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THE METABOLIC REQUIREMENTS OF VINYASA YOGA

Carroll, J1; Blansit, A1; Otto, R M. FACSM1; Wygand, J W.1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2003 - Volume 35 - Issue 5 - p S155
D-14B FREE COMMUNICATION/SLIDE ENERGY COST OF EXERCISE
Free

1Adelphi University, Garden City, New York

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PURPOSE

To quantify the hemodynamic and metabolic demand of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (aka power yoga), and compare the heart rate/oxygen consumption relationship of yoga to a maximal treadmill GXT, thirteen yoga practitioners (age 36.7 ± 6.5 yrs, body mass 62.1±13.2 kg, height 166.1 ± 9.4 cm, max VO2 46.6±4.5 mL/kg-min) with yoga experience of 3–36 months, participated in the study.

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METHODS

Open circuit spirometry was continuously employed during both a maximal Bruce protocol GXT and while subjects mimicked a fifteen-minute video displayed yoga sequence. The video included six yoga positions repeated in several sequences with verbal cueing. All participants were familiarized with the yoga sequence prior to testing.

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RESULTS

The following mean data were obtained during the yoga trial: VO2: 23.4±2.2mL/kg-min (∼50% max VO2), HR: 143±14 b/min (∼77% max HR), Lactate: 4.16±1.3 mMol/L, RER: .89±.04, caloric expenditure 7.15±1.3 kcal/min. The correlation of HR versus VO2 was r=.90 and r=.05 for the Bruce protocol and yoga, respectively.

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CONCLUSION

Despite the lack of relationship between HR and VO2, and the mild blood lactate level, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga can provide a moderate cardiovascular stimulus through a combination of anaerobic and aerobic energy requirements. The anaerobic exercise and isometric muscle actions involved in Vinyasa Yoga, may in part be responsible for the disproportionate HR/VO2 response and thus preclude the use of HR to estimate exercise intensity. The 6.7 MET energy cost of Vinyasa Yoga is similar to the moderate exercise intensity required by aerobic dance and walking.

©2003The American College of Sports Medicine