The effects of acute yoga on anxiety symptoms in response to a carbon dioxide inhalation task in women

Ipek Ensari, Steven J. Petruzzello, Robert W. Motl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We investigated the efficacy of yoga for improving cognitive and physical anxiety symptoms, and its possible respiratory mechanism, in high-anxious women. Methods: Eighteen participants completed 40 min of guided yoga and a light stretching protocol in a randomized, counterbalanced order.The 7.5%CO2-inhalation task was administered before, immediately after and 1 h after the experimental conditions.State anxiety and panic were measured before and after each inhalation task.Tidal volume, ventilation and respiratory rate were measured during every 7.5%CO2-inhalation tasks. Results: There was no significant 3-way interaction(p > .05).There was a significant main effect of CO2-inhalation task on panic and respiratory measures(p < .05).When collapsed over inhalation task and condition, there was a small reduction in cognitive anxiety from baseline to immediately post and 1 -h post-condition(p < .05). Conclusions: There appears to be an overall effect of general physical activity for attenuating anxiety cognitions irrespective of the physiological changes, indicating possible dissociation between the cognitive and physical symptoms of anxiety among women with anxiety sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102230
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Anxiety
  • CO
  • Physical activity
  • Physiology
  • Women
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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