The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and metabolic changes observed immediately and 3 months after daily Yoga practices in a group of people with diabetes mellitus (DM). The study included sixteen women(3 with Type 1 DM, 12 with Type 2 DM, and 1 with type 2 DM treated with insulin; mean age 61 ± 11 years; DM history 21 ± 14 years) attending the Physical Activity Program at CENEXA – Center of Experimental and Applied Endocrinology (UNLP-CONICET, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center), National University of La Plata School of Medicine, La Plata, Argentina. Group Yoga practices consisted in âsanas (postures), prânâyâma(breathing exercises), relaxation, and meditation techniques performed twice a week (27 sessions in all), complemented by daily individual sessions practiced at home the remaining days of the week. Data recorded at the beginning and at the end of the study included personal information, clinical and metabolic characteristics, type of treatment and control, and complications. Blood pressure(BP), heart rate (HR), and glycemia also were recorded at the beginning and end of 13 alternate sessions. Both attendance and compliance with the proposed schedule were high (> 80%), excepting 2 people who deserted but completed 50% of the study. There were no overall significant differences (beginning vs. end of the study) in BMI, HbA1, lipid profile, dietary plan, habitual physical activity practice, BP, and treatment schedule. Conversely, there was a significant decrease in HR (8 sessions; p < 0.03) and glycemia (10 sessions; p < 0.03) immediately after the Yoga sessions.
The immediate positive effect of Yoga practices on glycemia and HR suggests that such practices would be beneficial for the treatment of people with DM.