International Journal of Yoga
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 115-120
Cardiopulmonary and metabolic effects of yoga in healthy volunteers

1 Department of Physiology, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, India
2 Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, India
3 Department of Biochemistry, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
K Asish
Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Medical College, Thrissur - 680 596, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.186162

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Background: Yoga the spiritual union of mind with the divine intelligence of the universe aims to liberate a human being from conflicts of body–mind duality. Beneficial cardiovascular and pulmonary effects of yoga are in par with aerobic exercise, even amounting to replace the exercise model. We conducted an interventional study in healthy volunteers, to analyze the impact of short-term yoga training on cardiovascular, pulmonary, autonomic function tests, lipid profile, and thyroid function tests. Materials and Methods: A sample of fifty new recruits attending the district yoga center was subject to 75 min yoga practice a day for 41 days. Basal values of cardiovascular, pulmonary, autonomic function tests, lipid profile, and thyroid function tests were recorded before yoga training and were reassessed for postyoga changes after 41 days. Results: After yoga practice there was a significant reduction in the resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean blood pressure of the participants. Effects on autonomic function tests were variable and inconclusive. There was a significant increase in forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and peak expiratory flow rate after yoga. A significant reduction in body mass index was observed. Effects on metabolic parameters were promising with a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar level, serum total cholesterol, serum triglycerides serum low-density lipoprotein levels, and significant increase in high-density lipoprotein. There was no significant change in thyroid function tests after yoga. Conclusion: Short-term yoga practice has no effect on thyroid functions. Yoga practice was found beneficial in maintaining physiological milieu pertaining to cardiovascular and other metabolic parameters.

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