Year : 2018  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53-59

Physiological and psychological responses to different yoga styles

Department of Sports Science, College of Human Kinetics, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Correspondence Address:
Jonathan Y Cagas
Department of Sports Science, College of Human Kinetics, University of the Philippines Diliman, 1101 Quezon City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_15_18

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Context: Yoga is a popular mind-body program designed to improve muscular endurance, core stability, flexibility, and balance. Some styles of yoga appear to provide mild cardiovascular stimulus which may enhance cardiovascular endurance when performed regularly. Few studies have compared training intensity of different yoga styles. Aims: The aim of this study is to examine training intensity, caloric expenditure, and acute psychological response to three different styles of yoga (i.e., Dynamic, Hatha, and Gentle Yoga). Settings and Design: This was a quasi-experimental, within-group repeated measures design. Subjects and Methods: Eight young females (M = 19.24, standard deviation = 1.82) performed three yoga styles on separate occasions. Each participant wore chest-mounted heart rate (HR) monitor to record physiological data (i.e., average HR, maximum HR, calorie expenditure, training duration, and percentage of time within the 5 Polar-defined training zones). Participants filled out the Exercise-induced Feeling Inventory before and after each session. Statistical Analysis Used: Analysis was done using nonparametric statistical tests. Results: Wilcoxon signed-rank test revealed significant differences in the average HR, calorie expenditure per minute, and time spent in Zone 2 (moderate intensity) between yoga styles. Follow-up analyses indicated that these physiological variables were higher in Dynamic Yoga compared to Hatha and Gentle. For psychological response, higher change in tranquility score was observed in Gentle Yoga compared to Hatha and Dynamic. Conclusions: This study concludes that different yoga styles elicit different training intensities and psychological response and extends current knowledge suggesting that health and fitness benefits of yoga may differ by style.

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