The Benefits of Yoga for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results of a Preliminary, Structured 8-week Program

Rheumatol Int. 2009 Oct;29(12):1417-21. doi: 10.1007/s00296-009-0871-1. Epub 2009 Jan 31.


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.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yoga*


  • Antirheumatic Agents