Objective: This pilot study was designed to identify the potential benefits of breath-focused yoga on respiratory, physical, and psychological functioning for adults with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants: Ten individuals with severe TBI who self-selected to attend weekly yoga classes and 4 no-treatment controls were evaluated. Methods: Participants were assessed at pretreatment baseline and at 3-month intervals for a total of 4 time points over 40 weeks. Outcomes of interest included observed exhale strength, ability to hold a breath or a tone, breathing rate, counted breaths (inhale and exhale), and heart rate, as well as self-reported physical and psycho-logical well-being. Results: Repeated within-group analyses of variance revealed that the yoga group demonstrated significant longitudinal change on several measures of observed respiratory functioning and self-reported physical and psychological well-being over a 40-week period. Those in the control group showed marginal improvement on 2 of the 6 measures of respiratory health, physical and social functioning, emotional well-being, and general health. The small sample sizes precluded the analysis of between group differences. Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence that breath-focused yoga may improve respiratory functioning and self-perceived physical and psychological well-being of adults with severe TBI.

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