International Journal of Yoga
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-26
Comparative effect of 12 weeks of slow and fast pranayama training on pulmonary function in young, healthy volunteers: A randomized controlled trial


1 Department of Physiology, Vinayaka Mission's Medical College and Hospital, Karaikal, India
2 Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
3 Department of Physiology, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India
4 Department of Medical Biometrics and Informatics, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
5 Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
G S Gaur
Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry - 605 006
India
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Source of Support: JIPMER and Vinayaka Missionís Medical College, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.146051

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Context: Pranayamas are breathing techniques that exert profound physiological effects on pulmonary, cardiovascular, and mental functions. Previous studies demonstrate that different types of pranayamas produce divergent effects. Aim: The aim was to compare the effect of 12 weeks of slow and fast pranayama training on pulmonary function in young, healthy volunteers. Settings and Design: This study was carried out in Departments of Physiology and ACYTER, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry in 2011. Subjects and Methods: Ninety one healthy volunteers were randomized into slow pranayama group (SPG), n =29, fast pranayama group (FPG), n = 32 and control groups (CG) (n = 30). Supervised pranayama training (SPG: Nadisodhana, Pranav pranayama and Savitri pranayama; FPG: Kapalabhati, Bhastrika and Kukkriya pranayama) was given for 30 min/day, thrice/week for 12 weeks by certified yoga instructors. Pulmonary function parameters (PFT) such as forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in first second (FEV 1 ), ratio between FEV 1 and FVC (FEV 1 /FVC), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), and forced expiratory flow 25-75 (FEF 25-75 ), were recorded at baseline and after 12 weeks of pranayama training using the computerized spirometer (Micro laboratory V1.32, England). Results: In SPG, PEFR, and FEF 25-75 improved significantly (P < 0.05) while other parameters (FVC, FEV 1 , FEV 1 /FVC, and MVV) showed only marginal improvements. In FPG, FEV 1 /FVC, PEFR, and FEF 25-75 parameters improved significantly (P < 0.05), while FVC, FEV 1 , and MVV did not show significant (P > 0.05) change. No significant change was observed in CG. Conclusion: Twelve weeks of pranayama training in young subjects showed improvement in the commonly measured PFT. This indicates that pranayama training improved pulmonary function and that this was more pronounced in the FPG.


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