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Immediate effect of pranava pranayama on oxygen saturation and heart rate in healthy volunteers: A single-blinded, randomized controlled trial

1 Deputy Director and Associate Professor, Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research (CYTER) of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV), Puducherry, India
2 Director and Professor, Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research (CYTER) of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV), Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani,
Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pillayarkuppam, Puducherry - 607 402
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_66_22

Introduction: Yoga is known to promote health and wellness in all. Pranava Pranayama is a useful sound based yogic breathing technique with reported benefits such as potentiating vagal tone. Subjects and Methods: This single blinded randomized self-controlled cross-over study was done with 58 participants. The immediate effect of Pranava Pranayama on saturation of oxygen in the blood (SpO2) and heart rate (HR) was determined before and after intervention using pulse oximeter. To avoid extraneous influences due to recording on different days, one half of the subjects were randomized to perform quiet sitting on day 1 while other half did Pranava Pranayama which was then reversed on day 2. Results: Intra group comparison showed significant changes (p < 0.001) in both SpO2 and HR following Pranava Pranayama whereas in the quiet sitting group, there was an insignificant fall in the SpO2 readings but HR was found significant (p < 0.001). Intergroup comparison showed significant differences between groups (p-0.032). Discussion: Cardiovascular changes following Pranava Pranayama may be as a result of audible chanting improving baroreflex sensitivity along with increased endogenous nitric oxide production. This promotes vasodilatation resulting in reduction of BP. The decrease in vascular resistance and an increase in capillary perfusion results in increased oxygen saturation with lesser demand on the heart. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that Pranava Pranayama is an effective technique in enhancing SpO2 and our findings may have therapeutic applications especially in the current pandemic situation.

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    -  Ramanathan M
    -  Bhavanani AB
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