Ashtanga Yoga Research
For decades, scientists and yoga practitioners alike have been trying to understand the benefits behind this practice. Charlie regularly collaborates with researchers from the University of London to explore the benefits of yoga by assessing the benefits of the Ashtanga Primary Series.
Two of his recent pilot studies clearly demonstrate that practicing yoga for just one hour a week over an eight-week period has significant improvements on a practitioner’s physical and mental health.
In one pilot study Charlie gathered a sample group of complete beginners and taught them the Ashtanga Primary Series once a week for 8 weeks. Each week students were guided through Sun Salutations, standing postures, then Dandasana, Paschimottanasana and Purvottanasana and three seated finishing poses and final relaxation.
After completing 8 weeks participants demonstrated significant improvements in:
- upper body and core endurance
- trunk and hamstring flexibility
- shoulder flexibility
- ankle-calf flexibility.
Participants also showed a reduction in total body fat percentage and suggested beneficial effects on subject’s mental wellbeing.
In a second pilot study, Charlie taught a group of amateur footballers a unique yoga practice developed to enhance the players’ capacities.
In each of the eight weekly sessions, the participants were guided through a practice of 21 yoga postures and some simple breathing and relaxation exercises. At the end of the study participants showed significant improvements in shoulder extension and flexion, hip flexion and hamstring flexibility. More interestingly, participants also demonstrated increased physical endurance, demonstrated by increased:
- vertical jump height
- standing balance time
- number of sit ups possible
- number of press ups possible
- improved planking time.