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Int J Yoga. 2018 Sep-Dec;11(3):224-230. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_70_17.

Changes in Reaction Time after Yoga Bellows-type Breathing in Healthy Female Volunteers.

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Department of Yoga Research, Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India.



Previously, yoga bellows-type breathing (bhastrika pranayama) reduced reaction time (RT) or reduced anticipatory responses in male participants or a mixed group of male and female participants.


The present study as a control trial aimed to assess the effects of yoga bellows-type breathing on RT in females exclusively.


The sample consisted of 25 healthy females, aged between 19 and 32 years (group mean ± standard deviation, 22.8 ± 3.5 years). All of them had prior minimum experience of yoga including yoga bellows-type breathing of 12 months. The RT was assessed in each participant before and after three randomized sessions differed in the intervention given held on three separate days. The sessions were (i) YOGA bellows-type breathing or bhastrika pranayama(BHK), (ii) Breath awareness (BAW), and (iii) Sitting quietly (CTL) as a control session. The duration of the intervention was 18 min, and the participants were assessed for RT before and after the intervention.


Repeated measures ANOVA, post hoc tests with Bonferroni adjusted showed that the time taken to obtain a correct response reduced significantly after 18 min of BAW (P < 0.05) and CTL (P < 0.05). However, no changes were seen in the RT after BHK.


The results suggest that different interventions may optimize performance in tasks requiring attention in females compared to males.


Bhastrika pranayama; Multi-Operational Apparatus for Reaction Time; breath awareness; quiet sitting; reaction time

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