The Practicing Restorative Yoga or Stretching for Metabolic Syndrome (PRYSMS) study will help us learn whether two different behavioral interventions, stretching or restorative yoga, will improve the health of persons with the metabolic syndrome as well as answer some important questions about the metabolic syndrome. The University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, San Diego have received a grant through the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to conduct this study.
See our short Introductory video PRYSMS Overview below:


What is the Metabolic Syndrome?
The Metabolic Syndrome is an umbrella term that is used to describe a cluster of certain health conditions.
The Metabolic Syndrome is diagnosed when a person has a large waist circumference in addition to 2 of the other conditions listed below:

• High Blood pressure
• High Triglycerides level
• Low HDL-cholesterol (the good, protective cholesterol)
• High glucose levels

Having the metabolic syndrome puts you at higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. We already know that lifestyle changes that are done on a regular basis can help improve metabolic syndrome. These lifestyle changes are: eating a healthier diet, losing weight, and being physically active. We have given you information about these recommendations and hope that you will start making these healthy behavior changes. But, there may be other behaviors that can help as well. That is what this study is about.

What is the study about?
For this research study we have developed a series of group classes and home practice sessions for participants to complete over a year. Participants will have a 50/50 chance of being assigned to either the Stretch group or the Yoga group. Both groups will be meeting at the same times of the week, and at the same frequency for the whole study.

Who can participate?
You may be eligible for the study if:

- You are between the ages of 21 and 65
- You are underactive and overweight
- You meet the criteria for the metabolic syndrome
(we will assess this at a screening visit).

If you are interested in enrolling in the study and think you might be eligible, please contact us and we will conduct a more thorough screening process to determine whether or not you are eligible to enroll in the study.

What will I be asked to do?
When you first contact us, you will be asked to complete an initial 20-30 minute telephone eligibility interview. If you are eligible by phone, you will then be asked to come in for a 1-hour in-person Screening Visit where we will measure your waist circumference, blood pressure, and fasting blood tests. After completion of this 1-hour Screening Visit, we will determine whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria for the study. If you are eligible for the study, you will be invited to a Baseline Visit where you will be assigned to either the yoga or the stretch intervention. You cannot pick which intervention group you will be assigned to.
During the one-year long study, you will be asked to:

• Attend regular Group classes
• Do home practice at least three days per week
• Attend clinic visits every 3 months

Group Classes: Both the Stretch and Yoga groups will be meeting twice a week for the first 6 weeks of the study, then once a week between weeks 7-12. Then between weeks 13-24, you will be meeting in your group classes once every other week. For the second half of the study, from weeks 25-48, you will be meeting in group classes only once per month. It is very important that participants attend all of your group classes so you learn how to do your stretches and poses correctly and get the maximum benefit of our study intervention.

Home Practice: If you are eligible for the study, we will ask you to practice your stretches or poses at home for at least three days per week, for at least 30 minutes at a time. More is better, but 30 minutes 3 days per week is the minimum amount for us to see whether the intervention really does improve your health.

Clinic visits: To see if the Stretch and Yoga interventions have helped improve your health and the metabolic syndrome, we will ask you to come to clinic visits every 3 months for one year. We will ask you to fast for at least 10 hours before you come to these appointments so we can do some fasting blood tests each time. The Baseline visit, the 6-month visit and the 12-month visits are going to take approximately 4 hours each. The 3-month visit and the 9-month visit are much shorter---only about an hour each.

What is the cost?
There is no cost to participate in the study.

For More Information or to determine your eligibility for PRYSMS, call either UCSF or UCSD as follows:

for UCSF, call 415-885-7547, or email UCSF at [email protected]

for UCSD, call (858) 534-8118, or email UCSD at [email protected]

See recent article about the PRYSMS study:

Trial Will Test Benefits of Yoga and Stretching among People at Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease