Thai Yoga Improves Flexibility

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on May 10, 2018

Making News

If your clients need to improve their flexibility, you may want to encourage them to try Thai yoga during their time away from training. In a review of randomized controlled trials, researchers found that consistent practice of Thai yoga improved muscular flexibility and specific joint range of motion. Thai yoga is from traditional Thai medicine and includes gentle dynamic stretching, deep breathing, meditation and self-acupressure.

Researchers conducted the review to determine the fitness benefits of Thai yoga. Meeting the criteria for inclusion in the review were seven randomized controlled trials; these featured 185 participants who trained 90Ð180 minutes per week. Thai yoga practice resulted in greater body flexibility after 4 weeks of practice, with continued improvements at 8 and 12 weeks. Joint range of motion increased in the right shoulder.

More research is needed to identify the mechanisms of action and other potential flexibility outcomes. The study is available in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2017; doi:10.1089/acm.2017.0257).

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at