The effect of Bikram yoga on endothelial function in young and middle-aged and older adults

Stacy D. Hunter, Mandeep S. Dhindsa, Emily Cunningham, Takashi Tarumi, Mohammed Alkatan, Nantinee Nualnim, Ahmed Elmenshawy, Hirofumi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to determine if Bikram yoga, a style of heated hatha yoga, would improve endothelial function in young and middle-aged and older, healthy adults. This trial was performed in 36 young (n = 17) and middle-aged and older adults (n = 19) who completed 3 weekly Bikram yoga classes for 8 weeks. Height, body weight and body composition were determined and endothelial function was measured noninvasively using brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) before and after the intervention. No changes in body weight, BMI or body fat percentage occurred as a result of the intervention in either group. Brachial artery FMD was significantly increased in middle-aged and older (P < 0.05) but not in young adults as a result of the intervention. The results demonstrate that a relatively short-term Bikram yoga practice might significantly improve vascular endothelial function in middle-aged and older adults. While apparently healthy individuals in this study experienced no adverse events, those with preexisting conditions should take caution and consult with a physician prior to engaging in this style of yoga.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Aging
  • Endothelial function
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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