Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
BMJ Open. 2011 May 24;1(1):e000085. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000085.

Yoga respiratory training improves respiratory function and cardiac sympathovagal balance in elderly subjects: a randomised controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Sleep Laboratory, Pneumology Division, Heart Institute (InCor), University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Since ageing is associated with a decline in pulmonary function, heart rate variability and spontaneous baroreflex, and recent studies suggest that yoga respiratory exercises may improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, we hypothesised that yoga respiratory training may improve respiratory function and cardiac autonomic modulation in healthy elderly subjects.

DESIGN:

76 healthy elderly subjects were enrolled in a randomised control trial in Brazil and 29 completed the study (age 68 ± 6 years, 34% males, body mass index 25 ± 3 kg/m²). Subjects were randomised into a 4-month training program (2 classes/week plus home exercises) of either stretching (control, n=14) or respiratory exercises (yoga, n=15). Yoga respiratory exercises (Bhastrika) consisted of rapid forced expirations followed by inspiration through the right nostril, inspiratory apnoea with generation of intrathoracic negative pressure, and expiration through the left nostril. Pulmonary function, maximum expiratory and inspiratory pressures (PE(max) and PI(max), respectively), heart rate variability and blood pressure variability for spontaneous baroreflex determination were determined at baseline and after 4 months.

RESULTS:

Subjects in both groups had similar demographic parameters. Physiological variables did not change after 4 months in the control group. However, in the yoga group, there were significant increases in PE(max) (34%, p<0.0001) and PI(max) (26%, p<0.0001) and a significant decrease in the low frequency component (a marker of cardiac sympathetic modulation) and low frequency/high frequency ratio (marker of sympathovagal balance) of heart rate variability (40%, p<0.001). Spontaneous baroreflex did not change, and quality of life only marginally increased in the yoga group.

CONCLUSION:

Respiratory yoga training may be beneficial for the elderly healthy population by improving respiratory function and sympathovagal balance. Trial Registration CinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00969345; trial registry name: Effects of respiratory yoga training (Bhastrika) on heart rate variability and baroreflex, and quality of life of healthy elderly subjects.

PMID:
22021757
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3191432
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (4)Free text

Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk