The benefits of yoga for adults with type 2 diabetes: a review of the evidence and call for a collaborative, integrated research initiative

Int J Yoga Therap. 2013;(23):71-83.


Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a global public health crisis. Research suggests that yoga holds promise for T2DM management. This article summarizes evidence regarding the efficacy of yoga for T2DM management and encourages the development of an integrated research agenda and a collaborative work group to test it. We present a brief overview of the global rise in T2DM and its consequences and costs, review the evidence regarding the potential benefits of yoga for T2DM management, outline limitations in the literature, discuss possible mechanisms underlying the effects of yoga on T2DM, and suggest how a collaborative, multinational effort by yoga therapist and research communities might contribute to research and inform clinical practice. Yoga protocols that serve T2DM patients and a research framework for creating an evidence base to support the use of yoga for T2DM management are clearly needed.

Keywords: CVD; blood pressure; diabetes; glucose tolerance; glycemia; hypertension; lipids; obesity; type 2 diabetes; yoga.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Yoga*