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Oxygen Consumption Changes With Yoga Practices A Systematic Review

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Oxygen consumption varies with physical and mental activity as well as pathological conditions. Although there is a strong relationship between yoga and metabolic parameters, the relationship between yoga and oxygen consumption has not yet been formally reviewed. This systematic review attempted to include all studies of yoga that also measured oxygen consumption or metabolic rate as an outcome. A total of 58 studies were located involving between 1 and 104 subjects (average 21). The studies were generally of poor methodological quality and demonstrated great heterogeneity with different experimental designs, yoga practices, time periods, and small sample sizes. Studies report yoga practices to have profound metabolic effects producing both increase and decrease in oxygen consumption, ranging from 383% increase with cobra pose to 40% decrease with meditation. Compared to nonpractitioners, basal oxygen consumption is reported to be up to 15% less in regular yoga practitioners, and regular yoga practice is reported to have a training effect with oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise decreasing by 36% after 3 months. Yoga breathing practices emphasize breathing patterns and retention ratios as well as unilateral nostril breathing, and these factors appear critical in influencing oxygen consumption. A number of studies report extraordinary volitional control over metabolism in advanced yoga practitioners who appear to be able to survive extended periods in airtight pits and to exceed the limits of normal human endurance. More rigorous research with standardized practices is required to determine the mechanisms of yoga’s metabolic effects and the relevance of yoga practices in different clinical populations.
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Oxygen Consumption Changes with Yoga Practices: A Systematic Review
Anupama Tyagi, MA, PhD(c)1; Prof Marc Cohen, PhD, MBBS (Hons)1
RMIT University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
Abstract
Oxygen consumption varies with physical and mental activity as well as pathological conditions. Although there is
a strong relationship between yoga and metabolic parameters, the relationship between yoga and oxygen
consumption has not yet been formally reviewed. This systematic review attempted to include all studies of yoga
that also measured oxygen consumption or metabolic rate as an outcome. A total of 58 studies were located
involving between 1 and 104 subjects (average 21). The studies were generally of poor methodological quality
and demonstrated great heterogeneity with different experimental designs, yoga practices, time periods and
small sample sizes. Studies report, yoga practices to have profound metabolic effect producing both increase and
decrease in oxygen consumption, ranging from 383% increase with cobra pose to 40% decrease with mediation.
Compared to non-practitioners, basal oxygen consumption was reported to be up to 15% less in regular yoga
practitioners and regular yoga practice was reported to have a training effect with oxygen consumption during
submaximal exercise decreasing by 36% after 3 months. Yoga breathing practices emphasise breathing patterns
and retention ratios as well as unilateral-nostril breathing and these factors appear critical in influencing oxygen
consumption. A number of studies report extraordinary volitional control over metabolism in advanced yoga
practitioners who appear to be able to survive extended periods in airtight pits and exceed the limits of normal
human endurance. More rigorous research with standardised practices is required to determine the mechanisms
of yoga’s metabolic effects and the relevance of yoga practises in different clinical populations.
Keywords: yogic, meditation, pranayama, metabolic rate/cost, energy expenditure
Introduction
Human metabolism is the result of continuous anabolic and catabolic processes that maintain homeostasis and
sustain life. Metabolic pathways include a complex network of nutritional, neuronal and humoral inputs that are
integrated by the central and autonomic nervous systems through pathways that monitor and maintain
physiological functioning. All metabolic processes generate heat and are ultimately dependent on the expenditure
of energy via consumption of oxygen, which drives oxidative phosphorylation.
Energy expenditure is a directly related to metabolic rate and oxygen consumption and these terms are often used
interchangeably. Monitoring oxygen consumption has received a great deal of interest in determining oxygen
delivery to tissues, cardiorespiratory function and metabolic response to activity. Assessment of oxygen
consumption is used in determining energy requirements for healthy lifestyles, exercise programs, and critically ill
patients (1-3) and oxygen consumption is reported to increase with adaption to physiological stress and pathology (4,
5) . The measurement of energy expenditure can be performed via direct calorimetry, which measures heat loss
using insulated chambers, or via indirect calorimetry, which directly measures oxygen consumption (6) through
respiratory gas exchange. Direct calorimetry is not frequently used as it is complex, does not accurately measure
rapid changes in metabolism and requires significant expertise and elaborate equipment including specially
constructed chambers. Indirect calorimetry, is the most commonly technique for measuring energy expenditure
and can be used to measure the substrate of metabolism as well as oxygen consumption, which can be expressed
in terms of VO2 (Absolute oxygen consumption), VO2/kg/min (Relative oxygen consumption), and MET (Metabolic
Equivalent Task) (2, 3, 7).
Oxygen consumption, stress and pathology
oxygen consumption is maximal during intense physical activity and lowest during basal or resting conditions and
naturally increases with both psychological and physiological activity, stress and pathology, and higher oxygen
consumption appears to correlate to accelerated aging (4, 5, 8, 9). oxygen consumption has also been found to
increase with activities such as mental arithmetic and playing video games (10-13) as well as with psychological
distress and anxiety (14). A growing body of research further suggests that oxygen consumption is higher in various
pathological conditions including, congestive heart failure (15), locomotor impairment (16), HIV (17) and chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (18), and insomnia (2), congestive heart failure (19). Oxygen consumption has also
been found to increase with features of Metabolic Syndrome including obesity (20-22), Type II Diabetes (23-26) and
hypertension (27-29).
The measurement of oxygen consumption can provide insights into overall homeostatic balance and response to
stress, which are mediated through multiple pathways under the control of the autonomic nervous system and the
hypothalamus. The sympathetic nervous system is involved in rapidly mobilising vital physiological functions via
sympathetic-adrenal-medullary pathways (SAM) in response to acute stress (30-32) which serves to increase oxygen
consumption. Repeated or chronic stressful stimuli may lead to changes in the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary axis
(HPA) leading to a sustained stress response involving cognitive, emotional, endocrine and immune system
changes (33). The parasympathetic nervous system provides a counter to the stress response and reduces oxygen
consumption by activating the so-called ‘relaxation response’ (34), which serves to reduce physiological arousal and
induce a hypometabolic state mediated via enhanced vagal activity(35). Such hypometabolic states are suggested to
enhance survival in plants and animals by facilitating restorative and repair functions (36).
Yoga, stress and metabolism
Mind-body practices that induce relaxation have been traditionally used by people across cultures to improve
health and serve as a path for spiritual awakening (37). Yoga is an ancient mind-body approach that combines the
practice of postures (asana), breathing (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana) with the aim of achieving an
effortless state of harmony (samadhi).
Yoga postures include both static and dynamic postures that are designed to attune the body to a stable state
suitable for meditation. Yoga breathing includes a range of practices such as Bhastrika (bellows breath), Ujjayi
(victorious breath), Kapalbhati (lustrous cranium) and unilateral-nostril breathing, which can be performed at
different rates (reported as breath/min) and with different retention periods and patterns that involve either
internal retention (Inspiration:Retention:Expiration (I:R:E)), or external retention (Expiration:Retention:Inspiration
(E:R:I)). The yogic state of meditation is characterised by decreased oxygen consumption and cardiovascular
activity (35, 38) and has been shown to elicit the relaxation response (34). This meditative state, which is distinct from
rest (39, 40), physical relaxation (41) and sleep (42), may be voluntarily induced, even while performing fixed
physiological workloads (43).
The ability of yoga to induce relaxation and relieve stress has been widely reported (44-46) and there are reports of
yoga practices reducing acute, chronic and post-traumatic stress. For example yoga is reported to relieve
workplace stress (47), examination stress (48, 49) and stress-induced inflammation (50). Yoga practices have also been
reported to improve many clinical conditions such as anxiety (51-53), depression (53, 54), negative mood states (55-58) and
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in war veteran, (59-61), tsunami survivors (62, 63), hurricane refugees
(64) and flood survivors (65). Furthermore, two reviews, one involving 35 clinical studies (66) and the other 8 controlled
trials of healthy adults (67) acknowledge the promising role of yoga in reducing stress. Li et al. 2012 also suggest
yoga as a potential adjunct to pharmacologic therapy for patients with stress and anxiety (66).There are further
studies to suggest that regular yoga practice reduce physiological and metabolic activity under normal conditions.
Compared to non-practitioners, regular yoga practitioners have been found to have lowered resting heart rate (68),
blood pressure (68) breath rate (69) and metabolic rate (70, 71). Yoga has also been found to improve all features of
metabolic syndrome including obesity (72, 73), hyperlipidaemia (74-76), hyperglycemia (75, 77, 78) and hypertension (79-81),
with three separate randomised controlled trials demonstrating benefits of yoga in metabolic syndrome patients
(82-84).
While there seems to be a strong relationship between yoga and metabolic parameters, the relationship between
yoga and oxygen consumption has not been formally reviewed. The objective of this paper is to systematically
review previous research exploring the relationship between yoga and oxygen consumption and explore the
impact that different yoga practices have on oxygen consumption in different populations.
Methodology
For this systematic review, a comprehensive search of multiple databases including Scopus, PUBMED, PSYCHINFO,
CINAHL, Science Direct database was conducted and a separate search was conducted in Indian medical journals
through IndMed which index over 100 prominent Indian scientific journals. Similarly, a search was performed of
Yoga Mimamsa, which includes published yoga research literature dating back from 1920 not listed in the above
databases. The archives of the International Journal of Yoga were also searched, along with the reference citations
from all full text papers identified. The primary search terms included Yoga, yogic, pranayama, yoga nidra,
breathing, relaxation, meditation, Transcendental meditation, Brahamakumari meditation, Raja Yoga meditation,
Om meditation, mantra meditation, Sahaj Yoga meditation, Cyclic meditation and Kundalini yoga, Kriya yoga and
Sudarshan kriya along with key words ‘oxygen consumption’, ‘energy expenditure’, ‘metabolic cost’ and ‘metabolic
rate’.
All studies that had oxygen consumption (either at resting, during yoga intervention or during physical exercise in
which yoga included in the intervention) as an outcome were included in the systematic review. The search was
performed for articles published up to Dec 2012 and was not otherwise restricted by date or study population. The
review included studies that examined a range of yoga practices including asana and/or integrative yoga,
breathing, meditation and yogic relaxation practices used either alone or as an integrated practice. The studies
were excluded if they were not in English (n=4), unobtainable (n= 5), in press (n=8) or only documented study
protocol (n=5). Studies were also excluded if they only involved meditation (religious or non-religious) and
relaxation practices that are not directly associated with yoga such as Zazen/Zen Buddhist meditation, Vipassana
Meditation, Tum-Mo yoga, Qigong, Relaxation Response (RR), Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) and Autogenic
Relaxation (AR). However, it was beyond the scope of this systematic review to collect and synthesize clinical
outcomes other than oxygen consumption or critically assess the methodological quality of all studies. The
selection of relevant studies is shown in Figure 1 and the results, including their statistical significance are noted in
the relevant text and tables.
Results
A total of 58 studies of oxygen consumption and yoga practices were extracted (Figure 1). These studies involved
between 1 and 104 subjects (average 21) and demonstrated great heterogeneity with many different experimental
designs, yoga practices and time periods. Extracted studies, which were categorized according to the type of
intervention (pranayama practice, meditation/relaxation, integrated yoga/asana practice, integrated yoga with
physical activity), are presented in Tables 1-4 which also include information about study design.
Of the total studies, 35 studies were published from India (70, 71, 85-117), 15 from USA (118-132), 2 from UK (133,
134) and 1 each from, Mexico (135), New Zealand (136), Thailand (137), Brazil (138), Japan (139) and Sweden (140). Most
studies reported assessing direct measurement of respired gases for measuring oxygen consumption using indirect
calorimetry techniques, whether through open circuit, closed circuit, bag system or respiratory chamber method.
Some studies derived the oxygen consumption through standard equations such as oxygen consumption was
predicted through regression equation with the measures of heart rate and oxygen consumption of submaximal
exercise (94), VO2 max was predicted through achieved workload and using standard formula from American college
of sports and medicine (116, 130). Oxygen consumption was reported to both increase and decrease with different
yoga practices. Increases in oxygen consumption ranged from 7.7% with Ujjayi breathing to 383% during cobra
pose (Table 1 &3). Studies also report decreases in oxygen consumption with slow yoga breathing techniques and
meditation practices ranging from a 3.7% decrease during Om meditation to a 40% decrease in an advanced yogi
during meditation in an air-tight pit (Table 2). Basal oxygen consumption is also reported to be up to 15% less in
regular yoga practitioners compared to non-practitioners and oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise is
reported to decrease by 36% after 3 months of regular yoga practice (Table 4).
Pranayama Practices and Oxygen Consumption
Table 1 summarises 16 pranayama (yogic breathing) studies that include a total of 143 participants and report
wide variations in oxygen consumption. While oxygen consumption was seen to increase with most breathing
practices performed at both fast (232 breath/min) and slow (1 breath/min) rates (Table 1), a decrease in oxygen
consumption from rest was also seen in some slow breathing practices. The highest increase in oxygen
consumption was seen with extremely rapid Bhastrika breathing, which involves rapid, forced thoracic inhalation
and exhalation. When Bhastrika was performed at a rate of 232 breath/min by 3 advanced practitioners oxygen
consumption was reported to increase by 208% (140) and increases in oxygen consumption of 30%, 24%, 22%, 17%
and 15% are reported with Bhastrika performed at different rates and retention periods (88, 90, 118, 119). Increases in
oxygen consumption of 12% (119) to 50% (87) are also reported with Kapalbhati breathing, which involves forced
rapid exhalation. Unilateral nostril breathings (alternate nostril breathing, right nostril breathing and left nostril
breathing) are reported to increase oxygen consumption with a 150% increase during alternate nostril breathing
(94) and increases of 37% (96) to 18% (93, 96) reported immediately after alternate nostril breathing (ANB), right nostril
breathing (RNB) and left nostril breathing (LNB) practices.
Oxygen consumption is also reported to increase with some slow yoga breathing. Ujjayi breathing, which involves
controlled slow, deep breathing with long inhalation and exhalation and gentle contraction of the glottis creating a
soft snoring sound (141), has been consistently reported to increase oxygen consumption, even at extremely slow
rates. An increase of 10% is reported in a single advanced practitioner while practicing Ujjayi at a rate of 1
breath/min(139), while further studies report increases in oxygen consumption of 25% and 52% during Ujjayi with a
40 second retention (rate of 1.26 breath/min) (119) or with I:R:E ratio of 1:1:1 (92). An increase in oxygen
consumption was also reported with Ujjayi performed at different altitudes with a 16% greater oxygen
consumption observed in a single practitioner at 3200m elevation practicing Ujjayi breathing at 3 breath/min
compared to practicing Ujjayi breathing at 520m elevation at 1.5 breath/min (86). An increase in oxygen
consumption to 17% has also been reported in advance yoga practitioners during slow paced breathing with I:R:E
ratio of 1:4:2 (138).
Only 4 studies (Table 1) report decreases in oxygen consumption with pranayama. A decrease in oxygen
consumption of 4%, 21% and 19% is reported during slow Ujjayi breathing at rates of 2 breath/min (90), 1.4
breath/min (91) or with a I:R:E ratio of 1:4:4 (92). A decrease in oxygen consumption of 16% is also reported during
Bhastrika breathing at 12 breath/min (95).
Yoga Meditation, Relaxation Practices and Oxygen Consumption
Table 2 summaries 15 studies with a total of 310 participants that consistently report reduced oxygen consumption
during different meditation and relaxation practices. Two studies of yogic relaxation practices report 25.2% and
23% reductions in oxygen consumption compared to rest (100, 101). Transcendental meditation is also reported to
produce reductions of oxygen consumption from rest with 3 separate studies reporting reductions of 20%, 17%
and 5% (120-122). Reductions in oxygen consumption from rest of 15% and 3.7% are further reported during 2-3
minutes of meditation (95).
Studies comparing meditation with non-yogic relaxation techniques report modest or no difference between
interventions. Four studies report no difference in oxygen consumption between groups practicing Transcendental
and those practicing a control relaxation intervention (123, 124, 134, 136), while a further study reports no significant
reduction in oxygen consumption from baseline rest during either after Om meditation or relaxed sitting, despite
reported reductions in heart rate and increases in galvanic skin response(117).
Among the studies reporting reductions in oxygen consumption, the most dramatic reductions were seen in two
studies involving advance yoga practitioners, with one study reporting reductions in oxygen consumption of 40%
below rest during a 4 hour stay in an air tight subterranean chamber (99) and another study reporting reductions of
32% and 37% below rest during two separate 10 hour stays in an air tight box (97). Reductions in oxygen
consumption of around 35% below rest are also reported during meditation in a group of experienced yogis (n=9),
(138). An early study with 3 advanced yoga practitioners further reports that during a prolonged stay in an air tight
pit, advanced meditators could tolerate ambient O2 levels of 12.2% and CO2 levels of 7.3% (98).
Asana/Integrated Yoga Practices and Oxygen consumption
Table 3 presents 13 studies with a total of 272 subjects that consistently report increases in oxygen consumption
with different yoga asanas (postures). The most dramatic increase was seen in a group of 21 male practitioners
who experienced a 383% increase in oxygen consumption while performing cobra pose (104). Increases in oxygen
consumption were also reported with warrior III pose (300%) (125), plough pose 2 (160%) (95), Hero pose (159%) (103),
headstand pose (68%) (85) and accomplished pose (27%) (102).
Over the course of a yoga session oxygen consumption has been reported to increase by 100% with Ashtanga yoga
(126), 114% with Hatha yoga (131), 133% with Thai yoga (137) and 144% with Iyenger yoga(125). Three studies have
examined oxygen consumption during Sun Salutation (a dynamic sequence of 12 postures) and report that oxygen
consumption increased 205% above resting levels (104) and 25% (126) and 81% (131) above the levels during static
postures.
The reported increases in oxygen consumption seen with yoga practices are less than observed with maximal or
submaximal exercise. oxygen consumption during Thai yoga is reported to be 35.5% of VO2max(137) and Vinyasa
yoga, 50% (127), bow posture 26.5% and Shavasana (supine pose), 9.9% (95) of VO2max. Similarly Iyenger, Ashtanga
and Hatha yoga sequences have been shown to be of lower intensity than sub-maximal exercise, having oxygen
consumption that is 26%, 33% and 54% lower than oxygen consumption during treadmill walking at 4mph (132), 3
mph (126) or 3.5mph (131) respectively.
While oxygen consumption is reported to increase during a yoga session, there are reports that oxygen
consumption may fall below pre-session levels immediately after certain practices. During Cyclic meditation, which
involves a series of postural sequences interspersed with periods of relaxation, oxygen consumption is reported to
increase by up to 55% during the active phase and then fall to 19% below pre-session levels in the immediate post
session period (106). Similar results are reported in a further study which reports a 32% decrease in oxygen
consumption immediately after Cyclic mediation (105).
Regular Yoga Practice, Physical Activity and Oxygen Consumption
Table 4 presents 16 studies involving 516 participants that measured oxygen consumption at rest or during physical
activity (sub maximal and maximal) after 1 month to 24 month of integrated yoga practice (including asana,
pranayama and relaxation) along with two studies comparing oxygen consumption at rest in yoga and non-yoga
practitioners (70, 71) and one study comparing oxygen consumption between groups who regularly practiced lotus
posture and groups of regular exercisers or healthy sedentary subjects (107).
Most of these studies report regular yoga practice leads to progressive reductions in oxygen consumption over
time. In a 3 months cohort study, yoga practice was found to reduce oxygen consumption during submaximal
exercise by 36% compared to baseline levels (110). A randomized trial involving male soldiers found that 6 months
yoga practice (n=15) reduced oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise by 5.7% (P<0.05) compared to no
change in a physical training group (n=15) (114), while a non-randomised study reports that 12 months of regular
yoga practice with regular sports activity improved submaximal work efficiency in athletes with 51% greater work
output per litre of oxygen consumed, compared to no change in regular sports activity group (112).
VO2max was also reported to increase with regular yoga practice ranging from 6 weeks to 6 months in diverse
populations. A 3% increase in VO2max is reported in the cohort of middle aged yoga practitioners who practiced
intensive yoga for 11 weeks (142) and 7% increase in VO2max in cohort of yoga navies who practiced integrated yoga
for 8 weeks (128). Similarly up to 7% increment of VO2 max is reported in randomized trial of 6 months in male
soldiers with integrated yoga (n= 17) compared to no change in a physical training group (n=11)(115) and a 13%
(P<01) increase in VO2max is reported in elderly subjects in randomised trial after 6 weeks of yoga with practice
(n=20), similar to significant increase with aerobic training (n=20) (133) .
Increases in VO2max of around 17% are also reported after yoga practice in two cohort studies including a 6 week
study of healthy subjects (n=17) (116), and an 11 week study of elderly yoga practitioners (n= 9) (142). Similar
increases in oxygen consumption are reported in an 8 week randomised controlled trial of patients with congestive
heart failure who practiced yoga (n=9), compared to no change in a standard medical therapy group ( n=10) (130). A
further cohort study of female physical trainers found that one month of yoga practice led to 14% greater maximal
work efficiency (111). Maximal work efficiency was also seen to improve in non-randomised controlled trial by 34%
in athletes after 24 months of regular yoga practice compared to a control group practicing physical exercise (112) .
Not all the studies report improvement in oxygen consumption or work efficiency with regular yoga practice. A 12
month randomised study reports no change in oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise in either a yoga or
aerobic training group (113). In another randomised study no change in VO2max is reported after 8 weeks yoga
practice group (n=10) compared to no-intervention control group (n=11) (129). Similarly, two 3 months cohort
studies report no change in oxygen consumption at rest after regular yoga practice (109, 110) and similar results are
reported in a 12 month randomised controlled trial (113). In contrast to most of the above mentioned studies, one
small cohort study reported increased oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise after 6 months of regular
yoga practice in healthy subjects despite an observed reduction in resting core body temperature (108).
When examining oxygen consumption at rest, two studies report basal oxygen consumption to be significantly less
in regular yoga practitioners compared to non-yoga practitioners. One study (70) reports that regular yoga
practitioners had basal metabolic rate (BMR) 13% less than predicted based on the FAO/WHO/UNU equation (143)
and that oxygen consumption during basal conditions was significantly less in regular yoga practitioners compared
to non-yoga practitioners. Similar results were reported in a second study, which report that regular yoga
practitioners had basal metabolic rate that was 17.8% less than non-yoga practitioners (71).
Discussion
Studies published to date suggest that yoga practices can have profound metabolic effects producing both
significant increases and decreases in oxygen consumption. Like other physical activity, physical yoga postures can
increase oxygen consumption dramatically, yet yoga practices do not involve maximal exertion. For example,
dynamic postures such as cobra pose are reported to increase oxygen consumption by 383% or around
1220ml/min, which is less than half that produced with maximal exercise in the average untrained healthy male (3).
The most dramatic change seen with yoga is reduction of oxygen consumption with reports of yoga practices down
regulating the sympathetic nervous system and producing modest reductions in oxygen consumption comparable
to practices such as progressive muscle relaxation, closed eyes relaxation and listening to music (123, 124, 134, 136) as
well as reports of reductions of dramatic reductions up to 40% (99). This suggests that yoga may down-regulate the
hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic activity and therefore promote relaxation and
stress relief.
Regular yoga practice also appears to have a training effect, with regular yoga practitioners consistently showing
significant reductions in oxygen consumption during normal physical activity compared to non-yoga practitioners.
Thus, unlike other physical training, which generally increases resting metabolic rate (144, 145), regular yoga practice
is reported to decrease resting oxygen consumption to levels lower than predicted by the FAO /WHO/UNU
equation (70). This may be due to regular physical training producing an increase of muscle mass which requires
greater oxygen consumption supply at rest, whereas yoga training may instead increase efficiency of mitochondrial
oxidative phosphorylation and reduce O2 demand.
Yoga practises are also reported to shift lactate threshold (anaerobic threshold) and improve work efficiency
indicating aerobic capacity and reduced muscle fatigue to a greater degree compared to physical activity (112) and
these results are supported by randomised crossover trial documenting reduction in blood lactate, heart rate and
BP with regular yoga practice (146).
A recent review of yoga and exercise found that yoga may be as effective as, or better than exercise at improving a
variety of health-related outcome measures in both healthy and diseased populations. (147). Despite multiple
studies demonstrating the benefits of yoga in various clinical conditions, only one small study examined the effects
of yoga and oxygen consumption in a clinical population. This study reported increased aerobic capacity (VO2 max)
in patients with congestive heart failure after practicing yoga postures, breathing techniques and meditation over a
period of 8 weeks (130). Previous research also suggests that instruction on respiration and relaxation in addition to
physical exercise enhances respiratory sinus arrhythmia and slows heart rate and breath rate in myocardial
infarction patients during rehabilitation (148) and that slow rhythmic respiration can be used as a therapeutic tool
for anxiety (149) , hypertension (150, 151), and asthma (152). Due to the wide variety of yoga practices and styles, further
research is required to determine the most appropriate practices for different clinical conditions. Typical yoga
sessions of different styles appear to differ in exercise stimulus resulting in varied increase in oxygen consumption
(125, 126, 131, 137) with profound increase reported during dynamic posture sequences compared to static posture
sequences (126, 131). Different yoga practices and styles however, are likely to have different health and fitness
benefits (153, 154).
It appears that breath rate and retention periods are critical in determining oxygen consumption and that yoga
practitioners are able to vary their breath rate widely with reported breath rates ranging from 1 breath/min to
over 230 breath/min. Oxygen consumption is also reported to paradoxically increase by up to 10% despite breath
rates of only 1 breath/min. The most profound changes in oxygen consumption with breathing techniques are seen
in advanced yoga practitioners who are reported to increase their oxygen consumption by 208% and their CO2
exhalation by 395% when performing Bhastrika breathing at 232 breath/min, or decrease their oxygen
consumption by 16% when performing the same type of breathing at 12 breath/min. Similarly, altering the
retention period during Ujjayi breathing is reported to either increase oxygen consumption by up to 52% when
performed with a short retention period with I:R:E of 1:1:1 or decrease by 19% when the same type of breathing is
performed with a longer retention period of I:R:E of 1:4:4. Ultradian rhythms in nasal cycles and unilateral-nostril
breathing practices may also influence oxygen consumption with alternate nostril breathing being reported to
increase oxygen consumption by up to 150%. (94). Advanced yoga practitioners appear to be able to exert
extraordinary conscious manipulation of their metabolic and autonomic functions (155, 156), with reports of yogis
being able to tolerate ambient CO2 levels of more than 7% and O2 levels less than 12% (98). There are further reports
of advanced yogis being able to reduce oxygen consumption by 40% while meditating in an airtight pit (99) and
survive 8 days in an airtight pit with an unrecordable ECG (157). These reports appear inexplicable, yet are similar to
reports of advanced Zen meditators being able to decrease oxygen consumption up to 20% along with dramatic
decrease in respiratory rate to 1.5 to 2 breath/min during Zazen meditation, Tum-mo meditators being able to
increase or decrease their oxygen consumption by over 60% during seated meditation (158), or reports of modern
free divers being able to hold their breath for over 10 minutes while diving to depths of over 200m (159) . So far,
these extreme feats of metabolic control are poorly documented and limited to single case studies or small
cohorts. They therefore require further investigation and documentation as they may provide clues about
extending the limits of human endurance and metabolic control.
This review suggests that yoga can have profound metabolic effects with a consistent picture emerging from
experimental, cohort, non-randomized and randomized controlled trial studies. Yet most of the studies are of poor
methodological quality and do not provide adequate reporting of the study design, study population, yoga
practices, methods of measurements or statistical methods. Furthermore, most studies were performed in India
(n=35) and included only small numbers of adult male yoga practitioners without matched comparison groups.
Furthermore, there are 2 randomized controlled trails of healthy people that report no change in oxygen
consumption with yoga despite significant changes in other physiological measures. Of these a controlled trial
(n=10) reported significant improvements in flexibility with yoga but no change in maximal aerobic capacity (129),
while another controlled trail (n=18) reported improvements in respiratory variables and breath hold time but no
change in oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise with yoga (113). A further cohort study (n=10) reported
significant improvements in biochemical and anthropometric parameters after 3 months of yoga practice but did
not find any change in oxygen consumption (109).
The small sample sizes, variable practices, and limited, non-clinical populations involved in the reviewed studies
make it difficult to generalise results to wider populations or make definitive statements about specific practices.
Thus more rigorous studies with larger samples and standardised practices are required to determine the role of
yoga in modulating oxygen consumption and determine if the reported results can be reproduced in non-Indian,
female, adolescent and non yoga-practicing populations as well as in different clinical conditions. The reports of
advanced yogis performing extraordinary feats also warrant further investigation using modern equipment and
research methodologies.
Conclusion
Research to date on yoga and metabolism includes many heterogeneous yoga practices in studies of poor
methodological quality. This research suggests that yoga practices can produce dramatic changes in oxygen
consumption and metabolism and that regular yoga practice may lead to reduced resting metabolic rate. Research
further suggests that different yoga postures and breathing practices, which involve the control of respiratory rate
and retention periods, may produce markedly different metabolic effects with reductions in oxygen consumption
being more dramatic than increases. The extraordinary volitional control over autonomic functions and remarkable
feats of metabolic endurance demonstrated by advanced yoga practitioners warrant further investigation and
further more rigorous research on standardised practise is required to determine the relevance of yoga practices in
various clinical conditions.
Disclosures
Acknowledgement
The work for this article was all performed at RMIT University. The authors would like to acknowledge the
assistance of RMIT University biomedical librarian Savita Hazari for her help in conducting the searches and
sourcing and obtaining articles.
Author Contribution
Anupama Tyagi was responsible for conducting the literature searches, preparing the tables and writing the first
draft of the article. Marc Cohen was responsible for conceiving the article, categorising the papers and assisting in
writing the article and reviewing drafts.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
There are no conflicting interests.
Funding
This article was prepared as part of Anupama Tyagi’s PhD research. No external funds or grants were sought or
provided.
Ethical Approval
As this article represents a systematic review of literature and no human or animal experimentation, no ethics
review was sought or required.
Studies identified
in primary search
(n=254)
Studies identified
through other
sources (n=29)
Total studies
(n= 283)
remaining (n=151)
Non English Literature (n=4)
Unobtainable (n=12)
In press (n=7)
Protocol (n=5)
Filtered studies
extracted (n=123)
Finally selected studies (n=58) with 2 studies included in more than
one category (Ray, Pathak et al. 2011 & Danucalov, Simões et al. 2008)
Pranayama (n=16)
Meditation/Relaxation (n= 15)
Asana and integrated yoga (n=13)
Integrated Yoga with physical activity (n=17)
Review 8
Letters -3
Reports and overview - 5
OC not an outcome - 38
Intervention other than yoga - 11
Identification
Screening
Eligibility
Included
Duplicate
articles (n= 132)
Figure 1: Flow Chart of Study Search and included studies
Table 1: Summary Of Studies Reporting Changes in Oxygen Consumption (OC) With Pranayama Practice(s)
Study
Reference
Population
Study Design
Intervention
Comparators
Metabolic Measures
Cardio-respiratory
and Other Measures
Miyamura,
Nishimura et al.
2002 (139)
Advanced male
yoga practitioner
(n=1);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Ujjayi breathing at 1 breath/min
Pranayama versus
post-pranayama
↑ of 10% in OC during Ujjayi
HR during
breathing session 9%
higher compared to
post.
Miles and
Behanan 1934
(118)
Male yoga
practitioner (n=1);
Multiple
practices on a
single
occasion
Ujjayi, Kapalbhati and Bhastrika
breathing
Sitting and reclined
postures versus
Pranayama
↑of 33%, 35% and 30% in OC of
during pranayama compared to
sitting and 39%, 41% & 36%
compared to reclined
Miles 1964
(119)
Male yoga
practitioner (n=1);
Multiple
practices on
multiple
occasions
Ujjayi (40 seconds retention at 1.26
breath/min);
Kapalbhati (12.5 & 80 breath/min)
Bhastrika (21 & 1.3 breath/min;
Baseline versus
pranayama practices
↑ of 25% in OC during Ujjayi,
12% during Kapabhati and 19%
during Bhastrika
Rao 1968
(86)
Male yoga
practitioner (n=1);
Single
practice on
two occasions
Ujjayi breathing at two different
altitude of 520 meter and 3800
meter
Baseline versus Ujjayi
breathing at low
altitude;
Baseline breathing
versus Ujjayi at high
altitude
↑ of 7.7% in OC during Ujjayi with
breath rate 1.5 breath/min at low
altitude;
↑ of 9.9% in OC during Ujjayi at
breath rate 3 breath/min at high
altitude;
OC during Ujjayi at high altitude
was 16% higher compared to
lower altitude
Karambelkar
1982
(87)
Male yoga
practitioners
(n=8);
Multiple
practices on
a single
occasion
Kapalbhati
at 120 breath/min and
Hyperventilation breathing at 26
breath/min
Baseline breathing
versus Kapalbhati
breathing and hyper-
ventilative breathing
↑ of 50% in OC and ↑ of 33% in
CO2
exhalation during Kapalbhati;
of 133% in OC and of
379%in CO2 exhalation during
hyper ventilative breathing;
↑ of 209% in MV§ &
↓ of 63% in VTǁ
during Kapalbhati;
↑of 538% in MV and
↑of 250% in VT
during hyper-
ventilative breathing
Karambelkar
1982
(88)
Male yoga
practitioners
(n=3);
Multiple
practices on a
single
occasion
Bhastrika with internal retention
(I:R:E- 8:32:16) and external
retention (E:R:I**- 3:20:10);
Baseline versus
Bhastrika breathing
with internal retention
and external retention
Internal Retention: ↑ of 15% in OC
and ↑of 13% in CO2 exhalation
during Bhastrika;
External retention: ↑of 17% in OC
and ↑ of 32% in CO2 exhalation
during Bastrika;
Frostell, Pande
et al. 1983
(140)
Experienced male
yoga practitioners
(n=3);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Bhastrika at 232 breath/min
Baseline versus
pranayama
↑ of 208% in OC and ↑ of 395%
in CO2 exhalation during Bhastrika;
↑of 30 BPM†† (47%)
in HR
↑ of 88.4 l/min (15
fold increase) in MV ;
↑ of 65% in CO‡‡
Karambelkar
1988
(89)
Male yoga
practitioners
(n=7);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Kapalbhati at 120 breath/min
Pranayama practices
versus baseline
↑ of 51% in OC and ↑ of 34% in
CO2 exhalation during Kapalbhati;
↑of 219% in MV
during breathing;
Karambelkar
1983
(90)
Male yoga
practitioners (n=3);
Multiple
practices on a
single
Bhastrika with external retention
(E:R:I- 3:20:10)
and Ujjayi with external retention
Pranayama practices
versus baseline
↑ of 24% in OC and ↑ of 32% in
CO2 exhalation during Bhastrika;
↓ of 4% in OC and ↓of 7% in CO2
occasion
(E:R:I- 6:12:12);
exhalation during Ujjayi;
Karambelkar
1983
(91)
Regular and
beginner male yoga
practitioners
(n=9);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Ujjayi breathing with internal
(I:R:E- 8:32:16)
Pranayama versus
baseline
Significant ↓ of 21% in OC and ↑
of 34% in OC was observed during
the same practices, ↓OC was only
seen in the regular yoga
practitioners.
Danucalov,
Simões et al.
2008
(138)
Experienced yoga
practitioners with
>3 years’
experience
(n=9);
Multiple
practices on
a single
occasion
Slow paced pranayama with
extended period of retention
(Internal retention- I:R:E -1:4:2) and
meditation;
Each phase of 30 minutes;
Pranayama versus
meditation and
baseline
↑ of 20% in OC and ↑of 25% in
CO2 exhalation during pranayama
compared to baseline;
↑ of 84.6% in OC during
pranayama compared to
meditation
↓ of 35% in OC
during meditation
compared to
baseline.
Telles and
Desiraju 1991
(92)
Male yoga
practitioners
Short breath
retention group
(n=5); long breath
retention group
(n=10);
Multiple
practices on
a single
occasion
Ujjayi breathing with 2 different
internal retention periods:
Short retention (I:R:E- 1:4:4), Long
retention (I:R:E- 1:1:1)
Baseline versus
Pranayama
↑ of 52% in OC (P<05) during
pranayama with short retention
(1:1:1);
↓ of 19% in OC (P<025) during
pranayama with long retention
(1:4:4);
Telles,
Nagarathna et
al. 1996
(93)
Male yoga
practitioners
(n=12);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
RNB§§ session and normal breathing
session;
(Each session of 45 minutes on
different days)
Baseline breathing
versus Post RNB
session and post NB
session
↑ of 18%in OC (P<05) after RNB;
No significant change after Normal
breathing compared to baseline;
↑ of 9.3% SBPǁǁ
(P<05) after RNB;
↓ of 60% in GSR¶¶
after RNB;
Prasad, Venkata
Male Yoga
Multiple
ANB*** for 30 minutes, Treadmill
Resting, field walk and
↑of 150% in OC (P<01) during
Ramana et al.
2001
(94)
practitioners with
>3 years’
experience (n=12);
practices on a
single
occasion
walk at 3km/hr (1.9 mph) for 30
minutes and field walk 1.5 km/30
min;
treadmill walk versus
ANB
ANB compared to resting state;
OC during ANB 19.6% (P<05) lower
compared to field walk and
37.5%(P<01) lower compared to
treadmill walk;
Ray, Pathak et
al. 2011
(95)
Male yoga
practitioners with
>6 years’
experience (n=20);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Hatha Yoga session - comprising
variety of yoga static postures
interspersed with Shavasana,
pranayamas and meditation
practices; VO2max session;
(Each session on different days)
Sitting rest
(Sukhasana) versus
each individual
pranayama versus rest
sitting
↓ of 16% in OC during Bhastrika;
↑ of 65% , 61%,33% (Ps<05) in OC
during Raven Beak (Kaki Mudra)
breathing (P<05), 61% during I
breathing (P<05), 103ml/min
(33%) during Kapalbhati (P<05);
Telles,
Nagarathna et
al. 1994
(96)
Male yoga
practitioners
(n=48);
4-weeks
regular
practice in
multiple
groups
Random assignment to either RNB
(n=12), LNB††† (n=12) or ANB
(n=24);
Each assigned breathing 4 times
daily for 4 weeks;
Post pranayama
intervention for
versus pre
intervention
↑ of 37% in OC (P<05) post RNB,
↑ of 24% in OC post LNB and ↑of
18% in OC post ANB compared to
pre intervention.
↓ in body weight
after 1 month of
pranayama;
↑ of 9.6% & 7% in
HR (Ps<001) post
RNB and ANB
respectively;
↑ of 150% in GSR
(P<05) post LNB ;
Table 1: Summary of studies reporting changes in OC with pranayama practice(s)
Abbreviations used: OC*- oxygen consumption; HR heart rate; CO2- carbon dioxide; MV§ minute ventilation; VTǁ tidal volume; I:R:E Inspiration:Retention:Expiration;
E:R:I** - Expiration:Retention:Inspiration; BPM†† - beats per minute; CO‡‡- cardiac output; RNB§§ right nostril breathing; SBPǁǁ - systolic blood pressure; GSR¶¶ - galvanic skin
resistance; ANB***- alternate nostril breathing; LNB††† left nostril breathing
Table 2: Summary Of Studies Reporting Changes in Studies Yoga meditation Oxygen Consumption (OC*) With Meditaion/ Relaxation Practice(s)
Study Reference
Population
Study Design
Intervention
Comparators
Metabolic Measures
Cardio-respiratory
and Other Measures
Anand, Chhina et
al. 1961
(97)
Experienced male
yoga practitioner
(n=1);
Single practice
on two
occasions
Stay in air tight box during two
different days of 10 hours each
Baseline (basal) versus
stay in box
↓of 37.4% and 32% in OCduring
two different sessions.
↓in HR up to
25BPM during
session;
HR rose only when
ambient O2 declined
to 15% and CO2
§
reached to 5% in the
pit;
OC declined to 50%
of BMRǁ (19.5l/hr) on
one occasion:
Karambelkar,
Vinekar et al.
1968
(98)
Experienced male
yoga practitioners
(n=4);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Stay in air tight pit >12 hours and up
to 18 hours
Baseline (basal) versus
stay in pit
OC during stay in pit lesser than
basal condition;
Subjects remained in pit till
ambient O2 declined to 12% and
CO2 rose to 7%;
The maximum stay in pit for 18
hours when ambient CO2 was 7.7%
and O2 11.6%.
HR and BR rose
when ambient CO2
reached to 5% in pit;
Craig Heller,
Yogi male (Proficient
Single practice
Stay in subterranean chamber for 4
Baseline (basal) versus
↓ of 40% in OC during the stay in
Elsner et al. 1987
(99)
in bhoogarbh
smadhi-
(subterranean stay)
(n=1);
on a single
occasion
hours
stay in pit
chamber compared to basal
baseline measured through gas
volume meter
Wallace 1970
(120)
Meditators with >6
months experience
(n=15);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Transcendental meditation (TM);
30 minutes meditation session
Baseline versus
Meditation measured
through
↓ of 20% in OC during meditation
compared to baseline;
↑ of 103% in GSR**
during onset of
meditation;
Wallace, Benson
et al. 1971
(121)
Meditators with
mean 29.4 months
experience
(n=36);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Transcendental meditation;
30 minutes meditation session;
Baseline versus
Meditation
↓of 17% in OC (P<005) and ↓ of
15% in CO2 exhalation (P<005)
during meditation;
↓ in HR and BR
(Ps<05) during
meditation;
↑ of 158% in GSR
(P<005) during
meditation;
Benson, Steinert
et al. 1975
(122)
Meditators with >1
year experience
(n=13);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Transcendental meditation;
30 minutes meditation session;
Baseline versus
Meditation
↓ of 5% in OC (P<001) and ↓ of
6% in CO2 exhalation (P<001)
during meditation;
↓ in HR (P< 01)
during meditation
Danucalov,
Simões et al.
2008
(138)
Experienced yoga
practitioner with >3
years’ experience
(n=9);
Multiple
practices on a
single occasion
Slow paced Pranayama with extended
period of retention (Internal
retention- I:R:E†† -1:4:2) and
meditation;
Each phase of 30 minutes;
Baseline versus
Meditation and
pranayama
↓ of 35% in OC (P<05) and ↓
31.2% in CO2 exhalation (P<05)
during meditation compared to
baseline;
↓ of 49% in OC during meditation
compared to pranayama;
↓ of 8% in HR (P<05)
during Meditation
compared to baseline
and pranayama;
↑ of 20% in OC
during pranayama
compared to
baseline;
Fenwick,
Donaldson et al.
1977
(134)
Meditators with>22
months experience
(n=11) and non-
meditators (n=8);
Multiple
practices on a
single occasion
Transcendental meditation (TM)
and listening music
Baseline versus
meditation and listening
to music in meditators
and non-meditators;
Comparison between
groups
Non-significant drop in OC and CO2
exhalation during meditation in
meditators and non-meditators
both;
Non-significant difference in
reduction of OC between
Meditation and listening music;
Non-significant difference between
groups;
No evidence of hypo-
metabolism during
Meditation in both
the groups;
Warrenburg,
Pagano et al.
1980
(123)
Regular meditators
with mean 3.4 years’
experience (n=9);
Regular relaxation
practitioners with
mean 6.4 years’
experience (n=9);
Non practitioners
(n=9);
Multiple
practices on a
single
occasion
Transcendental meditation (TM);
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR);
Non practitioner listening music;
Control periods of closed
eyes and reading book
versus intervention;
Comparison between
groups
↓ in OC during TM 4%, during PMR
3.5%, in regular practitioners and
8.3% in non-practitioners (Ps<01)
compared to periods of control;
Non-significant difference between
groups;
↓ HR during
meditation/or
relaxation (P<01);
Kesterson and
Clinch 1989
(124)
Advanced meditators
with mean 28years
experience (n=33);
non-meditators
Multiple
practices on a
single occasion
Transcendental meditation (TM),
Non-meditators - eyes closed
relaxation
Baseline versus
intervention;
Comparison between the
groups;
Similar significant drop in OC
(P<002) during TM and relaxation;
Non-significant difference
between groups;
No traces of hypo-
metabolism in either
group;
(n=10);
Telles,
Nagarathna et al.
1995
(117)
Male meditators with
>5 year experience
(n=7);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Aum meditation session and sitting
relaxed session;
(Each session of 20 minutes on
different days)
Baseline rest versus post
meditation and eyes
closed relaxation
Non-significant change in OC in
post mediative session compared
to baseline;
↓ in HR (P<001)
during meditation
Vempati and
Telles 1999
(101)
Male yoga
practitioner with
mean 23.9 months
experience
(n=40);
Multiple
practices on
two occasion
Yoga based Isometric relaxation and
supine rest;
(Each session of 10 minutes on
different days)
Baseline rest versus post
relaxation and supine
rest
↓ of 23% (P<001) in OC in post
yoga relaxation compared to
baseline;
↓ of 7% in OC after supine rest;
↓ of 20.6% in BR
(P<01) post yoga
relaxation;
Vempati and
Telles 2002
(100)
Male yoga
practitioner with
mean 30.2 months
experience (n=35);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Yoga based guided relaxation session
and supine rest session;
(Each session of 10 minutes on
different days)
Baseline rest versus post
relaxation and supine
rest
↓ of 25.2% in OC (P<001) in post
yoga relaxation compared to
baseline;
↓ of 7% in OC after supine rest;
↓ of 9.7% in HR
(P<001),
↓ in LF‡‡ (P<05),
in HF§§ (P<05) after
relaxation compared
to baseline
Ray, Pathak et al.
2011
(95)
Male yoga
practitioners >6
years’ experience
(n=20);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Hatha Yoga session - comprising
variety of yoga static postures
interspersed with Shavasana,
pranayamas and meditation practices;
VO2max session;
(Each session on different days)
Rest sitting (Sukhasana)
versus Meditation and
Aum meditation
↓ of 15%in OC (P<05) during
meditation and 4% during Om
meditation compared to
Sukhasana;
↓ of 37% in BR
(P<05) during Om
Meditation ;
Throll 1982
(136)
Healthy non
practitioner males
(n=39)
15-weeks of
regular
practice
multiple group
Meditation group (n=21)
Transcendental meditation ,
relaxation group (n=18) Progressive
muscle relaxation
Baseline versus
immediately after
practice of first session
and then after 5, 10 and
15 weeks apart
Meditators displayed greater
reduction in OC during the
practice; reduction in OC more
prominent in relaxation overtime
of 15 weeks compared to
meditation;
Reduction in HR in
Meditation group
prominent (P<05)
compared to
relaxation over time;
Table 2: Summary of studies reporting changes in OC with mediation/relaxation practice(s)
Abbreviations used: OC* oxygen consumption; HR heart rate; BPM - beats per minute; CO2
§- carbon dioxide; BMRǁ- basal metabolic rate; BR- breath rate;
GSR**-galvanic skin resistance; I:R:E†† Inspiration:Retention:Expiration; LF‡‡ low frequency; HF§§ high frequency;
Table 3: Summary Of Studies Reporting Changes in Oxygen Consumption (OC*) With Asana, Integrated Practice(s)
Study Reference
Population
Study Design
Intervention
Comparators
Metabolic Measures
Cardio-respiratory
and Other Measures
Rao 1962
(85)
Male yoga
practitioners (n=6);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Head stand posture
Baseline recumbent and
standing erect versus
head stand posture
↑ of 68% and 48% in OC during
headstand posture compared to
recumbent position and standing
erect respectively;
Rai and Ram
1993
(103)
Male yoga
practitioners (n=10);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Virasana (Hero Pose)
(Subgroup 1 with resting breath rate
>10 breath/min (n=6);
Subgroup 2- with resting breath rate
<5 breath/min (n=4)
Baseline Shavasana
versus Virasana
Subgroup 1: ↑ of 159% in OC
(P<005) and ↑ of 223% in CO2
exhalation (P<01) during Virasana
in group with BR >10 breath/min;
Subgroup 2: ↑ of 163% in OC
(P<05) and ↑ of 166% in CO2
exhalation during Viransana in
group with BR <5 breath/min:
↑ of 60% (P<0005)
and 43% (P<001) in
HR§in subgroup 1
and 2 respectively;
Rai, Ram et al.
1994
(102)
Male yoga
practitioners (n=10);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Siddhasana (Accomplished pose)
(Subgroup 1 with resting breath rate
>10breath/min (n=6);
Subgroup 2- with resting breath rate
<5 breath/min (n=4)
Baseline Shavasana
versus Siddhasana
Subgroup 1: ↑ of 27% in OC (P<01)
and ↑ of 31% (P<.01) in CO2
exhalation during Siddhasana in
group with >10 breath/min;
Subgroup 2: ↑ of 21% in OC and
↑of 25% in CO2 exhalation during
Siddhasana in group with
>5breath/min;
↑of 13% (P<01) and
of 15% (P<001) in
HR in subgroup 1
and 2 respectively;
Sinha, Ray et al.
2004
(104)
Male yoga
practitioners
(n=21);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Sun salutation (SS) 12 dynamic
postures preceded and followed by
Shavasana
Comparison between
each individual posture
of SS and Shavasana
↑ of 207% in OC during complete
session of SS compared to
Shavasana;
↑ of 383% during 8th pose (Cobra)
compared to Shavasana;
OC higher (P<05) during backward
bending poses (2nd ,4th ,5th and 8th
poses) compared to forward
bending poses (3rd and 11th);
HR range - 83.5BPMǁ
to 101.6BPM during
entire SS compared
to 60.2BPM during
Shavasana;
Blank 2006
(125)
Female yoga
practitioners
(n=15);
Single practice
on a single
occasion
Iyenger Yoga posture sequences
warm-ups, 20 individual postures and
releasing poses with Shavasana
Comparison between
each individual posture
and postures divided in
sets (Back arch,
inversion, standing,
supine and seated)
versus Shavasana
↑ of OC during standing, back arc
and inversion poses (P<05)
compared to supine and seated
posture;
↑ of 300% of OC (P<05) during
warrior pose III compared to
Shavasana;
↑of 144% in OC during 65 minutes
yoga session compared to
Shavasana
Back arch poses 75%
of HRmax
Hagins, Moore et
al. 2007
(126)
Yoga practitioners
with >1 year
experience in yoga; 2
males; 28 females
(n=20);
Multiple
practices on a
single
occasion
Ashtanga yoga session of 56 minutes
Warm-up, sun salutation and non-
sun salutation poses;
Mild and moderate sub maximal
exercise- treadmill walk at 2mph and
Baseline rest and mild to
moderate exercise
versus yoga session;
Sun salutation versus
non sun salutation poses
↑ of 100% in OC (P<0001) during
yoga session compared to rest.
OC 14% lower during yoga
sequence compared to mild
exercise and 33% lower to
↑ of 31% in HR
(P<0001) during
yoga compared to
rest;
Yoga sequence
3mph;
moderate exercise (Ps<0001);
OC 25% higher (P<001) during sun
salutation compared to non-sun
salutation poses;
49.4% of HRmax;
HR 15% higher
during sun salutation
compared to non-
sun salutation poses;
Telles, Reddy et
al. 2000
(105)
Male yoga
practitioner with >3
months experience
(n=40);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Cyclic meditation-‘CM’ session and
Shavasana session
(Each session on different days)
Baseline rest versus
post-practice session of
CM and Shavasana
↓of 32% in OC (P<001) post CM;
↓ of 10% in OC (P<05) post
Shavasana compared to baseline
↓ of 28% (P<001)
and 15% (P<05) in
BR during post
session in CM and
Shavasana
respectively
Sarang and Telles
2006
(106)
Male yoga
practitioner with >3
months experience
(n=50);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Cyclic meditation session ‘CM’
(divided into 4 phases) and Shavasana
session
(Each session on different days);
Baseline rest versus CM
session and Shavasana
session;
Baseline rest versus post
practice session of CM
and Shavasana
↑ of 31.3% in OC(P<001) during
active phases of CM;
↓ of 19.4% in OC (P<001) post
CM compared to baseline;
↓ of 7% in OC (P<001) post
Shavasana;
Non-significant change in OC
during Shavasana compared to
baseline;
↑ up to 21% in BR
(P<001) during CM
and ↓ of 7% (P<05)
in BR post CM
compared to
baseline;
DiCarlo, Sparling
et al. 1995
(132)
Yoga
practitioners with >1
year experience
(n=10);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Hatha yoga - 12 standing postural
sequence session;
Sub maximal exercise session
treadmill walk at 4 mph and VO2max
Sub maximal exercise
and VO2max session
versus Hatha yoga
routine session
OC 26% lower during yoga
sequences(P<05) compared to sub
maximal exercise in first 8th minute
and remained lower during
HR 4% higher in
during yoga
sequence (P<05)
compared to sub
session;
(Each session on different days);
complete session;
Yoga session 34% of VO2max and
sub maximal exercise 46% of
VO2max
maximal exercise in
8th minute and
remained higher
during complete
yoga session;
Carroll, Blansit et
al. 2003
(127)
Yoga practitioners
with >3 months
experience
(n=13);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Vinyasa Yoga sequences and &
VO2max
VO2max versus Viniyasa
yoga
Yoga session >50% of VO2max
Yoga session >77%
of HRmax;;
Clay, Lloyd et al.
2005
(131)
Yoga practitioners
with >1 month
experience
(n=30);
2 males, 28 females
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Hatha yoga session Warm-ups, sun
salutation, non-sun salutation and
cool down poses;
Sub maximal exercise -treadmill walk
at 3.5mph and VO2max session;
(Each session on different days)
Chair sitting, sub
maximal exercise and
VO2max session versus
Hatha yoga session
↑ of 114% in OC (P<05) during
yoga session compared to chair
sitting;
OC 54% lower (P<05) during yoga
session compared to sub maximal
exercise;
Yoga session 14.5% and sub
maximal exercise 44.8% of VO2max;
OC 82% higher (P<05) during sun
salutation compared to non-sun
salutation;
↑ of 24% in HR
(P<06) during yoga
session compared to
chair sitting;
HR 21% lower (P<05)
during yoga session
compared to sub
maximal exercise;
HR 20% higher (P<-5
) during sun
salutation compared
to non-sun
salutation;
Buranruk, La
Grow et al. 2010
(137)
Middle aged non
yoga practitioners
(n=17);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Thai yoga session warm-ups, sitting
standing and lying poses; VO2max;
(Each session on different days);
VO2max session and
baseline rest versus Thai
yoga session calorimetry
↑ of 133% during Yoga session
compared to rest; Yoga session
35.5% of VO2max
OC 46% higher (P<0001)during
standing poses compared to sitting;
↑ of 16.6% in HR
during Thai yoga
compared to rest;
HR during yoga
sequence 50% of
HRmax;
HR 10.6% higher
(P<0001) during
standing poses
compared to sitting;
Ray, Pathak et al.
2011
(95)
Male yoga
practitioners with >6
years’ experience
(n=20);
Multiple
practices on
two occasions
Hatha Yoga session - comprising
variety of yoga static postures
interspersed with Shavasana,
pranayamas and meditation practices;
VO2max session;
(Each session on different days)
VO2maX session and
Shavasana versus
individual yoga static
postures;
↑ of 160% in OC (P<05)during
plough pose-2 ↑ of 156% in OC
(P<05) during bow pose compared
to Shavasana;
Bow, Plough -1, plough -2 and
shoulder stand pose 26.5% 25.9%,
24.6%, 22.7% respectively of
VO2max;
Shavasana 9.9% of Vo2max;
↑ of 108% in BR
(P<05) during plough
1 & 2 compared to
Shavasana;
Table 3: Summary of studies reporting changes in OC with asana, integrated practice(s)
Abbreviations used: OC*- oxygen consumption; CO2- carbon dioxide; BR breath rate; HR§ heart rate BPMǁ - beats per minute;
Table 4: Summary of Studies Reporting Changes in Oxygen consumption (OC*) With Yoga and Physical Activity and Rest-
Study
Reference
Population
Study design
and duration
Intervention
Comparators
Metabolic Measures
Cardio-respiratory
and Other
Measures
Salgar, Bisen et
al. 1975
(107)
Healthy males
(n=38);
Multiple
practices on
single
6 months of regular lotus posture
(n=10); resistance training (n=12);
sedentary lifestyle (n=16);
Comparison between
groups during mild and
moderate level
ergometer exercise
At mild level exercise the OC was
lowest in lotus group followed by
exercisers and non-exercisers; At
moderate level exercise OC lowest
in exercisers followed by lotus and
non-exerciser group
Bhatnagar,
Ganguly et al.
1978
(108)
Healthy non yoga
practitioners
(n=20);
6-month
Cohort study
of multiple
practices
Regular integrated yoga practices
Pre yoga intervention
sub maximal exercise
versus fixed intensity sub
maximal exercise after
1,3 and 6 months of yoga
practice
Progressive increase in OC during
sub maximal exercise (P< 05) in 3
and 6 months compared to pre
intervention;
No significant increase after 1
month
↓ in resting body
core temperature
(P<05,
P<001,P<001) in 1,
3 and 6 months
compared to pre
intervention;
Joseph,
Sridharan et al.
1981
(109)
Healthy male non
yoga practitioners
(n=10);
3-month
Cohort study
of multiple
practices
Regular integrated yoga practices
Pre yoga intervention
rest versus post yoga
intervention rest
Non- significant decrease in resting
OC;
↓ of 7.8% in HR
(P<001);
↓ in SBP/DBP§
(P<01);
↓ in blood
glucose (P<05) and
blood cholesterol
(P<01);
Raju, Kumar et
al. 1986
(110)
Non yoga
practitioners (n=12);
3-month
Cohort study
of multiple
practices
Regular integrated yoga practice
Pre yoga intervention
rest versus post yoga
intervention rest versus;
Pre yoga intervention
sub maximal exercise
versus Sub maximal
exercise after 20 days
and 3 months of yoga
practice
Non-significant change in resting
OC in either gender;
↓ of 41% in OC (P<05) during
submaximal exercise after 20 days
and ↓ of 36% in OC (P<05) during
sub-maximal exercise after 3
months in males only;
↓ of 65.5% in
blood lactate
(P<05) in males at
same exercise
workload after 3
months; No
significant changes
in females;
Balasubramani
an and Pansare
1991
(116)
Healthy non yoga
practitioners (n=17);
6-week
Cohort study
of multiple
practices
Integrated yoga practice
Pre yoga intervention
VO2max versus post yoga
intervention VO2max
↑ of 17% in VO2max (P<005);
Raju, Prasad et
al. 1997
(111)
Healthy female non
yoga practitioner (n=
6);
4-week
Cohort study
of multiple
practices
Integrated yoga practice
Pre yoga intervention
VO2max versus exercise
versus post yoga
intervention VO2max
↓ of 14% in OC (P<05) per unit of
work load;
↑ of 21% in maximal work load
(P<05) in post yoga intervention
compared to pre yoga intervention
↓ of 6% in HR
(P<05) post yoga
intervention;
↓ in body fat &
weight (P<05);
Tran, Holly et
Healthy non yoga
8-week
Integrated yoga session
Pre yoga intervention
↑ of 10% in VO2max (P<01);
↑ in muscular
al. 2001
(128)
practitioners
(n =10);
Cohort study
of multiple
practices
VO2max versus post yoga
intervention VO2max
strength (P<05),
muscular
endurance (P< 01)
and flexibility
(P<001);
Ramos-
Jiménez,
Hernández-
Torres et al.
2011
(142)
Female middle and
old aged yoga
practitioners with >3
years’ experience
(n=13);
11-week
Cohort study
of multiple
practices
Integrated intensive yoga training;
(middle aged practitioners with mean
age 43.2 years = 4;
older aged practitioners with mean
age 62.2 years =9);
Pre yoga intervention
VO2max versus post yoga
intervention VO2max
↑ of 3% in VO2max (P<05) in middle
aged group and ↑ of 17% in VO2max
(P<05) in older aged group;
Increase in HRmax
(P<05) in both
groups;
Improvement in
Lipid profile and
blood glucose and
BMIǁ (Ps<05) in
both groups;
Raju, Madhavi
et al. 1994
(112)
Healthy male non-
yoga practitioners
(n=28);
24-month
NRCT of
multiple
practices
Yoga group-Pranayama and
Shavasana along with regular sports
workouts (n=14)
Control Regular sports workouts
(n=14)
(Each group further sub grouped in
Phase 1 and 2 of submaximal (n=12)
and maximal exercise (n=16) of
duration 12 months and 24 months
respectively)
Pre intervention rest
versus post yoga
intervention rest (phase
1&2);
Pre intervention sub
maximal and maximal
exercise versus post
yoga intervention sub
maximal and maximal
exercise
Phase 1 - ↓ of 38% in OC at resting
state in yoga group;
↓ of 51% in OC (P<05) per unit
work load
with sub maximal exercise in yoga
group after intervention;
No change in controls either in rest
or during exercise;
Phase 2- No change in resting OC in
either yoga or control group;
↓ of 34% in OC (P<05) per unit
Phase 1 - ↓ of
49% in resting
blood lactate
(P<01) in yoga
group;
Phase 2 - ↓ of
37% in resting
blood lactate
(P<05) in yoga
group;
↓ of 61% in
work load with maximal exercise in
yoga group after intervention;
No change in control;
exercise blood
lactate after 24
months compared
to pre intervention
in yoga group;
U. S. Ray, Sinha, Tomer,
Pathak, & et al., 2001
(115)
Healthy male non-
yoga practitioners
(n=28);
6-month RCT**
of multiple
practices
Yoga group- Integrated yoga practises
(n=17); Physical training as per army
program(n=11);
Pre intervention VO2max
versus post intervention
VO2max
↑ of 6.7% in VO2max (P<05) in
yoga group;
No change in physical training
group;
↓ in body fat and
body weight
(Ps<01) in yoga
group;
Nayar, Mathur
et al. 1975
(113)
Healthy male non
yoga practitioners
(n=53);
12-month RCT
of multiple
practices
Yoga group-
Integrated yoga with regular physical
training (n=18);
Athletic group- Athletics with regular
physical training (n=17);
Control regular physical training (n-
18);
Pre intervention rest
versus post intervention
rest:
Pre intervention sub-
maximal versus post
intervention sub
maximal exercise
Non- significant change in OC at
rest in either group;
Non- significant changes in OC
during sub-maximal exercise in
either group;
↑ of 29% in vital
capacity (P<01)
and 5% in FEV1††
(P<05) in yoga
group;
↑ of 46% in
breath-hold time
(P<01) in yoga
group;
Selvamurthy,
Ray et al. 1988
(114)
Healthy male non-
yoga practitioners
(n=30);
6-month RCT
of multiple
practices
Yoga group- Integrated training (n=15)
;
Physical training ‘PT’ group- running,
games, flexibility and pull-ups (n=15);
Pre yoga intervention
sub maximal exercise
versus post yoga
intervention sub
maximal exercise
↓ of 5.7% in OC (P<05) in yoga
group;
Non -significant change in PT group;
↓ of 7% in HR
(P<01) in yoga
group;
Bowman,
Clayton et al.
1997
(133)
Sedentary healthy
elderly subjects > 62
years (n=40);
6-week RCT of
multiple
practices
Yoga group- Integrate yoga (n=20);
Aerobic group- Bicycle based aerobic
training (n=20);
Pre yoga intervention
sub maximal exercise
versus post yoga
intervention sub
maximal exercise
↑ of 13% in VO2max (P<01) in yoga
group and ↑ of 24% in VO2max
(P<01) in aerobic group;
↓ of 11.6% in HR
(P<05) in yoga
group; No change
in aerobic group;
↑ in baroreflex
sensitivity (P<01)
in yoga group;
No significant
change in HRV‡‡
in either groups;
Pullen,
Nagamia et al.
2008
(130)
Patients with
congestive heart
failure ‘CHF’ (n=19);
8-week RCT of
multiple
practices
Yoga group- Integrated yoga practices
along with standard medical therapy
(n=9);
Control Standard medical therapy
with general awareness (n=10);
Pre intervention VO2max
versus post intervention
VO2max
↑ of 17% in VO2max (P<02) in yoga
group;
No change in controls;
Improvement of
25.7% in quality of
life scores (P<.005)
in yoga group
Tracy and Hart
2012
(129)
Sedentary healthy
non yoga
practitioners (n=21);
8-week RCT of
multiple
practices
Bikram yoga- 26 series of postures in
heated 350-400C humidified studio
(n=10);
Waitlist control (n=11
Pre yoga intervention
VO2max versus post yoga
intervention VO2max
No change VO2max after yoga
training;
↑of 23.8% in sit
and reach score
(P<001)and
shoulder flexibility
(P<05) with yoga;
Chaya, Kurpad
et al. 2006
(70)
Non yoga (NY) and
regular yoga
practitioners (YP)
Multiple
practices on a
single
YP - Regular integrated yoga practice
(n=55);
NY - (n=49)
Yoga practitioners versus
Non yoga practitioners at
rest (basal state)
Basal OC - 19.3% less in female YPs
and 10.7% less in male YPs
(Ps<001) compared to NYs;
BR¶¶ 19.6% less
(P<001) in female
YPs and 19%
with >6 months
experience n=104);
occasion
Basal CO2§§ - 12.7% less in female
YPs and 14.3% less in male YPs
(Ps<05) compared to NYs;
BMRǁǁ in YP 15% less (P<001) in YP
compared to NY and 13% less than
the predicted by WHO/FAO/UNU;
(P<001) in male in
YPs compared to
NYs;
Chaya and
Nagendra 2008
(71)
Non-yoga (NY) and
regular yoga
practitioners (YP)
with >6 months
experience
(n=88);
Multiple
practices on a
single occasion
YP - Regular integrated yoga practice
(n= 51);
NY (n=37)
Yoga practitioners versus
non yoga practitioners at
rest at 6am (basal) and 9
pm (pre sleep)
Basal OC - 22% less (P<005) in
female YPs and 10.7% less (P<05)
in male YPs compared to NY
females and males respectively;
Pre-sleep OC - 17% less in female
YPs and 6.7% in male YPs (non-
significant) compared to NY females
and males respectively;
Basal CO2 15.3% less in female
YPs and 14.8% less in male YPs
(Ps<05) compared to NYs;
Pre sleep CO2- 13.2% less in female
YPs and 8.3% in male YPs compared
to NYs
BR 23.3% less
(P<005) in female
YPs and 15.6%
less (P<05) in male
YPs during
morning
compared to NYs;
Table 4: Summary of studies reporting changes in OC with yoga and physical; activity
Abbreviations used - OC*- oxygen consumption; HR heart rate; SBP- systolic blood pressure; DBP§ - diastolic blood pressure; BMIǁ body mass index, NRCT non randomised
controlled trials; RCT** randomised controlled trials; FEV1†† forced expiratory volume in 1 second; HRV‡‡ heart rate variability; CO2§§- carbon dioxide exhalation; BMRǁǁ- basal
metabolic rate; BR¶¶ - breath rate
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... Yoga intervention in athlete decreases noradrenaline, decreases salivary cortisol, improves immune response through CS8+T cells, attenuates of exercise-induced inflammation, and reduces recovery time from injury (Bühlmayer et al., 2017;Sanada et al., 2016) [2,25] . Yoga down regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic activity and therefore promote relaxation and stress relief (Tyagi et al., 2013) [28] . The purifying action of hath yogic practices on the brain cells enhances the capacity of the brain centres, allowing them to function at their optimum capacity (Verma et al., 2016) [30] . ...
... Yoga intervention in athlete decreases noradrenaline, decreases salivary cortisol, improves immune response through CS8+T cells, attenuates of exercise-induced inflammation, and reduces recovery time from injury (Bühlmayer et al., 2017;Sanada et al., 2016) [2,25] . Yoga down regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic activity and therefore promote relaxation and stress relief (Tyagi et al., 2013) [28] . The purifying action of hath yogic practices on the brain cells enhances the capacity of the brain centres, allowing them to function at their optimum capacity (Verma et al., 2016) [30] . ...
... Innes et al. [16] reported associations between yoga and markers of autonomic activity such as heart rate, Bowman et al. [17] observed a positive correlation between yoga and baroreflex sensitivity, and Telles et al. [18] reported yoga intervention improved galvanic skin resistance in the yoga group compared to the control group. Tyagi [19] and Cohen reported that regular yoga practice improves a wide range of clinical conditions associated with autonomic dysfunction, such as hypertension and diabetes. ...
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... OXPHOS protein expression was determined using a Western blot analysis. The peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were extracted by a Ficoll-Hypaque gradient [24]. The protein was lyzed in the extraction buffer and was loaded onto the Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate polyacrylamide gel. ...
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Background The previous metanalysis found that Mind-body intervention (MBI) improves neuropsychologic well-being and may increase brain-derived growth factor (BDNF). BDNF is a neurotrophic factor related to neuroplasticity. Objective To evaluate the effect of the short intensive MBI compared to control-relaxation on Site on BDNF and examine if this change is related to mitochondria function or stress-related neurohormonal activity. Methods Randomized, controlled, two-period cross-over trial conducted in a medical center in Thailand. Healthy-meditation naive Nurse and Occupational Therapy Students, 23 assigned randomly to MBI, and 24 relaxations at the site for 8 h during the weekend. The wash-out period was three months between the two periods. All volunteers took the blood test for BDNF, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), Cortisol, and Heart rate variability (HRV) measurement before and Visual Analogue Scale for Anxiety (VAS-A), forward and backward digit span after each period. Results A total of 40 participants finished the trials. The cross over trial analysis showed a significant treatment effect between MBI and Relaxation on-site for the mean VAS-A as 9.89 (95% CI 4.81 to 19.47; P = 0.001), serum BDNF as 1.24 (95% CI 0.16 to 2.32; P = 0.04), and OXPHOS complex-1 was decreased 0.41 (95% CI 0.03–0.29 p = 0.03). There were no significant differences for digit span, cortisol, and HRV. Conclusion In healthy meditation naïve females, even a short period of MBI may increase serum BDNF and reduce anxiety more than relaxation on-site. The more reduction of OXPHOS complex-1 in the mindfulness group suggests oxidative stress may be a more sensitive indicator than stress-related neurohormonal activity.
... Cambios en el consumo de oxígeno con la práctica del yoga El consumo de oxígeno varía con la AF y mental, así como con las condiciones patológicas (McArdle et al., 2010). Una revisión sistemática compuesta por 58 estudios (Tyagi & Cohen, 2013), intentó incluir todos los estudios de yoga que midieron el consumo de oxígeno o la tasa metabólica. Los estudios informaron que la práctica de yoga tiene efectos metabólicos profundos que producen tanto un aumento como una disminución en el consumo de oxígeno, que van desde un aumento del 383% con la postura de la cobra al 40% de disminución con la meditación. ...
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Publicación fruto del Proyecto de Innovación Educativa U.M.A. 19/040, en que se recogen lecciones de la práctica de Yoga (con fotografías de profesional), artículos filosóficos y propuestas para implementar la práctica del yoga en la enseñanza primaria y secundaria pública nacional.
... The RPE, thermal discomfort, and thermal sensation were higher in Y group indicated that non-experienced individuals perceived themselves working harder. Regular Yoga practice can cause dramatic change in oxygen consumption and metabolism leading to resting metabolic rate [17]. Exercise in the heat was often accompanied with a greater 'mental effort' than that in the cool with higher RPE [18]. ...
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The aims were to develop a real-time wireless tracking system both hardware and software for physiological performance heart rate monitoring and tactical movement tracing simultaneously for each player during a Futsal match. A Polar H7 internal Bluetooth chip firmware was additionally programmed to transmit position information of wearer to nearby beacons and personal notebook computer. Four beacons placed at each corner of a Futsal court were also programmed and calibrated to track locations of Polar H7 worn by all players. Microsoft Visual Studio was used to develop "KBU Futsal Tracker" software to receive wirelessly heart rate and location information from all Polar H7's worn by players and display simultaneously heart rate, position and movement of each player on the court. "KBU Futsal Tracker" system was successfully developed and tested with Kasem Bundit University Futsal team during their training and competition and won the third place in Sports Science Innovative Contest 2015 organized by Department of Physical Education, Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
... The RPE, thermal discomfort, and thermal sensation were higher in Y group indicated that non-experienced individuals perceived themselves working harder. Regular Yoga practice can cause a dramatic change in oxygen consumption and metabolism leading to resting metabolic rate [17]. Exercise in the heat was often accompanied with a greater 'mental effort' than that in the cool with higher RPE [18]. ...
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Area: Sport Science, May 2018, page 632-642 www.iseec2018.kbu.ac.th T Th he e 9 9 t th h I In nt te er rn na at ti io on na al l S Sc ci ie en nc ce e, , S So oc ci ia al l S Sc ci ie en nc ce e, , E En ng gi in ne ee er ri in ng g a an nd d E En ne er rg gy y C Co on nf fe er re en nc ce e' 's s e e-P Pr ro oc ce ee ed di in ng g ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of heat on energy expenditure in experienced and non-experienced Hot Yoga practitioners. Forty female participants were recruited and divided into two groups: hot yoga (HY, n=20) and yoga (Y, n=20) groups. Each participant attended a 60-minute Hot Yoga session in a temperature-controlled room. The heart rate (HR), rate of oxygen consumption (VO2), rate of carbon dioxide production (VCO2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), rated perceived exertion (RPE), thermal sensation, and discomfort scales were measured every ten minutes. Repeated two-way ANOVA was used for statistical analysis. The VO2 and VCO2 between groups were significantly different during exercise and at the end of exercise (p < 0.05). Within groups, the comparison was significantly different (p < 0.001). Furthermore, the RER's at the end of exercise in the HY group were also significantly lower (p < 0.05) than those in the Y group. In summary, heat stress affected non-experienced practitioners much more than experienced ones. Therefore, heat acclimatization is a mandatory pre-exercise measure for sedentary people attending Hot Yoga classes.
... Kapalbhati is a fast (high frequency) yogic breathing technique which involves short, strong and rapid forceful exhalations at the rate of 1 to 2 Hz and inhalation is automatic such that mind is directed to the flow of breath [1] . Regularly practicing kapalbhati improves cardiac and mental health which makes it a very popular technique [2][3][4][5][6] . Despite reported health benefits, there are case reports available, suggesting people had undergone myocardial ischemic attacks while performing kapalbhati [7,8] . ...
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Kapalbhati is well known for improving cardiovascular health. But there are some reports of heart attacks while practising kapalbhati. We hypothesize that ill-effect of kapalbhati could be because of autonomic dysfunction to heart. In the present study, we aim to understand the acute effect of kapalbhati yoga on heart rate dynamics using heart rate variability (HRV) analysis. Resting heart rate (HR) varies widely in different individuals and during various physiological stresses, particularly, exercise it can go up to three-fold. These changes in heart rate are known as heart rate variability (HRV). Variability in heart rate reflects the control of autonomic system on the heart and which can be determined during brief periods of electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring. HRV measures the effect of any physical exercise on the heart rate using time- and frequency-domain methods. Frequency-domain method involves power spectral analyses of the beat-to-beat intervals (R-R intervals) variability data. When total power vs. frequency, fast fourier transform analysis of R-R intervals data is done, it shows three well-defined peaks/rhythms in every individual, which contain different physiological information. Thus, the total spectral power of R-R intervals data can be divided into three components or bands viz., the very low frequency (VLF) band, the low-frequency (LF) band and the high frequency (HF) band. VLF represent very long time-period physiological phenomenon like thermoregulation, circadian rhythms etc. and thus are not seen in short-term recordings like in this work. LF band power represents long period physiological rhythms in the frequency range of 0.05- 0.15 Hz and LF band power increases as a consequence of sympathetic activation. HF band represent physiological rhythms in the frequency range of 0.15-0.5 Hz and they are synchronous with the respiration rate, and arise due to the intrathoracic pressure changes and mechanical vibrations caused by the breathing activity. In this work, twenty healthy male volunteers were trained in kapalbhati yoga and their ECG waveforms (2 min.) were obtained while doing kapalbhati (breathing at 1 Hz frequency for 2 min.) and were compared with the baseline (just 2 min. before the start) and post-kapalbhati (immediately 2 min. after completing the practice) HRV data. Our results showed a significant decrease in the time-domain measures i.e., NN50, pNN50 and the mean heart rate interval during-kapalbhati when compared statistically to the respective before practice or “pre”-kapalbhati (p < 0.05, student’s paired t-test) values. Frequency-domain indices showed that during-kapalbhati there is a significant increase (~48%) in the LF band power which suggests sympathetic activation and a significant increase (~88%) in the low frequency to the high frequency power ratio (LF/HF ratio) which indicates sympathetic system predominance. A significant decrease (~63%) in the HF component was also noted during-kapalbhati as compared to the “pre-kapalbhati” values which shows decrease in parasympathetic tone. Thus, these results suggest that during-kapalbhati there is drastic increase of sympathetic tone whereas parasympathetic activity is reduced. We propose these changes in autonomic system control on heart are responsible for the myocardial ischemic attacks induced during kapalbhati in some individuals.
... Also, (Ray et al., 2011) describes that the Metabolic equivalent (MET) during yoga-asanas is 60.3 % and 73.8 % of MET corresponds to cycling and walking respectively performed for an hour. A lower MET follows a lower O2 consumption by 15 % in regular yoga practitioners (Tyagi et al., 2013). Oxygen is also used by the epithelial cells at the intestinal lumen to transport nutrients (Ward et al., 2014). ...
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