Physiological effects of yogic practices and transcendental meditation in health and disease

N Am J Med Sci. 2012 Oct;4(10):442-8. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.101980.


Yoga is an ancient Indian way of life, which includes changes in mental attitude, diet, and the practice of specific techniques such as yoga asanas (postures), breathing practices (pranayamas), and meditation to attain the highest level of consciousness. Since a decade, there has been a surge in the research on yoga, but we do find very few reviews regarding yogic practices and transcendental meditation (TM) in health and disease. Keeping this in view, a Medline search was done to review relevant articles in English literature on evaluation of physiological effects of yogic practices and TM. Data were constructed; issues were reviewed and found that there were considerable health benefits, including improved cognition, respiration, reduced cardiovascular risk, body mass index, blood pressure, and diabetes. Yoga also influenced immunity and ameliorated joint disorders.

Keywords: Health; Obesity; Pranayama; Transcendental Meditation; Yoga.