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The study aimed at determining whether novices to yoga would be able to reduce their heart rate voluntarily and whether the magnitude of reduction would be more after 30 days of yoga training. Two groups (yoga and control, n = 12 each) were assessed on Day 1 and on Day 30. During the intervening 30 days, the yoga group received training in yoga techniques while the control group carried on with their routine. At each assessment the baseline heart rate was recorded for one minute, this was followed by a six-minute period during which participants were asked to attempt to voluntarily reduce their heart rate, using any strategy. Both the baseline heart rate and the lowest heart rate achieved voluntarily during the six-minute period were significantly lower in the yoga group on Day 30 compared to Day 1 by a group average of 10.7 beats per minute (i.e., bpm) and 6.8 bpm, respectively (p < .05, Wilcoxon paired signed ranks test). In contrast, there was no significant change in either the baseline heart rate or the lowest heart rate achieved voluntarily in the control group on Day 30 compared to Day 1. The results suggest that yoga training can enable practitioners to use their own strategies to reduce the heart rate, which has possible therapeutic applications.

BACKGROUND: Stress places a metabolic burden on homeostasis and is linked to heightened sympathetic activity, increased energy expenditure and pathology. The yogic state is a hypometabolic state that corresponds with mind-body coherence and reduced stress. This study aimed to investigate metabolic responses to stress and different yoga practices in regular yoga practitioners (YP), non-yoga practitioners (NY) and metabolic syndrome patients (MS). METHODS: YP (n = 16), NY (n = 15) and MS (n = 15) subjects underwent an experimental protocol that comprised of different 5-minute interventions including mental arithmetic stress test (MAST), alternate nostril breathing (ANB), Kapabhati breathing (KB) and meditation (Med) interspersed with 5 minutes of quiet resting (neutral condition (NC)). During the intervention periods continuous body weight adjusted oxygen consumption (VO2ml/min/kg) was measured using open circuit indirect calorimetry with a canopy hood. RESULTS: This is the first study to report oxygen consumption (OC) in yoga practitioners during and after MAST and the first to report both within and between different populations. The results were analysed with SPSS 16 using 3X9 mixed factorial ANOVAs. The single between-subject factor was group (YP, NY and MS), the single within-subject factor was made up of the nine intervention phases (NC1, MAST, NC2, ANB, NC3, KB, NC4, Med, NC5). The results demonstrated that the regular YP group had significantly less OC and greater variability in their OC across all phases compared to the MS group (p = .003) and NY group (p = .01). All groups significantly raised their OC during the mental arithmetic stress, however the MS group had a significantly blunted post-stress recovery whereas the YP group rapidly recovered back to baseline levels with post stress recovery being greater than either the NY group or MS group. CONCLUSIONS: Yoga practitioners have greater metabolic variability compared to non-yoga practitioners and metabolic syndrome patients with reduced oxygen requirements during resting conditions and more rapid post-stress recovery. OC in metabolic syndrome patients displays significantly blunted post-stress recovery demonstrating reduced metabolic resilience. Our results support the findings of previous randomised trials that suggest regular yoga practice may mitigate against the effects of metabolic syndrome. CLINICAL TRIAL NUMBER: ACTRN12614001075673; Date of Registration: 07/10/2014.

BACKGROUND: Stress places a metabolic burden on homeostasis and is linked to heightened sympathetic activity, increased energy expenditure and pathology. The yogic state is a hypometabolic state that corresponds with mind-body coherence and reduced stress. This study aimed to investigate metabolic responses to stress and different yoga practices in regular yoga practitioners (YP), non-yoga practitioners (NY) and metabolic syndrome patients (MS). METHODS: YP (n = 16), NY (n = 15) and MS (n = 15) subjects underwent an experimental protocol that comprised of different 5-minute interventions including mental arithmetic stress test (MAST), alternate nostril breathing (ANB), Kapabhati breathing (KB) and meditation (Med) interspersed with 5 minutes of quiet resting (neutral condition (NC)). During the intervention periods continuous body weight adjusted oxygen consumption (VO2ml/min/kg) was measured using open circuit indirect calorimetry with a canopy hood. RESULTS: This is the first study to report oxygen consumption (OC) in yoga practitioners during and after MAST and the first to report both within and between different populations. The results were analysed with SPSS 16 using 3X9 mixed factorial ANOVAs. The single between-subject factor was group (YP, NY and MS), the single within-subject factor was made up of the nine intervention phases (NC1, MAST, NC2, ANB, NC3, KB, NC4, Med, NC5). The results demonstrated that the regular YP group had significantly less OC and greater variability in their OC across all phases compared to the MS group (p = .003) and NY group (p = .01). All groups significantly raised their OC during the mental arithmetic stress, however the MS group had a significantly blunted post-stress recovery whereas the YP group rapidly recovered back to baseline levels with post stress recovery being greater than either the NY group or MS group. CONCLUSIONS: Yoga practitioners have greater metabolic variability compared to non-yoga practitioners and metabolic syndrome patients with reduced oxygen requirements during resting conditions and more rapid post-stress recovery. OC in metabolic syndrome patients displays significantly blunted post-stress recovery demonstrating reduced metabolic resilience. Our results support the findings of previous randomised trials that suggest regular yoga practice may mitigate against the effects of metabolic syndrome. CLINICAL TRIAL NUMBER: ACTRN12614001075673; Date of Registration: 07/10/2014.

BACKGROUND: Stress places a metabolic burden on homeostasis and is linked to heightened sympathetic activity, increased energy expenditure and pathology. The yogic state is a hypometabolic state that corresponds with mind-body coherence and reduced stress. This study aimed to investigate metabolic responses to stress and different yoga practices in regular yoga practitioners (YP), non-yoga practitioners (NY) and metabolic syndrome patients (MS). METHODS: YP (n = 16), NY (n = 15) and MS (n = 15) subjects underwent an experimental protocol that comprised of different 5-minute interventions including mental arithmetic stress test (MAST), alternate nostril breathing (ANB), Kapabhati breathing (KB) and meditation (Med) interspersed with 5 minutes of quiet resting (neutral condition (NC)). During the intervention periods continuous body weight adjusted oxygen consumption (VO2ml/min/kg) was measured using open circuit indirect calorimetry with a canopy hood. RESULTS: This is the first study to report oxygen consumption (OC) in yoga practitioners during and after MAST and the first to report both within and between different populations. The results were analysed with SPSS 16 using 3X9 mixed factorial ANOVAs. The single between-subject factor was group (YP, NY and MS), the single within-subject factor was made up of the nine intervention phases (NC1, MAST, NC2, ANB, NC3, KB, NC4, Med, NC5). The results demonstrated that the regular YP group had significantly less OC and greater variability in their OC across all phases compared to the MS group (p = .003) and NY group (p = .01). All groups significantly raised their OC during the mental arithmetic stress, however the MS group had a significantly blunted post-stress recovery whereas the YP group rapidly recovered back to baseline levels with post stress recovery being greater than either the NY group or MS group. CONCLUSIONS: Yoga practitioners have greater metabolic variability compared to non-yoga practitioners and metabolic syndrome patients with reduced oxygen requirements during resting conditions and more rapid post-stress recovery. OC in metabolic syndrome patients displays significantly blunted post-stress recovery demonstrating reduced metabolic resilience. Our results support the findings of previous randomised trials that suggest regular yoga practice may mitigate against the effects of metabolic syndrome. CLINICAL TRIAL NUMBER: ACTRN12614001075673; Date of Registration: 07/10/2014.

BACKGROUND High-frequency yoga breathing (breath rate of 2.0 Hz) has been associated with changes in oxy-hemoglobin in the prefrontal region of the brain. The present study assessed the effects of high-frequency yoga breathing (HFYB) at 1.0 Hz on frontal oxy-hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) and deoxy-hemoglobin (deoxy-Hb). MATERIAL AND METHODS Forty healthy male participants were recruited for the study. The experimental group consisted of 20 participants 23-40 years old (group mean +/-S.D., 26.4+/-4.7 years) with at least 3 months of experience performing HFYB (group mean +/-S.D., 16.3+/-9.8 months). The control group consisted of 20 participants ages 23-38 years (group mean age +/- S.D., 27.4+/-4.1 years), who were seated quietly for the same duration and their average experience of yoga practice was (+/-S.D.) 4.3+/-2.7 months. Each participant in the experimental group was assessed at 2 sessions (HFYB and breath awareness [BAW]) on alternate days. Hemodynamic changes were assessed using a functional near-infrared spectroscopy sensor placed over the forehead. Data were analyzed using repeated-measures analyses of variance followed by post hoc Bonferroni adjustment. RESULTS A significant reduction was observed in oxy-Hb during and after HFYB on the left and right sides compared to values before. We also found a significant reduction in deoxy-Hb during and after the quiet sitting control session compared to pre-session values on left and right sides. CONCLUSIONS The decrease in oxy-Hb during and after HFYB suggests that there was no frontal activation during HFYB when practiced at the rate of 1.0 Hz.

Day time activities are known to influence the sleep on the following night. Cyclic meditation (CM) has recurring cycles. Previously, the low frequency (LF) power and the ratio between low frequency and high frequency (LF/HF ratio) of the heart rate variability (HRV) decreased during and after CM but not after a comparable period of supine rest (SR). In the present study, on thirty male volunteers, CM was practiced twice in the day and after this the HRV was recorded (1) while awake and (2) during 6 h of sleep (based on EEG, EMG and EGG recordings). This was similarly recorded for the night’s sleep following the day time practice of SR. Participants were randomly assigned to the two sessions and all of them practiced both CM and SR on different days. During the night following day time CM practice there were the following changes; a decrease in heart rate, LF power (n.u.), LF/HF ratio, and an increase in the number of pairs of Normal to Normal RR intervals differing by more than 50 ms divided by total number of all NN intervals (pNN50) (P < 0.05, in all cases, comparing sleep following CM compared with sleep following SR). No change was seen on the night following SR. Hence yoga practice during the day appears to shift sympatho-vagal balance in favor of parasympathetic dominance during sleep on the following night.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia are directly associated with autonomic flexibility, self-regulation and well-being, and inversely associated with physiological stress, psychological stress and pathology. Yoga enhances autonomic activity, mitigates stress and benefits stress-related clinical conditions, yet the relationship between autonomic activity and psychophysiological responses during yoga practices and stressful stimuli has not been widely explored. This experimental study explored the relationship between HRV, mood states and flow experiences in regular yoga practitioners (YP), non-yoga practitioners (NY) and people with metabolic syndrome (MetS), during Mental Arithmetic Stress Test (MAST) and various yoga practices. The study found that the MAST placed a cardio-autonomic burden in all participants with the YP group showing the greatest reactivity and the most rapid recovery, while the MetS group had significantly blunted recovery. The YP group also reported a heightened experience of flow and positive mood states compared to NY and MetS groups as well as having a higher vagal tone during all resting conditions. These results suggest yoga practitioners have a greater homeostatic capacity and autonomic, metabolic and physiological resilience. Further studies are now needed to determine if regular yoga practice may improve autonomic flexibility in non-yoga practitioners and metabolic syndrome patients. Clinical Trial No 'ACTRN 2614001075673'.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia are directly associated with autonomic flexibility, self-regulation and well-being, and inversely associated with physiological stress, psychological stress and pathology. Yoga enhances autonomic activity, mitigates stress and benefits stress-related clinical conditions, yet the relationship between autonomic activity and psychophysiological responses during yoga practices and stressful stimuli has not been widely explored. This experimental study explored the relationship between HRV, mood states and flow experiences in regular yoga practitioners (YP), non-yoga practitioners (NY) and people with metabolic syndrome (MetS), during Mental Arithmetic Stress Test (MAST) and various yoga practices. The study found that the MAST placed a cardio-autonomic burden in all participants with the YP group showing the greatest reactivity and the most rapid recovery, while the MetS group had significantly blunted recovery. The YP group also reported a heightened experience of flow and positive mood states compared to NY and MetS groups as well as having a higher vagal tone during all resting conditions. These results suggest yoga practitioners have a greater homeostatic capacity and autonomic, metabolic and physiological resilience. Further studies are now needed to determine if regular yoga practice may improve autonomic flexibility in non-yoga practitioners and metabolic syndrome patients. Clinical Trial No 'ACTRN 2614001075673'.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia are directly associated with autonomic flexibility, self-regulation and well-being, and inversely associated with physiological stress, psychological stress and pathology. Yoga enhances autonomic activity, mitigates stress and benefits stress-related clinical conditions, yet the relationship between autonomic activity and psychophysiological responses during yoga practices and stressful stimuli has not been widely explored. This experimental study explored the relationship between HRV, mood states and flow experiences in regular yoga practitioners (YP), non-yoga practitioners (NY) and people with metabolic syndrome (MetS), during Mental Arithmetic Stress Test (MAST) and various yoga practices. The study found that the MAST placed a cardio-autonomic burden in all participants with the YP group showing the greatest reactivity and the most rapid recovery, while the MetS group had significantly blunted recovery. The YP group also reported a heightened experience of flow and positive mood states compared to NY and MetS groups as well as having a higher vagal tone during all resting conditions. These results suggest yoga practitioners have a greater homeostatic capacity and autonomic, metabolic and physiological resilience. Further studies are now needed to determine if regular yoga practice may improve autonomic flexibility in non-yoga practitioners and metabolic syndrome patients. Clinical Trial No 'ACTRN 2614001075673'.

BACKGROUND: Previously, forced unilateral nostril breathing was associated with ipsilateral, or contralateral cerebral hemisphere changes, or no change. Hence it was inconclusive. The present study was conducted on 13 normal healthy participants to determine the effects of alternate nostril yoga breathing on (a) cerebral hemisphere asymmetry, and (b) changes in the standard EEG bands. METHODS: Participants were randomly allocated to three sessions (a) alternate nostril yoga breathing (ANYB), (b) breath awareness and (c) quiet sitting, on separate days. EEG was recorded from bilaterally symmetrical sites (FP1, FP2, C3, C4, O1 and O2). All sites were referenced to the ipsilateral ear lobe. RESULTS: There was no change in cerebral hemisphere symmetry. The relative power in the theta band was decreased during alternate nostril yoga breathing (ANYB) and the beta amplitude was lower after ANYB. During quiet sitting the relative power in the beta band increased, while the amplitude of the alpha band reduced. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that ANYB was associated with greater calmness, whereas quiet sitting without specific directions was associated with arousal. The results imply a possible use of ANYB for stress and anxiety reduction.

The present study was conducted to assess the immediate effect of high-frequency yoga breathing on muscle strength and motor speed. Bilateral handgrip strength, leg and back strength, finger tapping and arm tapping speed were assessed in fifty male participants (group mean age +/- SD, 26.9 +/- 6.2 years) before and after (a) high frequency yoga breathing for 15 minutes and (b) breath awareness for the same duration. Sessions (a) and (b) were on two different days but at the same time of the day. The schedule was alternated for different participants. There was a significant increase (P < 0.05) in right hand grip strength after high frequency yoga breathing. Both finger and arm tapping improved after both practices. The results suggest a role for high frequency yoga breathing in improving the hand grip strength as an immediate effect.

The effect of right, left, and alternate nostril yoga breathing (i.e., RNYB, LNYB, and ANYB, respectively) were compared with breath awareness (BAW) and normal breathing (CTL). Autonomic and respiratory variables were studied in 21 male volunteers with ages between 18 and 45 years and experience in the yoga breathing practices between 3 and 48 months. Subjects were assessed in five experimental sessions on five separate days. The sessions were in fixed possible sequences and subjects were assigned to a sequence randomly. Each session was for 40 min; 30 min for the breathing practice, preceded and followed by 5 min of quiet sitting. Assessments included heart rate variability, skin conductance, finger plethysmogram amplitude, breath rate, and blood pressure. Following RNYB there was a significant increase in systolic, diastolic and mean pressure. In contrast, the systolic and diastolic pressure decreased after ANYB and the systolic and mean pressure were lower after LNYB. Hence, unilateral nostril yoga breathing practices appear to influence the blood pressure in different ways. These effects suggest possible therapeutic applications.

Pre-teen children face stressors related to their transition from childhood to adolescence, with a simultaneous increase in academic pressure. The present study compared the immediate effects of 18 min of (i) high frequency yoga breathing with (ii) yoga-based breath awareness and (iii) sitting quietly, on (a) attention and (b) anxiety, in 61 pre-teen children (aged between 11 and 12 years; 25 girls). Attention was assessed using a six letter cancellation task and Spielberger&rsquo;s State Trait Anxiety Inventory STAI-S was used to measure anxiety before and after the three practices, practiced on separate days. Repeated measures ANOVA, followed by Bonferroni adjusted post-hoc analyses showed an increase in total attempts and net scores after high frequency yoga breathing (p &lt; 0.05), while wrong attempts increased after yoga based breath awareness (p &lt; 0.05). Anxiety decreased comparably after all three interventions. The 25 girls in the group had the same trend of results as the whole group with respect to the attention-based cancellation task, while boys showed no, how since change. For both girls and boys, anxiety decreased after all three 18min interventions. The results suggest that high frequency yoga breathing could be a short, useful school based practice to improve attention and reduce anxiety.

Pre-teen children face stressors related to their transition from childhood to adolescence, with a simultaneous increase in academic pressure. The present study compared the immediate effects of 18 min of (i) high frequency yoga breathing with (ii) yoga-based breath awareness and (iii) sitting quietly, on (a) attention and (b) anxiety, in 61 pre-teen children (aged between 11 and 12 years; 25 girls). Attention was assessed using a six letter cancellation task and Spielberger's State Trait Anxiety Inventory STAI-S was used to measure anxiety before and after the three practices, practiced on separate days. Repeated measures ANOVA, followed by Bonferroni adjusted post-hoc analyses showed an increase in total attempts and net scores after high frequency yoga breathing (p < 0.05), while wrong attempts increased after yoga based breath awareness (p < 0.05). Anxiety decreased comparably after all three interventions. The 25 girls in the group had the same trend of results as the whole group with respect to the attention-based cancellation task, while boys showed no, how since change. For both girls and boys, anxiety decreased after all three 18min interventions. The results suggest that high frequency yoga breathing could be a short, useful school based practice to improve attention and reduce anxiety.

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.
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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.

BACKGROUND: Chronic illness is commonly associated with anxiety and depression. Both anxiety and depression respond to yoga. However, there is no report on the association between the intensity and duration of yoga practice with the benefits seen. AIM: The present study was intended to determine whether the daily duration of yoga practice and the duration of experience in months would predict anxiety and depression, associated with chronic illness. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Seven hundred and sixty-three volunteers with ages between 14 and 86 years (group mean age standard deviation, 50.2 [14.2]) who attended a 7 day residential yoga camp in the north of India were included in this cross-sectional study. All participants had chronic illnesses, which were under control with treatment, and which were categorized and are detailed. Participants were assessed for state anxiety scores using State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and for anxiety with hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS-A), and depression was assessed using HADS-D scores of the HADS. Linear multiple regression analyses were performed using PASW SPSS version 18.0 (Armonk, New York, U.S.) to determine how the daily and monthly duration of yoga practice could influence state anxiety, hospital anxiety and depression of the participants. RESULTS: Yoga practice in months and the time spent practicing yoga each day significantly predict the level of state anxiety (P < 0.001, P = 0.03) and HAD-A (P < 0.01, P < 0.01). The duration of yoga practice in months alone was a significant predictor of the HAD-D (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the duration of yoga practice in months and daily practice in minutes predict anxiety associated with chronic illness. In contrast the duration of yoga practice in months alone, predicted depression scores.

BACKGROUND: Chronic illness is commonly associated with anxiety and depression. Both anxiety and depression respond to yoga. However, there is no report on the association between the intensity and duration of yoga practice with the benefits seen. AIM: The present study was intended to determine whether the daily duration of yoga practice and the duration of experience in months would predict anxiety and depression, associated with chronic illness. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Seven hundred and sixty-three volunteers with ages between 14 and 86 years (group mean age standard deviation, 50.2 [14.2]) who attended a 7 day residential yoga camp in the north of India were included in this cross-sectional study. All participants had chronic illnesses, which were under control with treatment, and which were categorized and are detailed. Participants were assessed for state anxiety scores using State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and for anxiety with hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS-A), and depression was assessed using HADS-D scores of the HADS. Linear multiple regression analyses were performed using PASW SPSS version 18.0 (Armonk, New York, U.S.) to determine how the daily and monthly duration of yoga practice could influence state anxiety, hospital anxiety and depression of the participants. RESULTS: Yoga practice in months and the time spent practicing yoga each day significantly predict the level of state anxiety (P < 0.001, P = 0.03) and HAD-A (P < 0.01, P < 0.01). The duration of yoga practice in months alone was a significant predictor of the HAD-D (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the duration of yoga practice in months and daily practice in minutes predict anxiety associated with chronic illness. In contrast the duration of yoga practice in months alone, predicted depression scores.

The auditory sensory pathway has been studied in meditators, using midlatency and short latency auditory evoked potentials. The present study evaluated long latency auditory evoked potentials (LLAEPs) during meditation. Sixty male participants, aged between 18 and 31 years (group mean+/-SD, 20.5+/-3.8 years), were assessed in 4 mental states based on descriptions in the traditional texts. They were (a) random thinking, (b) nonmeditative focusing, (c) meditative focusing, and (d) meditation. The order of the sessions was randomly assigned. The LLAEP components studied were P1 (40-60 ms), N1 (75-115 ms), P2 (120-180 ms), and N2 (180-280 ms). For each component, the peak amplitude and peak latency were measured from the prestimulus baseline. There was significant decrease in the peak latency of the P2 component during and after meditation (P<.001; analysis of variance and post hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment). The P1, P2, and N2 components showed a significant decrease in peak amplitudes during random thinking (P<.01; P<.001; P<.01, respectively) and nonmeditative focused thinking (P<.01; P<.01; P<.05, respectively). The results suggest that meditation facilitates the processing of information in the auditory association cortex, whereas the number of neurons recruited was smaller in random thinking and non-meditative focused thinking, at the level of the secondary auditory cortex, auditory association cortex and anterior cingulate cortex.

BACKGROUND Practicing high-frequency yoga breathing (HFYB) induced a hypermetabolic state in a single subject during the practice but the effect has not been studied in multiple practitioners. MATERIAL AND METHODS Healthy male volunteers (n=47, group mean age +/- S.D., 23.2 +/- 4.1 years) were recruited as an experimental group and another twenty volunteers were recruited as a control group. The experimental group practiced either HFYB (Breath rate 1.0 Hz) or breath awareness (BAW) on two separate days. The sequence was reversed for alternate participants. The control group was assessed under similar conditions while sitting at ease. The breath rate (RR), tidal volume (VT), ventilation (VE), VO2, VCO2, arterial PCO2 and energy expenditure (EE Kcal/day) were assessed for 35 minutes using an open circuit oxygen consumption analyzer. The assessment period was divided into before, during and after conditions. Repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVA) were used to compare data recorded during and after the two practices with data recorded before. Before-After comparisons in the control group were with paired t-tests. RESULTS The most relevant significant changes were increases in VE, VO2, VCO2 and EE during HFYB, while the same variables decreased during the control period. However after HFYB there was no change in VO2 or EE, although VE decreased as it did after the control period. CONCLUSIONS HFYB induces a hypermetabolic state for the duration of the practice which returns to baseline after HFYB suggesting a possible application for HFYB in hypometabolic states.

According to ancient Indian and Chinese texts the subtle energy (prana or chi) flows through several thousand anatomically indistinguishable channels or meridians (nadis). Three channels are especially important (ida, pingala, and sushumna). The ida and pingala channels correlate with left and right uninostril breathing, respectively. Like yin and yang, they are considered to represent the masculine and feminine principles present in all creation irrespective of sex. From this perspective these principles are assumed to be present simultaneously in persons of both sexes. This suggests that any sex-specific effects of uninostril breathing may be associated with sex-based physiological differences, not with 'masculine' and 'feminine' attributes of the channels (and the corresponding nostrils).

The present study was conducted to evaluate a statement in ancient yoga texts that suggests that a combination of both "calming" and "stimulating" measures may be especially helpful in reaching a state of mental equilibrium. Two yoga practices, one combining "calming and stimulating" measures (cyclic meditation) and the other, a "calming" technique (shavasan), were compared. The oxygen consumption, breath rate, and breath volume of 40 male volunteers (group mean +/- SD, 27.0 +/- 5.7 years) were assessed before and after sessions of cyclic meditation (CM) and before and after sessions of shavasan (SH). The 2 sessions (CM, SH) were 1 day apart. Cyclic meditation includes the practice of yoga postures interspersed with periods of supine relaxation. During SH the subject lies in a supine position throughout the practice. There was a significant decrease in the amount of oxygen consumed and in breath rate and an increase in breath volume after both types of sessions (2-factor ANOVA, paired t test). However, the magnitude of change on all 3 measures was greater after CM: (1) Oxygen consumption decreased 32.1% after CM compared with 10.1% after SH; (2) breath rate decreased 18.0% after CM and 15.2% after SH; and (3) breath volume increased 28.8% after CM and 15.9% after SH. These results support the idea that a combination of yoga postures interspersed with relaxation reduces arousal more than relaxation alone does.

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. Since kumbhak (timed breath holding) is considered as an important phase of the respiratory cycle in the pranayama, they were categorised into two groups of five each, one group practising the short kumbhak varieties of pranayama, and the other the long kumbhak varieties of pranayama. The duration of kumbhak phase was on an average 22.2 percent of the respiratory cycle in the short kumbhak group, and 50.4 per cent in the long kumbhak group. The oxygen consumption was measured in test sessions using the closed circuit method of breathing oxygen through the Benedict-Roth spirometer. Each subject was tested in several repeat sessions. Values of oxygen consumption of the period of pranayamic breathing, and of post-pranayamic breathing period, were compared to control value of oxygen consumption of the prepranayamic breathing period of each test session. The results revealed that the short kumbhak pranayamic breathing caused a statistically significant increase (52%) in the oxygen consumption (and metabolic rate) compared to the pre-pranayamic base-line period of breathing. In contrast to the above, the long kumbhak pranayamic breathing caused a statistically significant lowering (19% of the oxygen consumption (and metabolic rate).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

BACKGROUND: An earlier study showed that a week of yoga practice was useful in stress management after a natural calamity. Due to heavy rain and a rift on the banks of the Kosi river, in the state of Bihar in north India, there were floods with loss of life and property. A week of yoga practice was given to the survivors a month after the event and the effect was assessed.METHODS: Twenty-two volunteers (group average age +/- S.D, 31.5 +/- 7.5 years; all of them were males) were randomly assigned to two groups, yoga and a non-yoga wait-list control group. The yoga group practiced yoga for an hour daily while the control group continued with their routine activities. Both groups' heart rate variability, breath rate, and four symptoms of emotional distress using visual analog scales, were assessed on the first and eighth day of the program. RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in sadness in the yoga group (p < 0.05, paired t-test, post data compared to pre) and an increase in anxiety in the control group (p < 0.05, paired t-test, post data compared to pre). CONCLUSIONS: A week of yoga can reduce feelings of sadness and possibly prevent an increase in anxiety in flood survivors a month after the calamity. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trials Registry of India: CTRI/2009/091/000285.

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