The aim of this study was to assess the levels of flexibility, functional autonomy and QoL in elderly yoga practitioners. The subjects were divided into a yoga group (YG; n= 52; age = 66.79 ± 3.30 years; BMI = 24.77 ± 3.18) and control group (CG; n= 31; age = 69.33 ± 4.84 years; BMI = 24.32 ± 3.71) and submitted to flexibility tests through goniometry, the LADEG autonomy protocol and QoL, using the WHOQOL-Old questionnaire. Repeated measures ANOVA showed increases in articular range of motion in shoulder abduction (Δ%SA = 14.11%; p= 0.0001), horizontal shoulder extension (Δ%HSE = 33.90%; p= 0.0001), lumbar spine flexion (Δ%LSF = 50.74%; p= 0.0001), hip flexion (Δ%HF = 35.75%; p= 0.0001), hip extension (Δ%HE = 10.93%; p= 0.021) and knee flexion (Δ%KF = 3.90%; p= 0.001) and in the GDLAM autonomy index (Δ%AI = -13.67%; p= 0.0001) in the YG compared to the CG. The Mann-Whitney test revealed increases in QoL scores in Facet 1 (Δ%Fac1 = 9.04%; p= 0.043), Facet 5 (Δ%Fac5 = 51.06%; p= 0.0001) and in overall QoL (Δ%OqoL = 8.13%; p= 0.046) in the YG compared to the CG. The remaining variables showed no significant intergroup modifications. Thus, the study suggests that the regular practice of yoga may lead to improved range of motion in the performance of activities of daily living in elderly women. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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