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Scientific Research

Effects of Yoga in Daily Life program on patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomised controlled trial

Yoga in Daily Life instructor and a specialist in rheumatology, Dr Silva Puksic, led a yoga program for people with rheumatoid arthritis at the Dubrava University Hospital in Zagreb, Croatia over a period of 2 years.

Dr Puksic states that people living with rheumatoid arthritis often have a sedentary lifestyle due to a fear of the disease and pain worsening with physical activity and a lack of specialized exercise programs. This disease is often accompanied by chronic fatigue and mood disorders that negatively impact the quality of life of patients.

The yoga program applied the Yoga in Daily Life system, Level 1 – Sarva Hita Asanas, in particular. The postures and exercises were additionally adapted according to the functional capabilities and limitations of the patients. Pranayama techniques, as well as relaxation and meditation practices, were included.

Scientific research was conducted with the aim of exploring the effects of the program on health-related quality of life, disease activity and mental health of participants.

The research showed that the yoga program was safe and feasible and did not lead to worsening of disease activity or pain in participants. The participants were also significantly less fatigued and had improved mood after the program. Dr Puksic concludes that this Yoga in Daily Life program could be a safe way for people with rheumatoid arthritis to stay physically active and to improve their mental health.

The results of this scientific research have recently been published in the scientific journal, Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

The research abstracts were presented by the author at both the European and American rheumatology congresses.

Research presentations:

Photos from the program (with permission of participants)