Objective: The objective of this pilot study was to determine the effect of yoga on weight in youth at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Secondarily, the impact of participation in yoga on self-concept and psychiatric symptoms was measured.
Methods: A 12-week prospective pilot Ashtanga yoga program enrolled twenty children and adolescents. Weight was measured before and after the program. All participants completed self-concept, anxiety, and depression inventories at the initiation and completion of the program.
Results: Fourteen predominately Hispanic children, ages 8-15, completed the program. The average weight loss was 2kg. Weight decreased from 61.2+/-20.2kg to 59.2+/-19.2kg (p=0.01). Four of five children with low self-esteem improved, although two had decreases in self-esteem. Anxiety symptoms improved in the study.
Conclusion: Ashtanga yoga may be beneficial as a weight loss strategy in a predominately Hispanic population.