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Pranayama and health

  • March 05, 2018

Pranayama is a set of breathing techniques, which are integral part of yoga. Many call them as “yogic breathing” as well. Pranayama, although a humble health practice, is well studied and >1400 research papers are published on pranayama. Pranayama is found to have positive impact on neurocognitive, psychophysiological, respiratory, biochemical and metabolic functions. Following are some of the benefits of pranayama:

  • Pranayama can influence brain activity
  • Pranayama improves executive functions, perceived stress scale (PSS) and reaction time
  • Improves both physical and verbal task functioning
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Improves neuronal function
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves lung capacity
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Increases oxygen consumption
  • Helps to control diabetes
  • Helps in asthma control
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Reduces weight and body mass index
  • Enhances mood

It is important to get trained by an expert before you initiate Pranayama practices. While right techniques give benefits, wrong techniques can be equally harmful.

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Disclaimer: Don’t follow any suggestions in this article without consulting a qualified doctor

Source: Saoji AA, Raghavendra BR, Manjunath NK. Effects of yogic breath regulation: A narrative review of scientific evidence. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2018 Jan 30. pii: S0975-9476(17)30322-4.