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.
Pranayama' or yogic breathing as a method of re-expansion of lungs in patients with pleural effusion was studied. Ten patients with pleural effusion practised alternate nostril breathing for 20 days after aspiration of fluid. An equal number matched for age and smoking habits underwent routine physiotherapy of the hospital for the same period. Lung function was measured: before aspiration; immediately after aspiration; and, 5, 10, 15 and 20 days after aspiration. The FVC, FEV1, MVV, PEFR, CE and RS, were used to measure lung function.
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.
The Journal of Asthma: Official Journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma
After an initial integrated yoga training program of 2 to 4 weeks, 570 bronchial asthmatics were followed up for 3 to 54 months. The training consisted of yoga practices--yogasanas, Pranayama, meditation, and kriyas--and theory of yoga. Results show highly significant improvement in most of the specific parameters. The regular practitioners showed the greatest improvement.
Twelve normal healthy volunteers (6 males and 6 females) undergoing yoga training for 90 days were studied for the effect of yoga on exercise tolerance. Their ages ranged from 18 to 28 years. The volunteers were taught only Pranayama for the first 20 days and later on yogic asanas were added. Sub-maximal exercise tolerance test was done on a motorized treadmill by using Balke's modified protocol, initially, after 20 days (Phase-I) and after 90 days of yoga training (Phase-II).
Autonomic responses to breath holding were studied in twenty healthy young men. Breath was held at different phases of respiration and parameters recorded were Breath holding time, heart rate systolic and diastolic blood pressure and galvanic skin resistance (GSR). After taking initial recordings all the subjects practised Nadi-Shodhana Pranayama for a period of 4 weeks. At the end of 4 weeks same parameters were again recorded and the results compared.
Ninety children with mental retardation of mild, moderate and severe degree were selected from four special schools in Bangalore, India. Forty-five children underwent yogic training for one academic year (5 h in every week) with an integrated set of yogic practices, including breathing exercises and pranayama, sithilikarana vyayama (loosening exercises), suryanamaskar, yogasanas and meditation.