March 2013

Yoga May Improve Restless Leg Syndrome

Yoga may improve symptoms of restless leg syndrome, reports a new study.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a brain disorder that causes an individual's legs to feel extremely uncomfortable when sitting or lying down. These unpleasant sensations may feel like burning, tugging or like insects are crawling inside the legs. RLS causes an uncontrollable urge to stand up or walk around. When the person gets up, the symptoms start to go away.

The recent study included ten women with RLS. Participants attended eight weeks of Iyengar yoga classes. Iyengar is a gentle form of yoga that stresses precise anatomical alignment. The effectiveness of yoga was determined by an International RLS Scale, the severity of RLS symptoms, quality of sleep, mood and stress levels.

The women went to an average of 13.4 classes. After eight weeks, all except for one participant reported reduced RLS symptoms and symptom severity. The women also had significant improvements in sleep quality, stress levels and mood. Furthermore, the duration of Iyengar yoga practiced at home was significantly associated with a decrease in symptom severity.

For more information about yoga, please visit Natural Standard's Health & Wellness Database.

For more information about restless leg syndrome, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.


  1. Innes KE, Selfe TK, Agarwal P. Efficacy of an 8-Week Yoga Intervention on Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): A Pilot Study. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Dec 27. 
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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