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Effect of Savitri pranayama on respiratory parameters in healthy individuals

Rajesh M. Desai, Anita Verma.


Background: Yoga makes the mind calm & relaxed, strengthens & tunes the body, brings them into harmony with each other. Pranayama have been shown to reduce the resting respiratory rate, further they increase the vital capacity, timed vital capacity, Maximum voluntary ventilation, Breath holding time, Maximum expiratory pressure. Savitri pranayama is one of the unique pranayama techniques which involves slow, rhythmic, and deep breathing. This pranayama has an added advantage that it is effective even if it is done in lying down position .So it can be practiced by non-ambulatory patients too.

Aims & Objective: To compare changes in respiratory parameters in the subjects practicing Savitri Pranayama and with that of subjects not practicing any type of Pranayama.

Material and Methods: New entrants in yoga class of shivanand ashram, Ahmedabad were selected as subjects for this study & compared with control group- not performing any type of exercise or yoga. The test group were trained by a qualified instructor & then practiced savitri pranayama for 6 days in a week for 12 weeks. Peak Expiratory Flow Rate, Maximum Breathing Capacity, Expiratory pressure,40mm endurance test, Breath holding time were recorded twice in test group - before starting pranayama & after 12 weeks. Readings of control group were taken in both phases too.

Results: First phase recording showed no significant differences in any of the tested parameters between Test and Control groups. Second phase recordings showed significant differences in all the tested parameters between Test and Control groups.

Conclusion: In the test group there is statistically significant increase in PEFR, MBC, EP, 40mm endurance test & BHT. So it is concluded that a practice of Savitri Pranayama has beneficial respiratory effects. This pranayam can be practiced by bedridden & physically handicap persons. It has psychological effect for relaxing the patients so can be practiced for mental well-being.

Key words: Savitri Pranayama; Peak Expiratory Flow Rate; Maximum Breathing Capacity; Expiratory Pressure; 40mm Endurance Test; Breath Holding Time

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