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Yoga Participation Is Beneficial to Obesity Prevention, Hypertension Control, and Positive Quality of Life

Guarracino, Joanna Lazos MS; Savino, Susan MS; Edelstein, Sari PhD, RD


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of hatha and relaxation yoga on obesity, blood pressure, and quality of life. Seventy healthy women and men aged 18 years or older completed a survey. A statistically significant body mass index for obesity (30.0) was observed (P < .001). A significantly lower systolic blood pressure was detected in the 1- to 4-year yoga participant group as compared to the less than 1 year yoga group (P <.023). The mean Total Mood Disturbance score was −5.04, indicating the survey participants scored a positive mood state. Hatha and relaxation yoga had a statistically significant role in controlling weight, hypertension, and mood.

School for Health Studies, Simmons College, Boston, Mass.

Corresponding author: Sari Edelstein, PhD, RD, School for Health Studies, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115 (e-mail:

The authors thank Paula Simpson, Aerobics Director, and the yoga instructors of Reading Athletic Club in Reading, Mass; William Sharp, Aerobics Director, and the yoga instructors of Bally Total Fitness, Cambridge, Mass; and Gena Bean, Yoga Instructor, of Bally Total Fitness and Unitarian Universalist Church, Medford, Mass, for allowing them to distribute their survey and collect data at the various fitness centers. The authors also thank Dr Shelley Strowman for her extensive help and expertise during the data analysis process.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.