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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 145-151

Slow yogic breathing through right and left nostril influences sympathovagal balance, heart rate variability, and cardiovascular risks in young adults


1 Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry, India
3 Department of Biochemistry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Gopal Krushna Pal
Department of Physiology, JIPMER, Programme Director, Advance Center for Yoga, JIPMER, Pondicherry - 605 006
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.128477

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Background: Specific nostril breathing is known to influence autonomic functions. Aim: The study was to assess the effects of right nostril breathing (RNB) and left nostril breathing (LNB) on heart rate variability (HRV) and cardiovascular functions. Material and Methods: Eighty-five student volunteers were divided into three groups: RNB group (n = 30), LNB group (n = 30), and control group (n = 25). RNB and LNB group subjects practiced right and left nostril breathing, respectively, every day 1 h for 6 weeks. The control group did not practice nostril breathing. Cardiovascular parameters and spectral indices of HRV were recorded before and after 6-week practice of nostril breathing. In RNB and LNB groups, prediction of rate-pressure product (RPP) by low-frequency to high-frequency ratio (LF-HF) of HRV was assessed by bivariate logistic regression. Results: HRV indices representing sympathetic activity were increased in the RNB group and indices representing parasympathetic activity were increased in LNB group following 6-week nostril breathing. Prediction of LF-HF to RPP, the marker of cardiovascular risks, was more significant (OR 2.65, P = 0.005) in the LNB group compared to the RNB group (OR 1.452, P = 0.016). Conclusions: Short-term practice of LNB improves vagal tone, increases HRV, and promotes cardiovascular health of medical students. Practice of RNB increases sympathetic tone and could jeopardize cardiovascular health.


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