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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 58-62

Effect of short-term pranayama and meditation on cardiovascular functions in healthy individuals

Department of Physiology, S. Nijalingappa Medical College, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Roopa B Ankad
Department of Physiology, S. Nijalingappa Medical College, Navanagar, Bagalkot- 587102, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1995-705X.86016

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Context: Asana, pranayama, and meditation are three main techniques of yoga practiced in India over thousands of years to attain functional harmony between the body and mind. Recent studies on long-term yogic practices have shown improvements in cardiovascular functions. Aim: The present study was conducted to ascertain if a short-term practice of pranayama and meditation had improvements in cardiovascular functions in healthy individuals with respect to age, gender, and body mass index (BMI). Settings and Design: This interventional study was conducted in the Department of physiology of S.N. Medical College, Bagalkot. Patients and Methods: Fifty healthy subjects (24 males and 26 females) of 20−60 years age group, fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria underwent two hours daily yoga program for 15 days taught by a certified yoga teacher. Pre and post yoga cardiovascular functions were assessed by recording pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean blood pressure. Statistical analysis used: The parameters were analyzed by Student's t test. Results: There was significant reduction in resting pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean arterial blood pressure after practicing pranayama and meditation for 15 days. The response was similar in both the genders, both the age groups, <40 yrs and >40 yrs and both the groups with BMI, <25 kg/m2 and >25 kg/m2 . Conclusion: This study showed beneficial effects of short term (15 days) regular pranayama and meditation practice on cardiovascular functions irrespective of age, gender, and BMI in normal healthy individuals.

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