"So far it looks very promising that yoga might be a useful therapy for patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension who want to avoid using medication," study researcher Dr. Debbie Cohen, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, told MedPage Today.
"This could also be used as an adjunct to other lifestyle modifications," she said.
The study included 120 people with an average age of 50, 58 of whom completed the study.
All the study participants were organized into one of three groups: One was assigned to do yoga two or three times a week in a studio for 24 weeks, while another group was assigned to do a walking/nutrition/weight counseling program. The third group was assigned to do both yoga and dietary counseling.
Researchers analyzed their blood pressure at the beginning of the study, 12 weeks into the study, and 24 weeks into the study.
They found that the people who did yoga had decreases in their systolic blood pressure at the 12-week mark, and decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure at the 24-week mark.
However, the researchers noted that the other two groups also experienced positive effects on their blood pressure.