Arthritis:Raja Yoga Study In Dubai

The benefits of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis: results of a preliminary, structured 8-week program

Abstract: The aim of this study was to measure the effects of a bi-weekly Raj yoga program on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity. Subjects were recruited from among RA patients in Dubai, United Arab Emirates by email invitations of the RA database. Demographic data, disease activity indices, health assessment questionnaire (HAQ), and quality of life (QOL) by SF-36 were documented at enrollment and after completion of 12 sessions of Raj yoga. A total of 47 patients were enrolled: 26 yoga and 21 controls. Baseline demographics were similar in both groups. Patients who underwent yoga had statistically significant improvements in DAS28 and HAQ, but not QOL. Our pilot study of 12 sessions of yoga for RA was able to demonstrate statistically significant improvements in RA disease parameters. We believe that a longer duration of treatment could result in more significant improvements.

Authors
Humeira Badsha1 Email for humeira.badsha@dbaj.ae, Vishwas Chhabra2, Cathy Leibman3, Ayman Mofti4, Kok Ooi Kong5

Rheumatology International

Issue Volume 29, Number 12 / October, 2009 Pages 1417-1421
DOI 10.1007/s00296-009-0871-1

It has been inspirational to note the traffic to Mahasri Yoga from Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. Then I discovered this study done in Dubai. Yoga and meditation are truly global, universal bodies of knowledge with potential benefits for everyone. The participants in the study had no prior exposure to yoga and did no physical exercises. Yet, there was a statistically significant improvement. Our next blog post is of a study of the effects of yoga on arthritis on seniors in the Spanish-speaking population in East Harlem, with similar results.

Most in the West know styles such as Iyengar’s hatha yoga. Raj yoga tends to be gentler and integrates the mind with the physical movement and the breath–it is more meditative physical movement as there is great emphasis on paying attention to the body, the movement, the breath. Iyengar places greater emphasis on physical alignment and is more physically challenging because of the way the teachers choose to teach. Both are valid, a combination can be excellent.  Asanas at www.mahasriyoga.com/asana are based on raja yoga that incorporate Iyengar’s alignment principles.

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