The study by researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders found that lung function, shortness of breath, and inflammation all showed significant improvement after patients completed 12 weeks of training.
"COPD is a systemic inflammatory disease that causes difficulty breathing. We investigated to see whether simple, structured yoga training affects the level of inflammation, shortness of breath, and quality of life in patients with stable COPD," study presenter Randeep Guleria said.
The study included 29 stable patients with COPD who received yoga training in a format that included the use of physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), cleansing techniques, (kriyas), meditation, and a relaxation technique (shavasan) for 1 hour, twice a week, for 4 weeks.
Following the 4-week period, patients were trained for 1 hour every 2 weeks, with the remaining sessions completed at home. Patients were evaluated on assessment of lung function, breathing, quality of life, and inflammation status.
A repeat assessment was done at the end of the 12-week training session. All parameters showed significant improvement at the end of the 12-week period.
Guleria said that yoga can be a simple, cost-effective method that can help improve quality of life in patients with COPD.
The study was presented at CHEST 2013.