Sahaja yoga in the management of moderate to severe
asthma: a randomised controlled trial.
Authors Manocha R. Marks GB. Kenchington P. Peters D.
Institution Natural Therapies Unit, Royal Hospital for
Women, NSW, Australia.
Source Thorax. 57(2):110-5, 2002 Feb.
Abstract BACKGROUND: Sahaja Yoga is a traditional system
of meditation based on yogic principles which may be
used for therapeutic purposes. A study was undertaken
to assess the effectiveness of this therapy as an adjunctive
tool in the management of asthma in adult patients who
remained symptomatic on moderate to high doses of inhaled
steroids. METHODS: A parallel group, double blind, randomised
controlled trial was conducted. Subjects were randomly
allocated to Sahaja yoga and control intervention groups.
Both the yoga and the control interventions required
the subjects to attend a 2 hour session once a week
for 4 months. Asthma related quality of life (AQLQ,
range 0-4), Profile of Mood States (POMS), level of
airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine (AHR), and
a diary card based combined asthma score (CAS, range
0-12) reflecting symptoms, bronchodilator usage, and
peak expiratory flow rates were measured at the end
of the treatment period and again 2 months later. RESULTS:
Twenty one of 30 subjects randomised to the yoga intervention
and 26 of 29 subjects randomised to the control group
were available for assessment at the end of treatment.
The improvement in AHR at the end of treatment was 1.5
doubling doses (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.0 to
2.9, p=0.047) greater in the yoga intervention group
than in the control group. Differences in AQLQ score
(0.41, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.86) and CAS (0.9, 95% CI -0.9
to 2.7) were not significant (p>0.05). The AQLQ mood
subscale did improve more in the yoga group than in
the control group (difference 0.63, 95% CI 0.06 to 1.20),
as did the summary POMS score (difference 18.4, 95%
CI 0.2 to 36.5, p=0.05). There were no significant differences
between the two groups at the 2 month follow up assessment.
CONCLUSIONS: This randomised controlled trial has shown
that the practice of Sahaja yoga does have limited beneficial
effects on some objective and subjective measures of
the impact of asthma. Further work is required to understand
the mechanism underlying the observed effectsand to
establish whether elements of this intervention may
be clinically valuable in patients with severe asthma.
The physiological correlates of Kundalini Yoga meditation:
a study of a yoga master.
Authors Arambula P. Peper E. Kawakami M. Gibney KH.
Institution San Francisco State University, California,
Source Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback. 26(2):147-53,
Abstract This study explores the physiological correlates
of a highly practiced Kundalini Yoga meditator. Thoracic
and abdominal breathing patterns, heart rate (HR), occipital
parietal electroencephalograph (EEG), skin conductance
level (SCL), and blood volume pulse (BVP) were monitored
during prebaseline, meditation, and postbaseline periods.
Visual analyses of the data showed a decrease in respiration
rate during the meditation from a mean of 11 breaths/min
for the pre- and 13 breaths/min for the postbaseline
to a mean of 5 breaths/min during the meditation, with
a predominance of abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing.
There was also more alpha EEG activity during the meditation
(M = 1.71 microV) compared to the pre- (M = .47 microV)
and postbaseline (M = .78 microV) periods, and an increase
in theta EEG activity immediately following the meditation
(M = .62 microV) compared to the pre-baseline and meditative
periods (each with M = .26 microV). These findings suggest
that a shift in breathing patterns may contribute to
the development of alpha EEG, and those patterns need
to be investigated further.
Breathing patterns and cardiovascular autonomic modulation
during hypoxia induced by simulated altitude.
Authors Bernardi L. Passino C. Wilmerding V. Dallam
GM. Parker DL. Robergs RA. Appenzeller O.
Institution Department of Internal Medicine, University
of Pavia and IRCCS S. Matteo, Italy.
Source Journal of Hypertension. 19(5):947-58, 2001 May.
Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the influence of different
breathing patterns on autonomic cardiovascular modulation
during acute exposure to altitude-induced hypoxia. DESIGN:
We measured relative changes in minute ventilation (VE),
oxygen saturation (%SaO2), spectral analysis of RR interval
and blood pressure, and response to stimulation of carotid
baroreceptors (neck suction) at baseline and after acute
(1 h) hypobaric hypoxia (equivalent to 5,000 m, in a
hypobaric chamber). METHODS: We studied 19 human subjects:
nine controls and 10 Western yoga trainees of similar
age, while breathing spontaneously, at 15 breaths/min
(controlled breathing) and during 'complete yogic breathing'
(slow diaphragmatic + thoracic breathing, approximately
5 breaths/min) in yoga trainees, or simple slow breathing
in controls. RESULTS: At baseline %SaO2, VE and autonomic
pattern were similar in both groups; simulated altitude
increased VE in controls but not in yoga trainees; %SaO2
decreased in all subjects (P< 0.0001), but more in controls
than in yoga trainees (17 versus 12%, 14 versus 9%,
14 versus 8%, all P< 0.05 or better, during spontaneous
breathing, controlled breathing and yogic or slow breathing,
respectively). Simulated altitude decreased RR interval
(from 879 +/- 45 to 770 +/- 39, P < 0.01) and increased
indices deducted from spectral analysis of heart rate
variability (low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio
from 1.6 +/- 0.5 to 3.2 +/- 1.1, P < 0.05) and systolic
blood pressure (low-frequency fluctuations from 2.30
+/- 0.31 to 3.07 +/- 0.24 In-mmHg2, P< 0.05) in controls,
indicating sympathetic activation; these changes were
blunted in yoga trainees, and in both groups during
slow or yogic breathing. No effect of altitude was seen
on stimulation of carotid baroreceptors in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Well-performed slow yogic breathing maintains
better blood oxygenation without increasing VE (i.e.
seems to be a more efficient breathing) and reduces
sympathetic activation during altitude-induced hypoxia.
Aerobic capacity & perceived exertion after practice
of Hatha yogic exercises.
Authors Ray US. Sinha B. Tomer OS. Pathak A. Dasgupta
T. Selvamurthy W.
Institution Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Defence
Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences, Lucknow Road,
Timarpur, Delhi 110054, India.
Source Indian Journal of Medical Research. 114:215-21,
Abstract BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Reports on the effect
of yogic exercises on aerobic capacity are few. There
is also no literature available on the effect of yogic
exercise on perceived exertion (PE) after maximal exercise.
In this study the effect of training in Hatha yogic
exercises on aerobic capacity and PE after maximal exercise
was observed. METHODS: Forty men from the Indian army
(aged 19-23 yr) were administered maximal exercise on
a bicycle ergometer in a graded work load protocol.
The oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide output, pulmonary
ventilation, respiratory rate, heart rate (HR) etc.,
at maximal exercise and PE score immediately thereafter
were recorded. The subjects were divided into two equal
groups. Twelve subjects dropped out during the course
of study. One group (yoga, n = 17) practiced Hatha yogic
exercises for 1 h every morning (6 days in a week) for
six months. The other group (PT, n = 11) underwent conventional
physical exercise training during the same period. Both
groups participated daily in different games for 1 h
in the afternoon. In the 7th month, tests for maximal
oxygen consumption (VO2Max) and PE were repeated on
both groups of subjects. RESULTS: Absolute value of
VO2Max increased significantly (P < 0.05) in the yoga
group after 6 months of training. The PE score after
maximal exercise decreased significantly (P < 0.001)
in the yoga group after 6 months but the PT group showed
no change. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSION: The practice
of Hatha yogic exercises along with games helps to improve
aerobic capacity like the practice of conventional exercises
(PT) along with games. The yoga group performed better
than the PT group in terms of lower PE after exhaustive
The effects of unilateral forced nostril breathing
on the heart.
Authors Shannahoff-Khalsa DS. Kennedy B.
Institution Department of Medicine, University of California,
San Diego 92103-8341.
Source International Journal of Neuroscience. 73(1-2):47-60,
Abstract Three experiments are described that employ
impedance cardiography to monitor the effects of unilateral
forced nostril breathing (UFNB) on the heart. Experiment
1 includes 7 subjects (4 males, 3 females) with a respiratory
rate of 6 breaths/min (BPM). Experiment 2 includes 16
trials using one subject to examine the intraindividual
variability, at 6 BPM. Experiment 3 includes 10 trials
with the same subject in experiment 2, but with a respiratory
rate of 2-3 breaths/s. This rapid rate of respiration
is a yogic breathing technique called "breath of fire"
or "kapalabhatti" and employs a very shallow but rapid
breath in which the abdominal region acts like a bellows.
All 3 experiments demonstrated that right UFNB increases
heart rate (HR) compared to left. Experiment 1 gave
7 negative slopes, or lowering in HR with left nostril
breathing and 7 positive slopes, or increases in HR
with right nostril breathing, p = .001. The second and
third experiments showed differences in HR means in
which right UFNB increases HR more than left, p = .013,
p = .001, respectively. In experiment 2 stroke volume
was higher with left UFNB, p = .045, compensating for
lower HR. Left UFNB increased end diastolic volume as
measured in both experiments 1 and 2, p = .006, p =
.001, respectively. These results demonstrate a unique
unilateral effect on sympathetic stimulation of the
heart that may have therapeutic value.
Clinical case report: efficacy of yogic techniques
in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders.
Authors Shannahoff-Khalsa DS. Beckett LR.
Institution Research Group for Mind-Body Dynamics, University
of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0402, USA.
Source International Journal of Neuroscience. 85(1-2):1-17,
Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate the
clinical efficacy of yogic techniques in the treatment
of eight adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
A specific yogic breathing pattern has been prescribed
for the treatment of OCD, as well as others for treating
generalized anxiety. A one year course of therapy was
followed. Subjects improved on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive
Scale (Y-BOCS) comparing baseline with three, six, nine,
& 12 month results (one-way ANOVA for repeated measures,
F(4,12) = 3.343, p < or = .046). Five patients completed
the study (Y-BOCS results were 83%, 79%, 65%, 61% improvement,
and one at-18%), group mean improvement of +54%. The
Symptoms Checklist-90-R showed significant improvement
comparing baseline and 12 months using two-tailed T-tests
for OCD (t = 13.856, p < .001), anxiety (t = 3.167,
p < .051), and global severity indexes (t = 7.314, p
= .005). Perceived Stress Scale scores showed significant
improvement for the five test periods (one-way ANOVA
for repeated measures, F(4,12) = 9.114, p < or = .001).
Five patients were well stabilized on fluoxetine prior
to the study, three stopped medication after seven months
or less, and two significantly reduced it, one by 25%
and the other by 50%. These techniques, merit further
study under controlled conditions and could help lead
to new approaches for the treatment of OCD and perhaps
other impulse control and anxiety-related disorders.
Yoga-based guided relaxation reduces sympathetic
activity judged from baseline levels.
Authors Vempati RP. Telles S.
Institution Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation,
Chamarajpet, Bangalore, India.
Source Psychological Reports. 90(2):487-94, 2002 Apr.
Abstract 35 male volunteers whose ages ranged from 20
to 46 years were studied in two sessions of yoga-based
guided relaxation and supine rest. Assessments of autonomic
variables were made for 15 subjects, before, during,
and after the practices, whereas oxygen consumption
and breath volume were recorded for 25 subjects before
and after both types of relaxation. A significant decrease
in oxygen consumption and increase in breath volume
were recorded after guided relaxation (paired t test).
There were comparable reductions in heart rate and skin
conductance during both types of relaxation. During
guided relaxation the power of the low frequency component
of the heart-rate variability spectrum reduced, whereas
the power of the high frequency component increased,
suggesting reduced sympathetic activity. Also, subjects
with a baseline ratio of LF/HF > 0.5 showed a significant
decrease in the ratio after guided relaxation, while
subjects with a ratio < or = 0.5 at baseline showed
no such change. The results suggest that sympathetic
activity decreased after guided relaxation based on
yoga, depending on the baseline levels.