Sudarshan Kriya Yoga Program in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Feasibility Study.
Int J Yoga. 2020 Sep-Dec;13(3):239-246. Epub 2020 Sep 13. PMID: 33343155
Background: Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY), a breath-based yoga intervention, has demonstrated safety and efficacy in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients subsequent to natural disaster or war, but has not been explored in civilians with PTSD from a wider range of trauma. We hypothesized that it would be feasible to conduct a clinical trial of SKY in PTSD resulting from a wide range of trauma.
Methods: Outcomes were feasibility measures including rates of enrollment and retention, adherence to study protocol; as well as changes in PTSD symptoms, other mood symptoms, and physiological measures. Male and female participants aged 18-75 years were enrolled in a feasibility trial. They attended a 6-day learning phase of SKY followed by 7 sessions over 11 weeks as an adjunct to their usual treatment.
Results: Forty-seven participants were screened and 32 were enrolled over 9 months. Consistent with retention rates of other PTSD trials, 13 withdrew from the study prior to week 12. Twenty-one participants met intervention attendance requirements, completed 95% of planned study assessments and were included in final analyses. Participants experienced clinically significant decrease in PTSD symptoms on the posttraumatic stress disorder checklist (PCL-5) scores at week 12 mean difference, M(standard deviation [SD]) = -10.68 (14.03),= 0.004; Cohen's d = 0.58, which was sustained at week 24 M(SD) = -16.11 (15.20),<0.001; Cohen's d = 0.91.
Conclusions: It is possible to conduct a clinical trial of SKY in a routine psychiatry clinic serving patients with PTSD due to a wide range of trauma. Future studies should include an RCT design.