Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 221–227 | Cite as

Oxygen Consumption and Respiration Following Two Yoga Relaxation Techniques

  • Shirley Telles
  • Satish Kumar Reddy
  • H. R. Nagendra


The present study was conducted to evaluate a statement in ancient yoga texts that suggests that a combination of both “calming” and “stimulating” measures may be especially helpful in reaching a state of mental equilibrium. Two yoga practices, one combining “calming and stimulating” measures (cyclic meditation) and the other, a “calming” technique (shavasan), were compared. The oxygen consumption, breath rate, and breath volume of 40 male volunteers (group mean ± SD, 27.0 ± 5.7 years) were assessed before and after sessions of cyclic meditation (CM) and before and after sessions of shavasan (SH). The 2 sessions (CM, SH) were 1 day apart. Cyclic meditation includes the practice of yoga postures interspersed with periods of supine relaxation. During SH the subject lies in a supine position throughout the practice. There was a significant decrease in the amount of oxygen consumed and in breath rate and an increase in breath volume after both types of sessions (2-factor ANOVA, paired t test). However, the magnitude of change on all 3 measures was greater after CM: (1) Oxygen consumption decreased 32.1% after CM compared with 10.1% after SH; (2) breath rate decreased 18.0% after CM and 15.2% after SH; and (3) breath volume increased 28.8% after CM and 15.9% after SH. These results support the idea that a combination of yoga postures interspersed with relaxation reduces arousal more than relaxation alone does.

yoga exercise relaxation oxygen consumption respiration 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirley Telles
    • 1
  • Satish Kumar Reddy
    • 2
  • H. R. Nagendra
    • 2
  1. 1.Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research FoundationBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research FoundationBangaloreIndia

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