2.2 Effect Of Pranayama Case Study

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2.2 Effect of Pranayama on the Human Body

Pranayama is a breathing exercise performed in yoga. There are various types of pranayama differing in frequency, rhythm, intensity and flow of breathing.

One form of pranayama is alternate nose breathing. In this type of pranayama the practitioner blocks one nostril and breathes in. Switching nostrils, the practitioner breathes out from the other nostril. This process is cycled through. One such study evaluating the effects of alternate nose breathing was performed by Dhungal et al. Dhungal tried to find the effects of pranayama on cardiorespiratory function (n=36). The outcome measures used in the study were peak expiratory flow rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, pulse rate and respiratory rate. Out of these parameters a significant increase was noted in peak expiratory flow rate and pulse pressure. A significant decrease was seen in pulse rate, respiratory rate and diastolic blood pressure while showing an insignificant decrease in systolic blood pressure. The parameters used in this study changed as though there was an increase in parasympathetic activity and a decrease in sympathetic activity. This view was tested in a study by Bharghava et al which involved studying the effect of pranayama on the autonomic nervous system by measuring parasympathetic functions like systolic and diastolic blood
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Once one looks into the molecular basis of the impact of yoga, one can understand the various genes, receptors or messengers being up-regulated or down-regulated and the various cellular mechanics involved in the effects yoga has on the human

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