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Altern Ther Health Med. 2014 Mar-Apr;20(2):18-23.

Is yoga training beneficial for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction?



Some studies have shown the beneficial effects of yoga for individuals with bronchial hyperreactivity with regard to (1) a reduction in the use of rescue medication, (2) an increase in exercise capacity, and (3) an improvement in lung function. Despite the fact that yoga is promising as a new treatment for pediatric patients, further studies are needed to assess the use of this training for asthma management.


This study was performed to assess the beneficial effects of yoga in exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) in children.


The study was prospective, with no control group. Participants were randomly chosen among the new patients at the unit.


This study was conducted in the Erciyes University School of Medicine, Pediatric Allergy Unit, in Kayseri, Turkey.


Two groups of asthmatic children aged 6-17 y were enrolled in the study: (1) children with positive responses to an exercise challenge (n = 10), and (2) those with negative responses (n = 10).


Both groups attended 1-h sessions of yoga training 2 ×/wk for 3 mo.


Researchers administered spirometric measurement to all children before and immediately after participating in an exercise challenge. This process was performed at baseline and at the study's end. Age, gender, IgE levels, eosinophil numbers, and spirometric measurement parameters including forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1), forced expiratory flow 25%-75% (FEF25%-75%), forced vital capacity (FVC), peak expiratory flow percentage (PEF%), and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test and the Wilcoxon test. A P value < .05 was considered significant.


At baseline, no significant differences were observed between the groups regarding demographics or pre-exercise spirometric measurements (P > .05, Mann-Whitney U test). Likewise, no significant differences in spirometric measurements existed between the groups regarding the change in responses to an exercise challenge after yoga training (P > .05, Wilcoxon test). For the exercise-response-positive group, the research team observed a significant improvement in maximum forced expiratory volume 1% (FEV1%) fall following the exercise challenge after yoga training (P > .05, Wilcoxon test). All exercise-response-positive asthmatics became exerciseresponse-negative asthmatics after yoga training.


This study showed that training children in the practice of yoga had beneficial effects on EIB. It is the research team's opinion that yoga training can supplement drug therapy to achieve better control of asthma.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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