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First Author: I.Signes-Soler SPAIN
Co Author(s): E. Tomás-Verduras J. Calvache-Anaya J. Rodriguez-Prats
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The purpose of this study was to assess the intraocular pressure (IOP) of two of the more popular yoga postures (Adho Mukha Svanasana Downward-Facing Dog Pose- and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana Upward-Facing Dog-) and to find evidence in regard to the potential benefits and risks of yoga practice on visual health.
20 eyes of 10 patients between 27 and 50 years of age with different yoga practices were included in the study. Age, sex, smoking habits, medical history and ocular health was recorded. The IOP was measured before and during the asanas. A 15 minutes break was allowed between the postures. The patient was 20 seconds on the asana before we proceeded to measure the IOP with a rebound tonometer.
The mean IOP in a resting position before the yoga postures was 16.6 (ḟ1.4) mmHg, during the Downward-Facing Dog 33 (ḟ4.9) mmHg and during Upward-Facing Dog 14 (ḟ1.1) mmHg. So it was found that the IOP during Downward-Facing Dog Pose was increased by 1.98 times compared with IOP in the resting position prior to the asana. While the measures for the Upward-Facing Dog showed a significantly decreased numbers (0.84). There was no statistically significant relationship between the IOP and age, sex, smoking habits or systemically and ocular health (p < 0.05).
It can be concluded that IOP is affected by the different yoga postures. The transient elevation of intraocular pressure during some yoga exercises should be considered, especially in patients diagnosed with glaucoma. The practice of yoga should be done under qualified staff as may involve risks associated with certain positions.