Oxygen Consumption and Respiration During and After two Yoga Relaxation Techniques
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Cyclic meditation (CM) is a technique which combines ‘stimulating’ and ‘calming’ practices, based on a statement in ancient yoga texts suggesting that such a combination may be especially helpful to reach a state of mental equilibrium. The oxygen consumption, breath rate and breath volume of 50 male volunteers (group mean age±SD, 27±6.3 years) were assessed before, during, and after sessions of CM and sessions of supine rest in the corpse posture (shavasana, SH). The sessions were one day apart and the order was alternated. The oxygen consumption, breath rate and breath volume increased during the ‘stimulating’ practices of CM, returned to the baseline during the ‘calming’ practices, and the oxygen consumption decreased by 19.3 percent below baseline values after CM. During the SH session the oxygen consumption, breath rate and breath volume reduced; however the decrease in oxygen consumption after SH was less than after CM (i.e., 4.8 percent). The results support the idea that a combination of yoga postures with supine rest (in CM) reduces the oxygen consumption more than resting supine alone does.
KEY WORDS:yoga postures relaxation respiration oxygen consumption
The authors gratefully acknowledge H.R. Nagendra, Ph.D. who derived the cyclic meditation technique from ancient yoga texts. The funding from the ‘DST-FIST program,’ Government of India and the Temple of the Universe, Alachua, FL., U.S.A. for the equipment used is also gratefully acknowledged.
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