The word psyche is etymologically derived from the ancient Greek ψυχή (psukhḗ, “mind, soul, spirit, and breath”). Hence, psychology is the study of the “mind, soul, spirit, and breath” even though many psychologists are utterly unaware of this etymological definition. Moreover, as scientists they want to differentiate themselves from these “metaphysical/philosophical” concepts in order to appear as rational and materialistic thinkers. They thereby neglect and extremely rich intellectual heritage which has deep historical roots which span many cultures and epochs.
From a linguistic point of view the Sanskrit word Ātman forms the basis for the German word “Atmen” which means “breathing”. Recall the etymology of the word psychology: The ancient Greek word psukhḗ (ψυχή) or psyche means “life/soul/spirit” and also “breath”. Likewise, the Chinese symbol for “spirit, soul” is 魂 which also means “breath”. Hence, the linkage between “mind, soul, spirit, and breath” was formed by relatively separate cultures. Again, thus defined psychology is the study of “life/soul/spirit” and “breath”, i.e., Ātman.
Given that breathing is fundamental to life, the intentional restriction of the breath for elongated periods of time (Kumbaka) is an extremely powerful technique to train willpower (self-control/top-down inhibition/prefrontal executive functions). The literature on self-control shows that gains achieved in one domain are transferable to other domains (domain non-specificity; cf. “the strength model of self-control” by Roy Baumeister et alia). For instance, when right-hand dominant people train to use their left hand (which requires constant intentional inhibition of the dominant motor response) subsequent increases in self-control have been observed in seemingly completely unrelated domains like dieting, reduction of stereotypical thinking, emotion regulation, etc. pp. Neurophysiological explanations which involve glucose metabolism have been suggested.
Inhibiting the breath is a much more difficult than using the non-dominant hand for everyday tasks, but the underlying logic is similar. Inhibiting automatic behavioral patterns increases self-control (i.e., will-power; cf. dual-process theory/default-interventionist account). There are two types of Kumbaka: after an inhale (antara), and after an exhale (bahya). The latter is much more intense and in the beginning the practitioner will face “panic”. if Kumbaka is puhed to the limit it feels as if all the vital organs are “screaming” for an inhalation. Intense existential Angst – the fear of dying can be invoked (cf. mortality salience in “Terror Management Theory“). The intentional control of this reaction through willpower is a primary goal of Kumbaka. The ultimate goal is Yoga/Nirvikalpa Samadhi (non-dual/non-conceptual consciousness).
Brown, R. P., & Gerbarg, P. L.. (2009). Yoga Breathing, Meditation, and Longevity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1172(1), 54–62.
“Yoga breathing is an important part of health and spiritual practices in indo-tibetan traditions. considered fundamental for the development of physical well-being, meditation, awareness, and enlightenment, it is both a form of meditation in itself and a preparation for deep meditation. yoga breathing (pranayama) can rapidly bring the mind to the present moment and reduce stress. in this paper, we review data indicating how breath work can affect longevity mechanisms in some ways that overlap with meditation and in other ways that are different from, but that synergistically enhance, the effects of meditation. we also provide clinical evidence for the use of yoga breathing in the treatment of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and for victims of mass disasters. by inducing stress resilience, breath work enables us to rapidly and compassionately relieve many forms of suffering.”
Melnychuk, M. C., Dockree, P. M., O’Connell, R. G., Murphy, P. R., Balsters, J. H., & Robertson, I. H.. (2018). Coupling of respiration and attention via the locus coeruleus: Effects of meditation and pranayama. Psychophysiology, 55(9), e13091.
“The locus coeruleus (lc) has established functions in both attention and respiration. good attentional performance requires optimal levels of tonic lc activity, and must be matched to task consistently. lc neurons are chemosensitive, causing respiratory phrenic nerve firing to increase frequency with higher co2 levels, and as co2 level varies with the phase of respiration, tonic lc activity should exhibit fluctuations at respiratory frequency. top‐down modulation of tonic lc activity from brain areas involved in attentional regulation, intended to optimize lc firing to suit task requirements, may have respiratory consequences as well, as increases in lc activity influence phrenic nerve firing. we hypothesize that, due to the physiological and functional overlaps of attentional and respiratory functions of the lc, this small neuromodulatory nucleus is ideally situated to act as a mechanism of synchronization between respiratory and attentional systems, giving rise to a low‐amplitude oscillation that enables attentional flexibility, but may also contribute to unintended destabilization of attention. meditative and pranayama practices result in attentional, emotional, and physiological enhancements that may be partially due to the lc’s pivotal role as the nexus in this coupled system. we present original findings of synchronization between respiration and lc activity (via fmri and pupil dilation) and provide evidence of a relationship between respiratory phase modulation and attentional performance. we also present a mathematical dynamical systems model of respiratory‐lc‐attentional coupling, review candidate neurophysiological mechanisms of changes in coupling dynamics, and discuss implications for attentional theory, meditation, and pranayama, and possible therapeutic applications.”
Pratap, V., Berrettini, W. H., & Smith, C.. (1978). Arterial Blood Gases in Pranayama Practice. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 46(1), 171–174.
“Pranayama is a yogic breathing practice which is known experientially to produce a profound calming effect on the mind. in an experiment designed to determine whether the mental effects of this practice were accompanied by changes in the arterial blood gases, arterial blood was drawn from 10 trained individuals prior to and immediately after pranayama practice. no significance changes in arterial blood gases were noted after pranayama. a neural mechanism for the mental effects of this practice is proposed.”
Jerath, R., Edry, J. W., Barnes, V. A., & Jerath, V.. (2006). Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: Neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanism that explains how slow deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system. Medical Hypotheses, 67(3), 566–571.
Mahendra, J.. (2017). Effect of Pranayama on Ppar-γ, Nf-κB Expressions and Red Complex Microorganisms in Patients with Chronic Periodontitis – A Clinical Trial. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL AND DIAGNOSTIC RESEARCH
“Introduction: sudarshankriya pranayama is the control of breathing movements to regulate the energy flow throughout the body, which has shown to positively affect immune function, autonomic nervous system and psychologic-neuro pathways. the practice of pranayama has been proven to show several benefits such as reduction in stress levels, relieves anxiety and depression, increase in antioxidant levels, reduces insulin resistance and improves respiratory function. aim: the objective of the study was to evaluate the levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (ppar-��), nuclear factor-kappa b (nf-קb) and the presence of red complex microorganisms (rcm) such as treponema denticola, porphyromonas gingivalis and tannerella forsythia in the subgingivalpl aque samples of chronic periodontitis subjects before and after intervention with pranayama as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (srp). materials and methods: a total of 30 subjects (control group) were treated with srp and 30 subjects (pranayama group) underwent srp and pranayama for three months. probing pocket depth (ppd), clinical attachment level (cal), bleeding index (bi) and plaque index (pi) were recorded and the presence of ppar-��, nf-קb and rcm were assessed at baseline and after three months using polymerase chain reaction. ancova test was done to compare the clinical parameters between the groups. fisher’s exact test was done to identify rcm and mann-whitney and wilcoxon-signed test was used to identify the expression of nf-קb and ppar-�� in the plaque samples. results: the change in the mean cal from baseline to third month was significantly higher in pranayama group compared to control group (p�%�0.05). there was a statistically significant reduction in the expression of nf-קb and increase in ppar-�� expression levels in pranayama group on comparison with the control group (p<0.001). the reduction in number of positive samples with t.denticola, p.gingivalis and t.forsythia at third month post-intervention did not affect the change in the expression levels of nf-קb and ppar-��. conclusion: the cal showed significant improvement with reduction in the rcm, nf-קb and increase in ppar-�� levels in subjects who underwent pranayama as an adjunct to srp. in future, pranayama can be used as an additional treatment modality to provide a new dimension in treatment of periodontitis”
Gupta, P. K.. (2010). Anuloma-Viloma Pranayama and Anxiety and Depression among the Aged. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology
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“Anxiety and depression are two most common mental problems facing the aged and are often ignored. in a vast country like india, particularly the rural india where little mental health facilities are available, these people are little taken care of with regards to their mental health. however, our very own system of yoga holds so much promise for these sufferers. the present study is an attempt to find out the impact of pranayama on the anxiety and depression of the senior citizens living in the rural community. for the study, 30 senior citizens of madhubani town have been selected. their level of anxiety and depression were measured on sinha anxiety scale and beck depression inventory prior to their enrolment in yoga sivir (camp) of 7 days duration where they were trained in anuloma-viloma technique of pranayama. their level of anxiety and depression were again measured after 3 months during that period the subjects regularly practiced the pranayama. the comparison of the two scores showed significant impact of the pranayama on their anxiety and depression. (psycinfo database record (c) 2012 apa, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)”
Hakked, C. S., Balakrishnan, R., & Krishnamurthy, M. N.. (2017). Yogic breathing practices improve lung functions of competitive young swimmers. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine
“Background resistive breathing practices are known to improve endurance and performance in competitive swimmers. however, the effect of pranayama or yogic breathing practices (ybp) in improving respiratory endurance and performance of competitive swimmers remains un-investigated. objectives to study effects of yogic breathing practices on lung functions of swimmers. material and methods twenty seven national and international competitive swimmers of the age range 13–20 years, with 8.29 ± 2.9 years of competitive swimming experience and practicing swimming for 9.58 ± 1.81 km everyday, were assigned randomly to either an experimental (ybp) or to wait list control group (no intervention). outcome measures were taken on day 1 and day 30 and included (1) spirometry to measure lung function, (2) sport anxiety scale-2 (sas-2) to measure the antecedents and consequences of cognitive and somatic trait anxiety of sport performance and (3) number of strokes per breath to measure performance. the ybp group practiced a prescribed set of yogic breathing practices – sectional breathing (vibhagiya pranayama), yogic bellows breathing (bhastrika pranayama) and alternate nostril breathing with voluntary internal breath holding (nadi shodhana with anthar kumbhaka) for half an hour, five days a week for one month. results there was a significant improvement in the ybp group as compared to control group in maximal voluntary ventilation (p = 0.038), forced vital capacity (p = 0.026) and number of strokes per breath (p = 0.001). conclusion the findings suggest that ybp helps to enhance respiratory endurance in competitive swimmers.”
Nagarathna, R., & Nagendra, H. R.. (1985). Yoga for bronchial asthma: A controlled study. British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.)
“Fifty three patients with asthma underwent training for two weeks in an integrated set of yoga exercises, including breathing exercises, suryanamaskar, yogasana (physical postures), pranayama (breath slowing techniques), dhyana (meditation), and a devotional session, and were told to practise these exercises for 65 minutes daily. they were then compared with a control group of 53 patients with asthma matched for age, sex, and type and severity of asthma, who continued to take their usual drugs. there was a significantly greater improvement in the group who practised yoga in the weekly number of attacks of asthma, scores for drug treatment, and peak flow rate. this study shows the efficacy of yoga in the long term management of bronchial asthma, but the physiological basis for this beneficial effect needs to be examined in more detail.”
Nagothu, R. S., Rajagopalan, A., Indla, Y. R., & Paluru, R.. (2017). Beneficial effects of yogasanas and pranayama in limiting the cognitive decline in Type 2 diabetes. National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology
“BACKGROUND out of many complications that were observed in type 2 diabetes, cognitive impairment is the most neglected. aim and objectives the aim of the present study is to assess the cognitive decline in type 2 diabetes and to observe the role of yogasanas and pranayama in ameliorating the cognitive decline. materials and methods sixty eight type 2 diabetic subjects were recruited in the study, 34 of them did specific yogasanas and pranayama (test group) for six months and the remaining age and sex matched 34 subjects were recruited as (control group) who were not on any specific exercise regimen. glycaemic index was estimated by measuring the glycosylated haemoglobin (hba1c) concentration with bio-rad apparatus and cognition was assessed by using addenbrook’s cognitive examination-revised (ace-r), which is a neuropsychological battery. statistical analysis data was analysed with unpaired student t test. p value<0.05 is considered as statistically significant. validity was assessed by receiver operating characteristics. results analysis of data indicated more cognitive scores in the test group when compared with the control group. in test group six months practice of yogasanas and pranayama has also significantly brought down the high glycaemic values which were observed in the control group. conclusion these findings allow the study to conclude that regular practice of yogasanas and pranayama has a beneficial effect on cognitive performance in type 2 diabetic subjects by stabilizing blood glucose.”
Prem, V., Sahoo, R. C., & Adhikari, P.. (2013). Comparison of the effects of Buteyko and pranayama breathing techniques on quality of life in patients with asthma – A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation
“OBJECTIVE: to compare two breathing exercises (buteyko and pranayama) with a control group in patients with asthma. design: randomized controlled trial. subjects: one hundred and twenty subjects were randomized to three groups through block randomization. subjects with an asthma quality of life questionnaire score <5.5 participated in the study. setting: outpatient pulmonary medicine department. interventions: subjects in the buteyko and pranayama groups were trained for 3-5 days and instructed to practise the exercises for 15 minutes twice daily, and for three months duration. the control group underwent routine pharmacological management during the study period. outcome measures: asthma quality of life questionnaire, asthma control questionnaire and pulmonary function test. results: the baseline characteristics were similar in all three groups. post intervention, the buteyko group showed better trends of improvement (mean (95% confidence interval), p-value) in total asthma quality of life questionnaire score than the pranayama (0.47 (-0.008-0.95), p = 0.056) and control groups (0.97 (0.48-1.46), p = 0.0001). in comparison between the pranayama and control groups, pranayama showed significant improvement (0.50 (0.01-0.98), p = 0.042) in total asthma quality of life questionnaire score. conclusion: the buteyko group showed better trends of improvement in quality of life and asthma control than the group performing the pranayama breathing exercise.”
Rao, T. I., Hongsandra, &, & Nagendra, R.. (2014). the Role of Yogasanas and Pranayama Techniques in Correcting the Functional Disorders of Voice Production. International Journal of Research in Humanities
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“The three types of vocal disorders are organic, functional and neurological. the organic disorders can be corrected with surgery. faulty use of voice, yelling, screaming and loud talking may cause functional disorders. precautions are to be taken to avoid functional disorders. people like singers, orators and teachers who use their voice hours together are supposed to know the fundamental and optimum frequency of their phonation which can be measured with stroboscope. otherwise forceful use of voice either in high pitch or low pitch other than optimum level leads to the damage of the vocal cords. studies in the west have scientifically investigated the methods of correcting these functional disorders. indian traditional practices of yoga and pranayama on voice culture are yet to be investigated. there are asanas which stimulate the vocal muscles and strengthen them. pranayama helps in soothening the vocal muscles and relaxing them. the influence of the traditional practices of yogasanas and pranayama can be studied scientifically.”
Sharma, V. K.. (2012). Effect of fast and slow pranayama on cognitive functions and reaction time in young subjects. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
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“OBJECTIVES: to compare the cumulative effect of commonly practiced slow and fast pranayama on cognitive functions and reaction time in healthcare students. methods: study was conducted in the departments of physiology and advanced centre for yoga therapy education and research, jipmer, pondicherry .after getting written informed consent, 84 healthy subjects pursuing various healthcare courses including medical, nursing and allied medical sciences were randomized to fast pranayama (kapalabhati, bhastrika and kukkuriya), slow pranayama (nadishodhana, pranav and savitri) and control group. respective pranayama training was given for 30 minutes three times per week for the duration of 12 weeks under the supervision of certified yoga trainer. parameters were recorded at the baseline and after 12 weeks of study period: perceived stress scale (pss), bmi, waist hip ratio (whr) & cognitive parameters- letter cancellation test (lct), trail making test a (tta) & b (ttb), forward (fds) & reverse digit span (rds) and auditory (art) and visual reaction time for red light (vrt-r) and green light (vrt-g). recorded data was statistically analyzed. result: significant rds score improvement occurred only in group 1subjects whereas, significant improvement in all other tested cognitive parameters, pss and reaction time was seen in both group 1 & group 2 subjects (p<0.001). also, percentage reduction in vrt was significantly more in group 1 subjects when compared to group 2 subjects.”
Sharma, V. K., Rajajeyakumar, M., Velkumary, S., Subramanian, S. K., Bhavanani, A. B., Madanmohan, … Thangavel, D.. (2014). Effect of fast and slow pranayama practice on cognitive functions in healthy volunteers. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
“OBJECTIVES: to compare the cumulative effect of commonly practised slow and fast pranayama on cognitive functions in healthy volunteers.nnsettings and design: 84 participants who were in self-reported good health, who were in the age group of 18-25 years, who were randomized to fast pranayama, slow pranayama and control group with 28 participants in each group.nnmaterial and methods: fast pranayama included kapalabhati, bhastrika and kukkuriya. slow pranayama included nadishodhana, pranav and savitri. respective pranayama training was given for 35 minutes, three times per week, for a duration of 12 weeks under the supervision of a certified yoga trainer. parameters were recorded before and after 12 weeks of intervention: perceived stress scale (pss), bmi, waist to hip ratio and cognitive parameters-letter cancellation test, trail making tests a and b, forward and reverse digit spans and auditory and visual reaction times for red light and green light.nnstatistical analysis: inter-group comparison was done by one way anova and intra-group comparison was done by paired t-test.nnresults and conclusion: executive functions, pss and reaction time improved significantly in both fast and slow pranayama groups, except reverse digit span, which showed an improvement only in fast pranayama group. in addition, percentage reduction in reaction time was significantly more in the fast pranayama group as compared to that in slow pranayama group. both types of pranayamas are beneficial for cognitive functions, but fast pranayama has additional effects on executive function of manipulation in auditory working memory, central neural processing and sensory-motor performance.”
Sharma, V., Trakroo, M., Subramaniam, V., Sahai, A., Bhavanani, A., & Rajajeyakumar, M.. (2013). Effect of fast and slow pranayama on perceived stress and cardiovascular parameters in young health-care students. International Journal of Yoga
“Context: perceived stress is higher for students in various healthcare courses. previous studies have shown that pranayama practice is beneficial for combating stress and improve cardiovascular functions but both fast and slow pranayama practice produce different physiological responses.
aim: present study was conducted to compare the effects of commonly practiced slow and fast pranayama on perceived stress and cardiovascular functions in young health-care students.
materials and methods: present study was carried out in departments of physiology and advanced centre for yoga therapy education and research, jipmer, pondicherry. ninety subjects (age 18-25 years) were randomized to fast pranayama (group 1), slow pranayama (group 2) and control group (group 3). group 1 subjects practiced kapalabhati, bhastrika and kukkuriya pranayama while group 2 subjects practiced nadishodhana, savitri and pranav paranayama. supervised pranayama training was given for 30 min, 3 times a week for the duration of 12 weeks to groups 1 and 2 subjects by certified yoga trainer. following parameters were recorded at the baseline and after 12 weeks of training; perceived stress scale (pss), heart rate (hr), respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure (dbp), mean arterial pressure (map), rate pressure product (rpp), and double product (do p).
results: there was a significant decrease in pss scores in both group 1 and group 2 subjects but percentage decrease was comparable in these groups. significant decrease in hr, dbp, rpp, and do p was seen in only group 2 subjects.
conclusion: this study demonstrates that both types of pranayama practice are beneficial in reducing pss in the healthy subjects but beneficial effect on cardiovascular parameters occurred only after practicing slow pranayama.”
Sivapriya, D. V., Suba Malani, S., & Thirumeni, S.. (2010). Effect of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama on Respiratory Parameters in School Students. Recent Research in Science and Technology
“Background: yogic breathing techniques are very important for inducing relaxation. it is thought by many cultures that the process of breathing is the essence of being. the ultimate goal is to relax quickly and to improve the respiratory efficiency. it’s important for children to practice yogic breathing techniques on a daily basis. breathing techniques help to change subtle energies within the body for health and well being. modern human is the victim of stress and now a days yoga is widely used among adult population to relive stress but leastly concentrated in children inspite of its vast effects. aim: current study was undertaken to create awareness in the health benefits of pranayama and to inculcate yoga in school students so that they can gain a healthy life in future. methods: this study was designed to evaluate the effects of a 45 days daily practice of nadi shodhana pranayama yoga practice on peak expiratory flow rate (pefr), forced vital capacity (fvc), forced expiatory volume in 1 sec (fev1) and respiratory rate (rr) in school students of both sexes. 115 school students aged 8 – 14 years studying in visa nursery & primary school, chennai were recruited for the study. healthy student with no history of present and past illness were selected. the participants were trained to perform nadi shodhana pranayama and the study was done for 45 days . the respiratory parameters pefr, fvc, fev1 & rr were measured before and after practice of pranayama. results: the results of this study showed significant increase in pefr, fvc, fev1. the rr declined after the practice of nadi shodhana pranayama. conclusion: the positive results found in the present study can be applied to all schools to improve the pulmonary functions of the students . a few minutes practice daily may help in setting the mind better on works and studies. the daily practice could maintain better physical and mental health to have a better future.”
Srinivasan, T.. (1991). Pranayama and brain correlates. Ancient Sci Life
“Many yogic methods emphasis control and suspension of breath as important components of the path to transcendence. however, the pranayamas are varied and their role of both improve the physical aspects of breathing and for calming the mind, the latter being very important in the management of many phycosomatic disorders. different types of pranayama seem to influence the brain functioning in specific ways. since the breath seems to link the body and the mind, it is possible to study this link by studying the effect of pranayama on some brain functioning. this report document some of the recent observations of eeg changes during different types of pranayama and their significance in health and diseases.”
Telles, S., Nagarathna, R., & Nagendra, H. R.. (1994). Breathing through a particular nostril can alter metabolism and autonomic activities. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
“There is increasing interest in the fact that breathing exclusively through one nostril may alter the autonomic functions. the present study aimed at checking whether such changes actually do occur, and whether breathing is consciously regulated. 48 male subjects, with ages ranging from 25 to 48 years were randomly assigned to different groups. each group was asked to practice one out of three pranayamas (viz. right nostril breathing, left nostril breathing or alternate nostril breathing). these practices were carried out as 27 respiratory cycles, repeated 4 times a day for one month. parameters were assessed at the beginning and end of the month, but not during the practice. the ‘right nostril pranayama’ group showed a significant increase, of 37% in baseline oxygen consumption. the ‘alternate nostril’ pranayama group showed an 18% increase, and the left nostril pranayama group also showed an increase, of 24%. this increase in metabolism could be due to increased sympathetic discharge to the adrenal medulla. the ‘left nostril pranayama’ group showed an increase in volar galvanic skin resistance, interpreted as a reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity supplying the sweat glands. these results suggest that breathing selectively through either nostril could have a marked activating effect or a relaxing effect on the sympathetic nervous system. the therapeutic implications of being able to alter metabolism by changing the breathing pattern have been mentioned.”
Telles, S., Hanumanthaiah, B., Nagarathna, R., & Nagendra, H. R.. (1993). Improvement in Static Motor Performance following Yogic Training of School Children. Perceptual and Motor Skills
“Two groups of 45 children each, whose ages ranged from 9 to 13 years, were assessed on a steadiness test, at the beginning and again at the end of a 10-day period during which one group received training in yoga, while the other group did not. the steadiness test required insertion of and holding for 15 sec. a metal stylus without touching the sides of holes of decreasing sizes in a metal plate. the contacts were counted as ‘errors’. during the 10-day period, one group (the ‘Yoga’ group) received training in special physical postures (asanas), voluntary regulation of breathing (pranayama), maintenance of silence, as well as visual focussing exercises (tratakas) and games to improve the attention span and memory. the other group (control) carried out their usual routine. after 10 days, the ‘yoga’ group showed a significant (wilcoxon’s paired signed-ranks test) decrease in errors, whereas the ‘control’ group showed no change.”
Telles, S., Nagarathna, R., & Nagendra, H. R.. (1996). Physiological Measures of Right Nostril Breathing. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
“This study was conducted to assess the physiological effects of a yoga breathing practice that involves breathing exclusively through the right nostril. this practice is called surya anuloma viloma pranayama (sav). twelve volunteers (average age 27.2 years +/- 3.3 years, four males) were assessed before and after test sessions conducted on two consecutive days. on one day the test session involved practicing sav pranayama for 45 minutes (sav session). during the test period of the other day, subjects were asked to breathe normally for 45 minutes (nb session). for half the patients (randomly chosen) the sav session was on the first day and the nb session on the next day. for the remaining six patients, the order of the two sessions was reversed. after the sav session (but not after the nb) there was a significant (p < .05, paired t test) increase in oxygen consumption (17%) and in systolic blood pressure (mean increase 9.4 mm hg) and a significant decrease in digit pulse volume (45.7%). the latter two changes are interpreted to be the result of increased cutaneous vasoconstriction. after both sav and nb sessions, there was a significant decrease in skin resistance (two factor anova, tukey test). these findings show that sav has a sympathetic stimulating effect. this technique and other variations of unilateral forced nostril breathing deserve further study regarding therapeutic merits in a wide range of disorders.”
Thangavel, D., Gaur, G. S., Sharma, V. K., Bhavanani, A. B., Rajajeyakumar, M., & Syam Sunder, A.. (2014). Effect of slow and fast pranayama training on handgrip strength and endurance in healthy volunteers. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
“BACKGROUND: pranayama has been assigned very important role in yogic system of exercises and is said to be much more important than yogasanas for keeping sound health. also different pranayamas produce divergent physiological effects.nnaim: to study the effect of 12 weeks training of slow and fast pranayama on handgrip strength and endurance in young, healthy volunteers of jipmer population.nnsettings and design: present study was conducted in the department of physiology, jipmer in 2011-12 (1.06.11 to 1.04.12).nnmaterials and methods: total of 91 volunteer subjects were randomised into slow pranayama (spg) (n=29), fast pranayama (fpg) (n=32) and control groups (cg) (n=30). supervised pranayama training (spg – nadisodhana, pranav pranayama and savitri pranayama; fpg – kapalabhati, bhastrika and kukkuriya pranayama) was given for 30 minutes thrice a week for 12 weeks to both slow and fast pranayama groups by certified yoga trainer. hand grip strength (hgs) and endurance (hge) parameters were recorded using handgrip dynamometer (rolex, india) at baseline and after 12 weeks of pranayama training.nnstatistical analysis used: longitudinal changes in each group were compared by using student’s paired t-test. delta changes in each group were analysed by anova with tukey post-hoc analysis.nnresults: in spg significant improvement occurred only in hge parameter from 83.95±45.06 to 101.62±53.87 (seconds) (p<0.001) whereas in fpg, significant improvement was observed in hgs from 33.31±9.83 to 37.9±9.41 (kilograms) (p=0.01) as well as in hge from 92.78±41.37 to 116.56±58.54 (seconds) (p=0.004). using students unpaired t-test difference between the groups in hgs is found to be 1.17±5.485 in spg and in fpg is 4.59±7.26 (p=0.39); hge difference in spg is 1.77±21.17 and in fpg is 2.38±43.27 (p>0.05).nnconclusion: pranayama training decreases sympathetic activity, resulting in mental relaxation and decreased autonomic arousal thereby, decreasing force fluctuations during isometric contraction. this is reflected as improvement in hgs and hge.”
Turankar, A. V., Jain, S., Patel, S. B., Sinha, S. R., Joshi, A. D., Vallish, B. N., … Turankar, S. A.. (2013). Effects of slow breathing exercise on cardiovascular functions, pulmonary functions & galvanic skin resistance in healthy human volunteers – a pilot study.. The Indian Journal of Medical Research
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“BACKGROUND & objectives: regular practice of slow breathing has been shown to improve cardiovascular and respiratory functions and to decrease the effects of stress. this pilot study was planned to evaluate the short term effects of pranayama on cardiovascular functions, pulmonary functions and galvanic skin resistance (gsr) which mirrors sympathetic tone, and to evaluate the changes that appear within a short span of one week following slow breathing techniques.nnmethods: eleven normal healthy volunteers were randomized into pranayama group (n=6) and a non-pranayama control group (n=5); the pranayama volunteers were trained in pranayama, the technique being anuloma-viloma pranayama with kumbhak. all the 11 volunteers were made to sit in similar environment for two sessions of 20 min each for seven days, while the pranayama volunteers performed slow breathing under supervision, the control group relaxed without conscious control on breathing. pulse, gsr, blood pressure (bp) and pulmonary function tests (pft) were measured before and after the 7-day programme in all the volunteers.nnresults: while no significant changes were observed in bp and pft, an overall reduction in pulse rate was observed in all the eleven volunteers; this reduction might have resulted from the relaxation and the environment. statistically significant changes were observed in the pranayama group volunteers in the gsr values during standing phases indicating that regular practice of pranayama causes a reduction in the sympathetic tone within a period as short as 7 days.nninterpretation & conclusions: beneficial effects of pranayama started appearing within a week of regular practice, and the first change appeared to be a reduction in sympathetic tone.”
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