ArticlePDF Available

General Health Benefits of Pranayama W.S.R. to Effects on Respiratory System: An Ayurveda Review

Authors:

Abstract

Pranayama is traditional techniques practicing from ancient time of Indian civilization; it establishes balances of body, mind and spiritual health. Pranayama used for various purposes such as; maintaining health status & beauty, delaying age and as therapeutic measure against many pathological conditions. Pranayama involves three stages of respiratory practice; Puraka (inhalation), Kumbhaka (retention) and Rechaka (exhalation). These stages when practices with respiratory control then offer several health benefits. Pranayama improves circulatory process of body, boost respiratory system and helps in pathological conditions like; asthma and rhinitis. Present article summarizes role of Pranayama on respiratory system and related diseases. Keywords: Pranayama, Respiratory System, Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka.
Yogeshwar Ashok Tikle Journal of Drug Delivery & Therapeutics. 2020; 10(1-s):215-217
ISSN: 2250-1177 [215] CODEN (USA): JDDTAO
Available online on 15.02.2020 at http://jddtonline.info
Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics
Open Access to Pharmaceutical and Medical Research
© 2011-18, publisher and licensee JDDT, This is an Open Access article which permits
unrestricted non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited
Open Access Review Article
General Health Benefits of Pranayama W.S.R. to Effects on Respiratory
System: An Ayurveda Review
Yogeshwar Ashok Tikle
M.D. (Swasthavrittha), Associate Professor, Jupiter Ayurved Medical, College, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
ABSTRACT
Pranayama is traditional techniques practicing from ancient time of Indian civilization; it establishes balances of body, mind and spiritual
health. Pranayama used for various purposes such as; maintaining health status & beauty, delaying age and as therapeutic measure against
many pathological conditions. Pranayama involves three stages of respiratory practice; Puraka (inhalation), Kumbhaka (retention) and Rechaka
(exhalation). These stages when practices with respiratory control then offer several health benefits. Pranayama improves circulatory process
of body, boost respiratory system and helps in pathological conditions like; asthma and rhinitis. Present article summarizes role of Pranayama
on respiratory system and related diseases.
Keywords: Pranayama, Respiratory System, Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka.
Article Info: Received 21 Nov 2019; Review Completed 26 Jan 2020; Accepted 30 Jan 2020; Available online 15 Feb 2020
Cite this article as:
Tikle YA, General Health Benefits of Pranayama W.S.R. to Effects on Respiratory System: An Ayurveda Review, Journal of
Drug Delivery and Therapeutics. 2020; 10(1-s):215-217 http://dx.doi.org/10.22270/jddt.v10i1-s.3898
*Address for Correspondence:
Dr Yogeshwar Ashok Tikle, M.D. (Swasthavrittha), Associate Professor, Jupiter Ayurved Medical, College, Nagpur,
Maharashtra, India
Introduction
The word Pranayama can be elaborated as Prana
(energy of life), Yama (control) and Ayama (extension)
means control of “energy of life” or extension of Prana.
Pranayama is a breathing practice that empowers lungs
capacity and maintains rhythm of respiration. Pranayama
helps to control inspiration and expiration. Pranayama can
be considered as technique that control mind through the
control of Vayu/air. Pranayama can be sub-divided into
various types; Suryabhedana, Sheetalee, Ujjayee, Bhramaree,
Bhastrikaa, Moorchaa, Sheetkaaree and Plaavinee 1-5.
The practice of Pranayama involves deep
inspiration, holding of air followed by deep expiration and
relaxation. Pranayama is science of breath that control
energy of life, controls emotions and mind. Pranayama not
only pacify biological energy but it also imparts spiritual
energy and establishes harmony between body and nature.
Breathing forcefully and rapidly comes under Bhastrika
Pranayama thus expands capacity of muscles and improves
process of respiration; Figure 1 depicted major benefits of
Pranayama on respiratory system
Figure 1: Major benefits of Pranayama on
respiratory system
Strengthens
respiratory system Provides fresh
oxygen
treat asthma and
bronchitis Increases exchange
volume
Pranayama
Yogeshwar Ashok Tikle Journal of Drug Delivery & Therapeutics. 2020; 10(1-s):215-217
ISSN: 2250-1177 [216] CODEN (USA): JDDTAO
Kapalabhati Pranayama can be considered as technique
of skull shining breath, clear congestion and improve
capacity of lungs. Suppress bloating and provide
symptomatic relief in the condition of allergy and bronchitis.
Ujjayi Pranayama (victorious breath) expands lungs,
improves focusing on breath, calm down mind and imparts
good effects on respiratory system.
Sitali Pranayama means cooling exercise that imparts
cooling effect on mind thus helps to regulate normal
breathing and heart rate. The practice provides good health
effects during summer and hot climatic conditions 3-8.
Pranayama involves four major stages as follows:
Inhalation (Pooraka)
Exhalation (Rechaka)
Retention of internal breathe (Antarkunbhaka)
Retention of external breath (Bahir kumbhaka).
These techniques regulate flow of Prana in Nadis,
provide flow of fresh air, stimulate functions of vital organs,
maintain normal circulatory process and provide energy to
perform various physiological activities.
The general health benefits of Pranayama on
Respiratory system:
Pranayama control force of life that is Prana/Vayu/air
therefore restores vital energy of body and mind.
Pranayama provide calmness and relaxation, control intense
emotional feelings and induces natural sleep and clear air
pathways. Pranayama significantly helps in respiratory
problems since it regulates breathing; detoxify body,
improves respiration capacity; maintain rhythm of
respiration and purifies air passages. Pranayama maintain
harmony of sympathetic and parasympathetic system,
causes bronchio-dilatation, reduces respiratory muscles
tone and maintain supply of energy thus provide relief in
problems related to respiratory system 6-10.
Pranayama optimizes uses of abdominal and
diaphragmatic muscles to improve respiration.
Strengthens respiratory system and facilitate
extensions of muscle.
Pranayama calm anxiety by controlling breath and
heart rate.
Pranayama provides fresh oxygenated blood to cell.
Exhalation forces facilitate detoxification of organs.
Pranayama helps to breath when person having
breathing difficulties due to the lack of lung
capacity/minor surgical intervention.
Pranayama helps to treat respiratory problems like;
asthma and bronchitis.
Pranayama relaxes whole body thus imparts calming
effect that regulates normal breathing and heart
functioning.
Pranayama increases exchange volume of lungs thus
maintains inflow of fresh air and outflow of carbon-
dioxide.
Enhanced flow of air into lungs helps to improves
overall pulmonary functions.
Pranayama mode of action towards the
improvement of respiratory system:
Pranayama boosts elasticity and strength of
collagen fibres thereby facilitates contraction and power of
respiration.
Pranayama stimulates secretion of pulmonary
surfactant which increases exchange volume of lungs.
Pranayama maintain level of prostaglandins which
decreases bronchiolar smooth muscle tonicity leading to the
enhanced flow of air into lungs.
It is stated that Pranayama stimulates stretch
receptors which affects smooth muscles and improves lung
capacities.
Pranayama relaxes skeletal muscles and thoracic
cage, it also relaxes smooth muscles of bronchi thus boost
pulmonary functions.
Extended expiratory period and voluntary breath
holding period improves lungs capacity when these
techniques of Pranayama performed regularly.
Guidelines to perform Pranayama:
Key features of Pranayama:
Inhalation, Retention & Exhalation
Modulation in breathing speeds
Holding of breath
Shortening and elongation of breathing
As mentioned above one should maintain rhythm of
inhalation, retention & exhalation while performing
Pranayama. The modulation of breathing is very important
to maintain breath rate. Shortening, elongation and holding
of breath depends upon regular practice which should be
uniform throughout the period. The other major
considerations related to Pranayama are as follows:
At initial stage it should be performed under guidance or
after having proper training.
The nostrils should be dilated during inhaling and should
be relax in normal position while exhaling.
Pranayama should be performed in morning time with
empty stomach.
It should be performed at silent or peaceful place with
focus attention.
Comfortable posture (Siddha yoni asana) is required for
Pranayama since body should remain in relaxing
condition.
Spine, neck and head should remain in erect position.
One should use carpet/mat/cloth during practice to
maximize energy conduction.
Pranayama should be performed before meditation.
Never restrict breath.
Precautions
Pregnant women, diabetic patient, patient of high blood
pressure and epileptic patient should take expert advice
before performing Pranayama. Pranayama should not be
performed during chronic illness.
Yogeshwar Ashok Tikle Journal of Drug Delivery & Therapeutics. 2020; 10(1-s):215-217
ISSN: 2250-1177 [217] CODEN (USA): JDDTAO
Side effects
Itching, tingling and modulation in body thermostat may
occur at initial stage.
Conclusion
Pranayama strengthen respiratory muscles, enhance level of
surfactant, stimulate stretch receptors, and relieve tension
thus enhance lung volumes and capacities. It helps to cure
obstructive respiratory diseases and bronchitis. Pranayama
helps to maintain vital energy of body, maintain rhythms of
body and detoxifies internal organs. Pranayama improves
efficiency of respiratory system and control overall
circulatory process of body.
References
1. Joshi LN, Joshi VD, Gokhale LV. Effect of short term Pranayama
practice on breathing rate and ventilatory functions of lung.
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1992; 32:10508.
2. Chanavirut R, Khaidjapho K, Jaree P, Pongnaratorn P. Yoga
exercise increases chest wall expansion and lung volumes. Thai
Journal of Physiological Sciences. 2006; 19(1):17.
3. Madan M, et al. Effect of yoga training on reaction time,
respiratory endurance and muscle strength. Indian J Physiol
Pharmacol. 1992; 36(4):22933.
4. Shankarappa V, et al. The short term effect of pranayama on the
lung parameters. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research.
2012; 6(1):2730.
5. Patil YR, Sawant RS. Study of effect of Bhastrika Pranayama on
pulmonary function. International research journal of
pharmacy. 2012; 3(3):204-207.
6. Yadav RK and Das S: Effect of Yogic practice on pulmonary
functions in young females. Indian J PhysiolPharmacol. 2001;
4:493-6.
7. Rao MV. A Text Book of Swasthavritta.Reprint ed. Varanasi:
Chaukhambha Orientalia; 2014: p.407.
8. Shankarappa V, Prashanth P, Annamalai N, Malhotra V. The
short term effect of Pranayama on lung parameters. Jounal of
clinical and diagnostic research. 2012; 6(1):27-30.
9. Makwana K, Khirwadkar N and Gupta H C. Effect of short term
Yoga practice on the ventilatory function tests. Indian J Physiol
Pharmacol.1988; 32(3):203-08.
10. Verma, S. and Gurvendra, A. A Study on the Effect of Collective
Yogic Practices on Social Adjustment of Collage Students in
Urban Area. International Journal of Science and Consciousness;
2016; 2(1):36-40.
... Although unfamiliar in our country, Yoga has been recognized by American and European researchers for its positive effect on both the human body and soul [6]. Some studies reveal the positive and beneficial effects of Yoga [7]. Yoga exercises and pranayama control asthma signs [8]. ...
... Pranayama in Yoga includes controlled respiratory techniques, e.g. elongation, holding, and shortening of breath voluntarily by controlling respiratory muscles [7]. ...
... Emphasis on deep respiration is part of Yoga, and performing each movement is related to awareness, respiration, and the whole body. During stretching and respiratory Yoga exercises, the respiratory rate decreases, and lung capacity increases [7]. Similarly, Erdoğan Yüce studied the effect of pranayama respiratory techniques on asthma control, pulmonary function, and quality of life in asthma patients and reported the positive effect of the mentioned techniques following one-month exercise with no significant difference in pulmonary function [31]. ...
Article
Introduction: People with asthma often have sedentary lifestyles and are less physically, mentally, and cardio-respiratory prepared than their peers. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the effect of selected Yoga exercises on thoracic spine alignment and respiratory capacity indices in children with asthma. Methods: The present research is a quasi-experimental study with a pretest-posttest design. For this purpose, 30 children with mild asthma were included in the study purposefully and voluntarily. The subjects were randomly divided into a control group (15 people with mean [SD] age: 11.40 [ 2.13] years) and an experimental group (15 people with mean [SD] age: 10.60 [1.76] years). Written informed consent was obtained from the parents of the children. Flexible ruler and spirometry were used to evaluate the curvature of the thoracic spine and respiratory capacity, respectively. To analyze the results of this study, we used a dependent t test and analysis of covariance at a significance level of P
Article
Full-text available
Background: Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root 'yuj'. It is a powerful technique of self realization. Yoga is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. Now a day we use this ancient scientific tool as a therapy for bringing a balance in at physical mental and social level. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the Effect of collective scientific yogic practices on Social Adjustment of urban collage Students. Methods and procedures: Sixty urban students, with age ranging between 18 to 26 years were randomly selected as subjects of the study. The Experimental Group – A participated in collective scientific practice of yoga and the control group Group-B did not participate in practice of yogic practices. The training was conducted for a period of four weeks, five days in a week and 63 min per day. Significant improvement was found in social adjustment as a result of the experimental treatments in experimental groups. To determine or assess the effectiveness of the yogic practices the experimental group was compared with the control group. Result: There were statistically significant differences between the 2 groups in the level of social adjustment. Conclusion: the research work indicates the effectiveness of the yogic practices in improving social adjustment among urban collage students.
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Yoga is a science which has been practised in India from over thousands of years. Besides its spiritual achievements, the practice of yoga is accompanied by a number of beneficial physiological effects in the body. Pranayama is an art of controlling the life force of breath. It produces many systemic psycho-physical effects in the body, besides its specific effects on the respiratory functions. This study is designed to study the effects of short- term pranayama (6 weeks) on the pulmonary function parameters. Methods: The study group consisted of 50 young adults (26 males and 24 females) who were newly recruited for yoga training at the Patanjali Yoga Center, Kolar. They were motivated to undergo pranava, Nadishuddi and Savitri Pranayama training for 1 hour daily, for 6 days a week. The first phase of the recording of the pulmonary parameters was done at the beginning of their course. The second phase of the recording was done after 6 weeks of the regular pranayama practice. Results: The FVC - before pranayama showed a value of 2.60±0.40 and after pranayama, it showed a value of 3.20±0.43. The FEV1- before pranayama showed a value of 2.36±0.36 and after pranayama, it showed a value of 2.96±0.42. The PEFR - before pranayama showed a value of 6.09±1.03 and after pranayama, it showed a value of 7.38±1.12. The FEF (25%- 75%) - before pranayama showed a value of 2.93±0.47 and after pranayama, it showed a value of 3.74±0.45. The BHT – before pranayama showed a value of 38.34 ±4.34 and after pranayama, it showed a value of 56.62±9.01. For all the parameters, a P value of
There is evidence that the practice of yoga improves physical and mental performance. The present investigation was undertaken to study the effect of yoga training on visual and auditory reaction times (RTs), maximum expiratory pressure (MEP), maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP), 40 mmHg test, breath holding time after expiration (BHTexp), breath holding time after inspiration (BHTinsp), and hand grip strength (HGS). Twenty seven student volunteers were given yoga training for 12 weeks. There was a significant (P < 0.001) decrease in visual RT (from 270.0 +/- 6.20 (SE) to 224.81 +/- 5.76 ms) as well as auditory RT (from 194.18 +/- 6.00 to 157.33 +/- 4.85 ms). MEP increased from 92.61 +/- 9.04 to 126.46 +/- 10.75 mmHg, while MIP increased from 72.23 +/- 6.45 to 90.92 +/- 6.03 mmHg, both these changes being statistically significant (P < 0.05). 40 mmHg test and HGS increased significantly (P < 0.001) from 36.57 +/- 2.04 to 53.36 +/- 3.95 s and 13.78 +/- 0.58 to 16.67 +/- 0.49 kg respectively. BHTexp increased from 32.15 +/- 1.41 to 44.53 +/- 3.78s (P < 0.01) and BHTinsp increased from 63.69 +/- 5.38 to 89.07 +/- 9.61 s (P < 0.05). Our results show that yoga practice for 12 weeks results in significant reduction in visual and auditory RTs and significant increase in respiratory pressures, breath holding times and HGS.
Thirty three normal male and forty two normal female subjects, of average age of 18.5 years, underwent six weeks course in 'Pranayam' and their ventilatory lung functions were studied before and after this practice. They had improved ventilatory functions in the form of lowered respiratory rate (RR), and increases in the forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume at the end of 1st second (FEV1%), maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR-lit/sec), and prolongation of breath holding time.
Twentyfive normal male volunteers undergoing a ten weeks course in the practice of yoga have been studied by some parameters of ventilatory functions tests. The observations recorded at the end of ten weeks of the course have shown improved ventilatory functions in the form of lowered respiratory rate, increased forced vital capacity, FEV1, maximum breathing capacity and breath holding time, while tidal volume and %FEV1, did not reveal any significant change. Thus, a combined practice of yoga seems to be beneficial on respiratory efficiency.
During recent years, a lot of research work has been done to show the beneficial effects of yoga training. The present study was undertaken to assess the effects of yogic practice on some pulmonary functions. Sixty healthy young female subjects (age group 17-28 yrs.) were selected. They had to do the yogic practices daily for about one hour. The observations were recorded by MEDSPIROR, in the form of FVC, FEV-1 and PEFR on day-1, after 6 weeks and 12 weeks of their yogic practice. There was significant increase in FVC, FEV-1 and PEFR at the end of 12 weeks.
Yoga exercise increases chest wall expansion and lung volumes
  • R Chanavirut
  • K Khaidjapho
  • P Jaree
  • P Pongnaratorn
Chanavirut R, Khaidjapho K, Jaree P, Pongnaratorn P. Yoga exercise increases chest wall expansion and lung volumes. Thai Journal of Physiological Sciences. 2006; 19(1):1-7.
Study of effect of Bhastrika Pranayama on pulmonary function. International research journal of pharmacy
  • Y R Patil
  • R S Sawant
Patil YR, Sawant RS. Study of effect of Bhastrika Pranayama on pulmonary function. International research journal of pharmacy. 2012; 3(3):204-207.
Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia
  • M V Rao
Rao MV. A Text Book of Swasthavritta.Reprint ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 2014: p.407.