Effects of yoga breathing practice on heart rate variability in healthy adolescents: a randomized controlled trial.

Author: Kuppusamy M1, Kamaldeen D2, Pitani R3, Amaldas J4, Ramasamy P2, Shanmugam P1, Vijayakumar V1
Author Information:
1Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, India.
2Department of Physiology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, India.
3Department of Community Medicine, Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, India.
4Department of Biochemistry, Sri Balaji Dental College and Hospital, Bharath University, Chennai, India.
Conference/Journal: Integr Med Res.
Date published: 2020 Mar
Other: Volume ID: 9 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 28-32 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.imr.2020.01.006. Epub 2020 Jan 20. , Word Count: 220

Background: This study was conducted among healthy adolescents to assess the effects of a yoga breathing practice (Bhramari pranayama, Bhr.P) towards cardiac autonomic function using heart rate variability (HRV) parameters.

Methods: Of the 730 eligible subjects screened, 520 healthy adolescents who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria were randomly assigned to either yoga breathing group (n = 260) or control group (n = 260). The yoga breathing group practiced Bhr.P. five days a week for a duration of six months while the control group continued with their daily routine without any intervention. Outcome measures were time and frequency domain of HRV in both groups which were assessed before and after the intervention using Lead II ECG. Linear models were used in the analysis of short term HRV.

Results: After 6 months of yoga breathing, the time domain parameters of short term HRV showed significant (P < 0.05) improvement towards the parasympathetic domain. Frequency domain parameters also showed the same direction of changes. In contrast, control group subjects showed a trend towards a sympathetic domain.

Conclusion: The present study showed a positive shift in cardiac autonomic modulation towards parasympathetic predominance after 6 months of yoga breathing practice among apparently healthy adolescents.

© 2020 Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine. Publishing services by Elsevier B.V.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents; Autonomic function; Bhramari pranayama; Heart rate variability; Yoga

PMID: 32025489 PMCID: PMC6997567 DOI: 10.1016/j.imr.2020.01.006