Original Research

Impact of an Integrated Yoga Therapy Protocol on Insulin Resistance and Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Manoharan Mangala Gowri, Jayanthi Rajendran, Abu Raghavan Srinivasan, Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, and Ramanathan Meena


Objective: Diabetes mellitus (DM), characterized by chronic hyperglycemia, is attributed to relative insulin deficiency or resistance, or both. Studies have shown that yoga can modulate parameters of insulin resis¬tance. The present study explored the possible beneficial effects of integrated yoga therapy with reference to glycemic control and insulin resistance (IR) in individuals with diabetes maintained on standard oral medical care with yoga therapy, compared to those on standard oral medical care alone.

Methods: In this study, the subjects on yoga intervention comprised 35 type 2 diabetics, and an equal number of volunteers constituted the control group. Subjects ranged in age from 30 to 70 years, with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test more than 7%, and were maintained on diabetic diet and oral hypoglycemic agents. Blood samples were drawn prior to and after 120 days of integrated yoga therapy intervention. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), post-prandial blood glucose (PPBG), HbA1c, insulin, and lipid profile were assessed in both the intervention and control groups.

Results: The intervention group revealed significant improvements in body mass index (BMI) (0.7 kg/m2 median decrease; P=0.001), FBG (20 mg/dL median decrease; P<0.001), PPBG (33 mg/dL median decrease; P<0.001), HbA1c (0.4% median decrease; P<0.001), homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (1.2 median decrease; P<0.001), cholesterol (13 mg/dL median decrease, P=0.006), triacylglycerol (22 mg/dL median decrease; P=0.027), low-density lipo¬protein (6 mg/dL median decrease; P=0.004), and very-low-density lipoprotein levels (4 mg/dL median decrease; P=0.032). Increases in high-density lipoprotein after 120 days were not significant (6 mg/dL median increase; P=0.15). However, when compared to changes observed in patients in the control group, all these improvements proved to be significant.

Conclusion: Administration of integrated yoga therapy to individuals with diabetes leads to a significant improvement in glycemic control, insulin resistance, and key biochemical parameters.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2022;13(1):e0005