I was very excited to meet a researcher at Penn who did this study on yoga for high blood pressure.
They randomized patients (n=57) with early stages of high blood pressure to 12 weeks of Iyengar yoga or a control group consisting of standard dietary modifications.
In the group that made dietary changes, blood pressure significantly decreased in the first 6 weeks but was not sustained at 12 weeks. In the Iyengar yoga group, systolic blood pressure significantly decreased at 12 weeks, indicating a more sustainable and long-term benefit.
This preliminary study enabled them to get NIH funding for a larger, long-term study that is currently underway. They are looking at both dietary changes and yoga for hypertension (along with many other biomarkers and measures)…exciting!