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Int J Yoga. 2019 Sep-Dec;12(3):233-239. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_43_18.

Changes in Lung Function Measures Following Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath) and Running in Healthy Individuals.

Author information

Department of Yoga and Life Science, S-VYASA Yoga University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
Department of Yoga, Dev Sanskrit University, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India.



The purpose of this study was to observe the effect of bhastrika pranayama (bellows breath) and exercise on lung function of healthy individuals.

Materials and Methods:

A total of thirty male participants were recruited and randomly divided into two groups, i.e., yoga breathing group (YBG, n = 15) and physical exercise group (PEG, n = 15), and the participants' ages ranged between 18 and 30 years (group age mean ± standard deviation, 22.5 ± 1.9 years). YBG practiced bhastrika pranayama for 15 min, whereas PEG practiced running for 15 min, 6 days in a week, over a period of 1 month. The participants were assessed for (i) forced vital capacity (FVC), (ii) forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), (iii) peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), and (iv) maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV) functions of lungs.


Repeated-measures analyses of variance with Bonferroni adjustment post hoc analyses of multiple comparisons showed that there was a significant increase in YBG for all variables, i.e., FVC, FEV1, PEFR, and MVV (P < 0.001, P < 0.001, P < 0.01, and P < 0.001, respectively), whereas there was a significant increase in PEFR and MVV (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively) only, among PEG. However, the change in PEG was less of magnitude as compared to YBG.


These findings demonstrate that incorporating pranayama in sports can enhance the efficiency of healthy individuals and athletes by enhancing the ventilatory functions of lungs, especially for those who partake in aerobic-based sports and require efficient lungs to deliver sufficient oxygen uptake.


Bellows breath; running; ventilatory function; yogic breathing exercise

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