The present study conducted on twelve normal healthy male subjects showed decrease in blood urea, increase in creatinine and tyrosine after one minute of Kapalabhati, a fast-breathing technique of Hatha Yoga (120 respiratory strokes (min.). From biochemical point of view the practice of Kapalabhati seems to promote decarboxylation and oxidation mechanisms due to which quieting of respiratory centres is achieved, which is also the prerequisite for the practice of Pranayama, another important technique of Yoga.
The effects of two pranayama yoga breathing exercises on airway reactivity, airway calibre, symptom scores, and medication use in patients with mild asthma were assessed in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. After baseline assessment over 1 week, 18 patients with mild asthma practised slow deep breathing for 15 min twice a day for two consecutive 2-week periods.
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.
To determine whether the yogic Ujjayi pranayamic type of breathing that involves sensory awareness and consciously controlled, extremely slow-rate breathing including at least a period of end-inspiration breath holding in each respiratory cycle would alter oxygen consumption or not, ten males with long standing experience in pranayama, and volunteering to participate in the laboratory study were assessed. These subjects aged 28-59 yr, had normal health appropriate to their age.
International Journal of Psychophysiology: Official Journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology
Middle latency auditory-evoked potentials (AEP-MLRs) of 10 healthy male subjects in the age range of 21-33 years, were assessed to determine whether yogic pranayamic practice would cause changes in them. The pranayama type assessed here is an exercise of consciously-controlled rhythmic breathing involving timed breath-holding in each cycle of breathing, while the subject holds utmost attention and experiences the touch of inhaled air in the nasal passage.
The effects of three different procedures, relaxation, visualization and yogic breathing and stretch (pranayama) on perceptions of physical and mental energy and on positive and negative mood states have been assessed in a group of normal volunteers (N = 71, age range 21-76). Pranayama produced a significantly greater increase in perceptions of mental and physical energy and feelings of alertness and enthusiasm than the other two procedures (P < 0.5). Relaxation made subjects significantly more sleepy and sluggish immediately after the session than pranayama (P < 0.05).
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'.
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.
The static motor performance was tested in two groups with 20 subjects in each (age range 17 to 22 years, and 5 females in each group). Tests were carried out at the beginning and end of a 10 day period. The test required being able to insert and hold a metal stylus within holes of varying sizes for 15 sec. Accidental contacts between the stylus and the sides of the holes, were registered on a counter as errors.