. An integral part of primary prevention is physical activity. One form of physical activity to be potentially used is yoga, but this activity is associated with lower energy expenditure than that recommended for prevention.
The study aimed at assessing the effect of regular yoga sessions on the aerobic capacity of the practitioners and comparing it with the normal population performing physical activity recommended by guidelines.
Fifty-eight persons (16 males) with a mean age of 50.0 ± 11.06 years comprising the yoga group practiced yoga for at least 1 h a day for over 2 years. They underwent spiroergometry under maximal exercise testing to assess basic performance parameters. Their results were compared with those in 54 age-matched controls (16 males mean age of 48 ± 11.86 years performing a regular aerobic physical activity for at least 7 h a week.
The Results: The yoga group had statistically significantly higher maximum performance per kilogram (P = 0.007) and maximum oxygen consumption per kilogram per minute (P = 0.028).
Reference: Sovová E, Cajka V, Pastucha D, Malincíková J, Radová L, Sovová M. Positive effect of yoga on cardiorespiratory fitness: A pilot study. Int J Yoga [serial online] 2015 [cited 2015 Jun 16];8:134-8. Available from: http://www.ijoy.org.in/text.asp?2015/8/2/134/158482