Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Renee Mabey

Keywords

Blood Pressure; Postural Balance; Pliability; Yoga

Abstract

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise and meditation that has recently gained popularity in the United States. Medical research regarding the benefits of yoga, however, continues to be in demand. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of yoga on normal, healthy individuals. The focus of this study revolved around balance, hamstring flexibility, and blood pressure changes after six weeks of yoga training.

Eighteen normal, healthy individuals between 20-33 years of age participated in this study. Subjects were assessed using the NeuroCom®Balance Master test for rhythmic weight shift (RWS), the Functional Reach Test (FRT), the measure of blood pressure (BP), the Sit-and-Reach Test (SRT), and the Single Limb Stance Timed Test (SLST). The yoga group performed a random combination of 14 asanas in a six-week yoga-training program that met for 45 minutes, three times per week. The walking group (control group) walked below their target heart rates and performed basic hamstring stretching three times per week for six weeks.

Paired samples t-tests indicated significance for diastolic blood pressure (Sig. .04) and on-axis velocity RWS anterior-posterior (Sig .. 048) for the yoga group and for SLST on the left with eyes closed (Sig .. 005) for the walking group. Wilcoxen tests indicated significance for the yoga group in the SRT (Sig .. 003) and SLST on the right with eyes open (Sig .. 003) and eyes closed (Sig .. 021). These findings provide evidence that the practice of yoga is beneficial in improving physical well-being.

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