The present study attempted to determine the effect of practicing yoga on functioning of sacculo-collic pathway using cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential (cVEMP). cVEMP was recorded from 40 participants (20 who practice yoga regularly and 20 who do not practice yoga regularly). The differences in amplitude of P1, N1, P1-N1 complex, asymmetry ratio and latencies of P1 and N1 of cVEMP were compared between both the groups. The results of the study showed that there was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the amplitude of P1, N1 and P1-N1 complex and a significant reduction in latency (p < 0.05) for experimental group. The asymmetry ratio in individuals who practice yoga was significantly lower (Mean = 6.73) compared to the control group (Mean = 19.13). Multivariate regression analyses suggested that the number of years of yoga practice significantly predicted the amplitude of P1-N1 complex (β = 0.70, p < 0.01) and amplitude ratio (β = 0.72, p < 0.01). Thus, practicing yoga improves postural control and strengthens the muscles and vestibular system leading to enhanced cVEMP responses. The plastic changes in the vestibular system and increased muscular strength because of constant practicing of yoga could have led to changes in cVEMP responses. However, further studies on a larger group of individuals are essential for better clinical applicability of the results.
Keywords: Amplitude; Asymmetry ratio; Balance; Latency; Vestibular plasticity; Yoga; cVEMP.