The effect of Bikram yoga on endothelial function in young and middle-aged and older adults

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2017 Jan;21(1):30-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2016.06.004. Epub 2016 Jun 17.


The purpose of this investigation was to determine if Bikram yoga, a style of heated hatha yoga, would improve endothelial function in young and middle-aged and older, healthy adults. This trial was performed in 36 young (n = 17) and middle-aged and older adults (n = 19) who completed 3 weekly Bikram yoga classes for 8 weeks. Height, body weight and body composition were determined and endothelial function was measured noninvasively using brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) before and after the intervention. No changes in body weight, BMI or body fat percentage occurred as a result of the intervention in either group. Brachial artery FMD was significantly increased in middle-aged and older (P < 0.05) but not in young adults as a result of the intervention. The results demonstrate that a relatively short-term Bikram yoga practice might significantly improve vascular endothelial function in middle-aged and older adults. While apparently healthy individuals in this study experienced no adverse events, those with preexisting conditions should take caution and consult with a physician prior to engaging in this style of yoga.

Keywords: Aging; Endothelial function; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Brachial Artery / physiology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Yoga*
  • Young Adult