Systematic Review of Yoga Interventions to Promote Cardiovascular Health in Older Adults

West J Nurs Res. 2016 Jun;38(6):753-81. doi: 10.1177/0193945915618610. Epub 2015 Dec 21.


The benefits of physical activity are well established, yet few older adults engage in adequate physical activity to optimize health. While yoga may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, few studies have focused on the efficacy of yoga-based physical activity to promote cardiovascular health in older adults. The objective of this review is to provide an evaluation of yoga interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk in older adults. Four databases were searched for randomized controlled trials of yoga interventions in older adults. Studies with cardiovascular outcomes were included. Literature searches identified nine articles eligible for review. Significant health benefits were reported, including favorable changes in blood pressure, body composition, glucose, and lipids. Yoga practices, participant characteristics, and outcome measures were variable. There was limited use of theory. Yoga is safe and feasible in older adults; additional research is warranted to examine the specific components of yoga interventions essential to reducing cardiovascular risk.

Keywords: cardiovascular; intervention; older adults; physical activity; yoga.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Exercise*
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Mind-Body Therapies / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Yoga*