Background: We sought to study the feasibility of establishing a comprehensive, mostly self-directed yoga program in a hospital and its dose-effect relationship on cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life (QoL) measures over six months.
Methods: Yoga-based techniques (Advanced Yoga Practices; AYP; advancedyogapractices.com) were taught in 12 biweekly group sessions and self-directed practice at home was emphasized. Cardiovascular risk factors were elucidated by interview and review of medical history. Quality of life (QoL) outcomes included the SF-36, the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale (CPSS), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Risk factors and QoL measures were compared in participants at baseline and six months, as well as between those practicing ≥ 7 times versus < 7 times per week.
Results: A total of 22 individuals (19 women, mean age 59 ± 8.7 years) completed the study. At six months, changes were noted in the Mental Component Scale (MCS) of the SF-36 (p=0.0004) and the CPSS (p = 0.022). A greater improvement in CPSS was noted in those practicing ≥ 7 times versus < 7 times a week (p=0.045). No changes were noted in cardiovascular risk factors.
Conclusions: The prescription of a self-directed yoga program was feasible in a hospital setting and resulted in improvement in QoL measures at six months. Practicing more than seven times per week correlated with greater improvement in the perception of stress. Thus, at least a once-daily dose of AYP techniques for a significant improvement in perceived stress is an appropriate dose to employ and study in hospital settings.