A Nonrandomized Non-Naive Comparative Study of the Effects of Kapalabhati and Breath Awareness on Event-Related Potentials in Trained Yoga Practitioners.

Author: Joshi M, Telles S.
Affiliation: Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India.
Conference/Journal: J Altern Complement Med.
Date published: 2009 Feb 25
Other: Word Count: 225

Abstract Objectives: The study was conducted to compare the P300 event-related potentials recorded before and after (1) high-frequency yoga breathing (HFYB) and (2) breath awareness. Design: The P300 was recorded in participants of two groups before and after the intervention session (1 minute in duration). Settings and location: All participants were receiving yoga training in a residential yoga center, Swami Vivekanada Yoga Research Foundation in Bangalore, India. Subjects: Thirty (30) male participants formed two groups (n = 15 each) with comparable ages (within an age range of 20-35 years) and comparable experience of the two techniques, the minimum experience being 3 months. Interventions: The two groups were each given a separate intervention. One group practiced a HFYB at a frequency of approximately 2.0 Hz, called kapalabhati. The other group practiced breath awareness during which participants were aware of their breath while seated, relaxed. Outcome measures: The P300 event-related potential, which is generated when attending to and discriminating between auditory stimuli, was recorded before and after both techniques. Results: The P300 peak latency decreased after HFYB and the P300 peak amplitude increased after breath awareness. Conclusions: Both practices (HFYB and Breath awareness), though very different, influenced the P300. HFYB reduced the peak latency, suggesting a decrease in time needed for this task, which requires selective attention. Breath awareness increased the P300 peak amplitude, suggesting an increase in the neural resources available for the task.