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Several studies have documented the beneficial short term effects of yoga in type 2 diabetics. In this prospective two-armed interventional randomized control study, 277 type 2 diabetics of both genders aged above 28 years who satisfied the study criteria were recruited from 5 zones in and around Bengaluru, India. They were allocated to a yoga-based life style modification program or exercise-based life style modification program. Integrated yoga special technique for diabetes included yogasanas, pranayama, meditation and lectures on yogic life style. Control intervention included physical exercises and life style education. Medication score, blood glucose, HbA1c and lipid profile were assessed at baseline and after 9 months. Intention to treat analysis showed better reduction (P < 0.05, Mann-Whitney test) in the dose of oral hypoglycemic medication required (Yoga - 12.8 %) (Yoga-12.3 %) and increase in HDL (Yoga-7 %) in Yoga as compared to the control group; FBG reduced (7.2 %, P = 0.016) only in the Yoga group. There was significant reduction within groups (P < 0.01) in PPBG (Yoga-14.6 %, Control-9 %), HbA1c (Yoga-14.1 %, Control-0.5 %), Triglycerides (Yoga-15.4 %, Control-16.3 %), VLDL (Yoga-21.5 %, Control-5.2 %) and total cholesterol (Yoga-11.3 %, Control-8.6 %). Thus, Yoga based life style modification program is similar to exercise-based life style modification in reducing blood glucose, HbA1c, triglycerides, total cholesterol and VLDL. Yoga is better than exercise in decreasing oral hypoglycemic medication requirement and LDL; and increasing HDL in type 2 diabetics.