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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 66-69
Influence of alternate nostril breathing on heart rate variability in non-practitioners of yogic breathing

Department of Kinesiology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
C Matthew Lee
Department of Kinesiology, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.91717

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Background: Long-term alternate nostril breathing (ANB) has been shown to enhance autonomic control of the heart by increasing parasympathetic modulation. However, there is no information on the immediate effects of ANB on autonomic control compared to paced breathing (PB) at the same rate in individuals who are inexperienced with yogic breathing. Aim: To examine cardiac autonomic modulation following ANB in comparison to that following PB in individuals who were inexperienced in ANB. Materials and Methods: Twenty healthy individuals (22.3 ± 2.9 years) with no prior experience with ANB engaged in 30 min of both ANB and PB which were preceded and followed by 5 min of normal breathing (PRE, post-ANB, and post-PB, respectively). Mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate variability (HRV) were assessed during all conditions. HRV was reported as spectral power in the total (lnTP), low-(lnLF), and high-frequency (lnHF) ranges and were natural log (ln) transformed. Results: Analysis of covariance revealed lnTP, lnLF and lnHF were greater during both post-ANB and post-PB compared to PRE (P<0.05). MAP and lnLF/lnHF did not significantly differ between conditions. Conclusions: These data suggest that there was an immediate increase in cardiac autonomic modulation following ANB and PB without a shift in autonomic balance in individuals inexperienced with yogic breathing. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation to investigate the autonomic effects of ANB in this population and also to compare the effects of ANB and PB at the same respiratory rate.

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