The Bikram Yoga Heart Study, our latest funded project, will determine if Bikram yoga reduces the risk of heart disease in middle-aged adults. Heart disease is a serious issue affecting millions worldwide. Accounting for the largest proportion of deaths from non-communicable diseases in the entire world, finding ways in which to alleviated the risk of developing heart disease is of vital importance. In addition to traditional risk factors like cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and obesity, stiffening of the arteries is also a risk factor for heart disease that will be measured in this study.
Occurring naturally over time, arterial stiffening compromises the ability of the vessels to maintain healthy blood pressure levels and is measured using a technique called, “pulse wave velocity.” Pulse wave velocity (pictured right) is a gold standard technique in which blood pressure is measured at arm, leg, neck and thigh sites to determine the speed at which the pulse travels from one site to another. The faster the pulse travels, the stiffer the arteries.
Will increasing the flexibility of the muscles also lead to improvements in the distensibility of the arteries? We’ll find out soon!
Data collection began in September and we now have several participants enrolled.
Here’s how you can help:
Volunteer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re between the ages of 40 and 60, in the Austin area and not exercising regularly.
Fundraise at your studio by holding a donation class and spreading the word.
Share this blog on Facebook with all of your yogi friends!
To make a donation in support of this project, click here, and select “Research and Education” from the donation categories menu.