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Complement Ther Med. 2019 Feb;42:125-131. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.019. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Feasibility of yoga as a complementary therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes: The Healthy Active and in Control (HA1C) study.

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Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI, 02906, United States. Electronic address:
Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI, 02906, United States.



This study:Healthy Active and in Control (HA1C), examined the feasibility and acceptability of yoga as a complementary therapy for adults with Type-2 Diabetes (T2DM).


A 2-arm randomized clinical trial comparing Iyengar yoga with a supervised walking program.


Hospital based gym-type facility and conference rooms.


Participants were randomized to a 12-week program of either; (1) a twice weekly Iyengar yoga, or (2) a twice-weekly program of standard exercise (SE).


Primary outcomes assessed feasibility and acceptability, including enrollment rates, attendance, study completion, and participant satisfaction. Secondary outcomes included HbA1c, physical activity, and measures of diabetes-related emotional distress, self-care and quality of life (QOL). Assessments were conducted at baseline, end of treatment, 6-months and 9-months post-enrollment.


Of 175 adults screened for eligibility, 48 (30 women, 18 men) were eligible and enrolled. The most common reasons for ineligibility were orthopedic restrictions, HbA1c levels <6.5 and BMI > 42. Session attendance was high (82% of sessions attended), as was follow-up completion rates (92%). Program satisfaction rated on a 5-point scale, was high among both Yoga (M = 4.63, SD = 0.57) and SE (M = 4.77, SD = 0.52) participants. Overall 44 adverse events (26 Yoga, 18 SE) were reported. Of these, six were deemed "possibly related" (e.g., neck strain, back pain), and 1 "probably related" (ankle pain after treadmill) to the study. Yoga produced significant reductions in HbA1c. Median HbA1c at 6 months was 1.25 units lower for Yoga compared to SE (95% CI: -2.54 -0.04). Greater improvements in diabetes self-care, quality of life, and emotional distress were seen among Yoga participants than among SE participants. Increases in mindfulness were seen in Yoga but not in SE.


The yoga intervention was highly feasible and acceptable, and produced improvements in blood glucose and psychosocial measures of diabetes management.


Complementary therapy; Diabetes; Exercise; Feasibility; Physical activity; Type 2 diabetes; Yoga

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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