Hatha yoga and vascular function: Results fromcross-sectional and interventional studies

Stacy D. Hunter, Takashi Tarumi, Mandeep S. Dhindsa, Nantinee Nualnim, Hirofumi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine the effect of hatha yoga on arterial elasticity and endothelial function. First, a cross-sectional study was performed to determine whether yoga practitioners would demonstrate greater arterial compliance and endothelium-dependent vasodilation than their sedentary peers. Second, an intervention study involving 13 sedentary middle-aged and older adults (51±7 years) was performed to determine whether 12 weeks of hatha yoga would elicit increases in arterial compliance and endothelial function. In the cross-sectional study involving a total of 34 subjects, there were no group differences in body fatness, blood lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, carotid artery compliance or brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Hemoglobin A1c was lower in yoga practitioners than in sedentary adults (. P<0.05). Total cholesterol and hemoglobin A1c decreased after the intervention (. P<0.05) while carotid artery compliance and brachial artery FMD did not change. The results of both cross-sectional and interventional studies indicate that regular practice of hatha yoga is not associated with improvements in vascular functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-327
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Endothelial function
  • Flexibility
  • Flow-mediated dilation
  • Stretching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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