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Pilot Study: Restorative Yoga for Treatment of Hot Flushes

The study's conclusion suggests that using restorative yoga as treatment for the symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes could be safe and feasible.


To determine the feasibility and acceptability of a restorative yoga intervention for the treatment of hot flushes in postmenopausal women.


A pilot trial in 14 postmenopausal women experiencing >/=4 moderate to severe hot flushes per day or >/=30 moderate to severe hot flushes per week. The intervention consisted of eight restorative yoga poses taught in a 3-h introductory session and 8 weekly 90-min sessions. Feasibility was measured by recruitment rates, subject retention and adherence. Acceptability was assessed by subject interview and questionnaires. Efficacy measures included change in frequency and severity of hot flushes as recorded on a 7-day diary.


Recruitment was accomplished as planned. The majority of study subjects (93%) completed the trial. Of those who completed the trial, 92% attended seven or more of the eight yoga sessions. The majority of the subjects were satisfied with the study and 75% continued to practice yoga 3 months after the study. Mean number of hot flushes per week decreased by 30.8% (95% CI 15.6-45.9%) and mean hot flush score decreased 34.2% (95% CI 16.0-52.5%) from baseline to week 8. No adverse events were observed.


This pilot trial demonstrates that it is feasible to teach restorative yoga to middle-aged women without prior yoga experience. The high rates of subject retention and satisfaction suggest that yoga is an acceptable intervention in this population. Our results indicate that a larger, randomized controlled trial to explore the efficacy of restorative yoga for treatment of menopausal symptoms would be safe and feasible.

The paper has been published in Mauritas (2004) E-Pubmed This is part of the collection of studies published as the Mumbai Research Compilation. A collection of presentations made at the Light on Yoga Research Trust in collaboration with the Bombay Hospital Trust, Indian Medical Association, General Practitioners Association and the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Society. They organized the conference on the “Scientific evidence on the Therapeutic Efficacy of Iyengar Yoga’. It highlights research papers on Iyengar Yoga and its medical benefits. The objective of which being the dissemination of knowledge about the science of yoga in the medical setting. The conference was held on October 12, 2008.


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