Yoga will not likely improve symptoms for persons suffering from asthma but it does not cause harm either, according to a new study in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (2014;112[6]:503-510).

Researchers reviewed 14 studies on the impact of yoga on asthma symptoms. Data on 824 adults were evaluated to determine whether yoga ameliorated lung function, helped control asthma symptoms, and generally improved quality of life. 

The results? There was only a slim indication that yoga offered any benefit. Based on this evidence, the investigators do not recommend yoga.

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“Yoga can’t be considered a routine intervention for patients with asthma at this time,” affirmed lead author Holger Cramer, PhD, in a press release issued by the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology.

 “But it can be considered an alternative to breathing exercises for asthma patients interested in complementary interventions.”