Yoga (Pranayama) Research
"Pranayama increases grip strength without lateralized
Raghuraj P; Nagarathna R; Nagendra HR; Telles S of the Vivekananda
Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India, in the
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 1997 Apr, 41:2, 129-33.
The present study was conducted to determine whether breathing
through a particular nostril has a lateralized effect on hand
grip strength. 130 right hand dominant, school children between
11 and 18 yrs of age were randomly assigned to 5 groups. Each
group had a specific yoga practice in addition to the regular
program for a 10 day yoga camp. The practices were: (1) right-,
(2) left-, (3) alternate- nostril breathing (4), breath awareness
and (5) practice of mudras. Hand grip strength of both hands
was assessed initially and at the end of 10 days for all 5
groups. The right-, left- and alternate-nostril breathing
groups had a significant increase in grip strength of both
hands, ranging from 4.1% to 6.5%, at the end of the camp though
without any lateralization effect. The breath awareness and
mudra groups showed no change. Hence the present results suggest
that yoga breathing through a particular nostril, or through
alternate nostrils increases hand grip strength of both hands
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1994 Apr;38(2):133-7
Breathing through a particular nostril can alter metabolism
and autonomic activities.
Telles S, Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR.
Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Chamarajpet,
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.
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