Background: Good health and freedom from disease is the best achievement of life. Tremendous progress has been made in the field of medicine in recent years. Modern medicine as well as yoga has scientific basis and a universal outlook. It is gratifying that science has started acknowledging the effects of yogic techniques, whereas yoga has started using modern technology and scientific methods. Prana is energy; when the self-energizing force embraces the body with extension, expansion, and control, it is called pranayama. Suryanamaskar is the combination of asana and pranayama. They affect the milieu at the bronchioles and the alveoli particularly at the alveolocapillary membrane to facilitate diffusion and transport of gases. It may also increase oxygenation at tissue level. They have been integrated into physical education in many public and private medical schools across the world. The goal of this study was to identify the effect of pranayama and suryanamaskar on dynamic spirometric functions.
Aims & Objective: To investigate the effect of pranayama and suryanamaskar on various dynamic spirometric values (i.e., FVC (L), FEV1 (L), FEV3 (L), FEF25–75% (L), VC (L), FEV1/FVC (%), and PEFR (L/s) after 6 months of a training program.
Materials and Methods: The duration of the study was 6 months. The participants were divided into four groups namely control, pranayama, suryanamaskar, and combined group of pranayama and suryanamaskar. On the first day of the study, the subjects came to a training room and the following tests were conducted. The parameters for lung functions were forced vital capacity (FVC), vital capacity (VC), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced expiratory volume in 3 seconds (FEV3), FEV1/FVC, and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). The exercise regimen for pranayama and suryanamaskar included the following yogic procedures: bhastrika pranayama, kapalbhati pranayama, bhramari pranayama, nadi suddi/anulom vilom pranayama, pranava pranayama, and Suryanamaskar.
Results: The VC, FVC, FEV1, FEV3, FEV1/FVC, PEFR, and FEF25–75% values were highly significant in the pranayama group (group II) than the suryanamaskara group (group III). All the above values were highly significant (p < 0.05) in the combined group (group IV) when compared to the other groups.
Conclusion: Pranayama and suryanamaskara practice exerts more beneficial effects than physical exercise that mostly affects dimensions of the thoracic cavity. Yoga is a technique of controlling and modulating breath and meditation, a process through which one attains a state of deep rest yet active state of mind. Recent studies on long-term yogic practices have shown improvement in respiratory functions. This aspect of relaxation and detachment has not been mentioned in our education process and it is this new dimension of yoga training that needs to be added to the curriculum. It can make students physically fit and enhance the learning process.
Yoga; Pranayama; Suryanamaskar;Forced Vital Capacity; Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR)