Effects of Yoga on Functional Capacity and Well Being

By Akhtar, Pooja; Yardi, Sujata et al. | International Journal of Yoga, January-June 2013 | Go to article overview

Effects of Yoga on Functional Capacity and Well Being


Akhtar, Pooja, Yardi, Sujata, Akhtar, Murtaza, International Journal of Yoga


Byline: Pooja. Akhtar, Sujata. Yardi, Murtaza. Akhtar

Yoga has proven beneficial effects on various health domains including musculoskeletal conditions, cardiopulmonary conditions through the practice of asana and pranayamas as well as on mental health, as it is known to enhance the body-and mind coordination. There is paucity of data on the effect of yoga on functional capacity in literature using 6 min walk test. The present study aims to look at the effect of yoga on 6-min walked distance, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), recovery time following the walk and state of well being. This is a hospital-based longitudinal study where 30 physiotherapy students of the age group 18 - 22 years of either sex were enrolled. Subjects having musculoskeletal problems, cardio respiratory disease and those who were not willing to volunteer were excluded They received Yoga intervention in form of Yogic practices which included a combination of asanas, pranayamas and omkar chanting for 1 h for 30 sessions. A baseline 6-min walk test was conducted on subjects and the 6-min walked distance, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) on modified Borg's scale were recorded. The baseline state of well-being was noted using the Warwick- Edinburgh mental well-being scale and similar recording was done post intervention after 30 sessions. Of the 30 subjects, there were no drop outs as these were committed college students. Of them, 24 were females and 6 were males with a mean age of 21.5 years SD 2.38. Statistically significant improvements were observed in 6-min walk distance (P value = 0.000), RPE (P value < 0.000), recovery time (P value < 0.000) and sense of well being score (P value < 0.000). Yoga practices are beneficial in improving the functional capacity in young healthy adults. Yoga can very well be incorporated in medical practice for increasing the patient's functional capacity, for those who have limitations in performing aerobic training due to various health reasons. The improved state of well being motivates the patients to adhere to yogic practices.

Introduction

Yoga in Sanskrit means "Union" and spiritual meaning of yoga is union of mind with divine intelligence of the Universe. [sup][1] It is an ancient Indian Philosophy based on diverse breathing, stretching and meditation. The physical part of yoga consists of several stretching and strength building postures which are known to improve strength and flexibility and also have effects on metabolic, physiological and psychological aspects of human being. [sup][2] Various interventions utilizing Yoga as a modality have proven beneficial effects on body weight, blood glucose, and total cholesterol in patients with diabetes and coronary artery diseases. [sup][3],[4],[5] and also showed improvements in pulmonary function tests. [sup][1] The utility of yoga as a complementary therapy to conventional medical care is under-recognized by the health care community, [sup][1] and the present study is an attempt to evaluate the effects of yoga on functional capacity and state of well being in normal healthy volunteers. If beneficial effects are observed, similar intervention can be planned in diseased individuals utilizing 6-min walk test as an outcome measure.

Aims and Objectives

*To evaluate the effects of Yogic practices (Asana, Pranayamas, and Omkar chanting) on functional capacity as evaluated by assessing 6 min walked distance and RPE on modified Borg's scale. *To evaluate the effects of Yogic practices on state of well being by using the Warwick- Edinburgh mental well-being scale.

Materials and Methods

This is an institution-based longitudinal study ethically cleared from local IRB.

Study sample

Thirty physiotherapy students of the age group 18-22 years of either sex were recruited. Subjects having musculoskeletal problems, cardio respiratory disease and those who were not willing to volunteer were excluded.

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