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Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2003 Jan;47(1):27-33.

Effect of pranayam training on cardiac function in normal young volunteers.

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Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry-605 006.


Systolic time intervals (STI) are non-invasive and sensitive tests for measuring the ventricular performance. It has been reported that practice of pranayam modulates cardiac autonomic status and improves cardio-respiratory functions. Keeping this in view, the present study was designed to determine whether pranayam training has any effect on ventricular performance as measured by STI and cardiac autonomic function tests (AFT). Twenty four school children were randomly divided into two groups of twelve each. Group I (pranayam group) subjects were given training in nadishuddhi, mukh-bhastrika, pranav and savitri pranayams and practiced the same for 20 minutes daily for a duration of 3 months. Group II (control group) subjects were not given any pranayam training. STI (QS2, LVET and PEP) and AFT (RRIV and QT/QS2) were measured in both the groups at the beginning and again at the end of three months study period. Pranayam training produced an increase in RRIV and a decrease in QT/QS2, suggesting an enhanced parasympathetic and blunted sympathetic activity respectively. QS2, PEP and PEP/LVET increased significantly, whereas LVET was reduced significantly in pranayam group. In contrast, the changes in STI and AFT were much less marked in the control group. Our study shows that three months of pranayam training modulates ventricular performance by increasing parasympathetic activity and decreasing sympathetic activity. Further studies on a larger sample size may illustrate the underlying mechanism(s) involved in this alteration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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