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Yoga Practice Improves Physiological and
Biochemical Status at High Altitudes:
A Prospective Case-control Study
Gidugu Himashree, MD, DNBE; Latika Mohan, MD; Yogesh Singh, MD
Context • High altitude (HA) is a psychophysiological
stressor for natives of lower altitudes. Reducing the
morbidity and optimizing the performance of individuals
deployed in an HA region has been attempted and
reported with varied results.
Objective • The present study intended to explore the
effects of comprehensive yogic practices on the health and
performance of Indian soldiers deployed at HAs.
Design • The research team designed a prospective,
randomized, case-control study.
Setting: The study was done at Karu, Leh, India, at an
altitude of 3445 m.
Participants • Fully acclimatized soldiers in the Indian
army were randomly selected from those posted to HA
regions (ie, altitudes >3000 m).
Intervention • The soldiers were divided into 2 groups of
equal size. The first group, the control group, carried out
the routine activities for physical training in the Indian
army. The second group, the intervention group practiced
a comprehensive yoga package, including physical asanas,
pranayama, and meditation, and did not perform the
physical training that the first group did. Both groups
were monitored during their activities.
Outcome Measures • A wide and comprehensive range of
anthropometrical, physiological, biochemical, and
psychological parameters were measured: (1) height and
Gidugu Himashree, MD, DNBE, is the officer in charge at the
High Altitude Medical Research Centre, in Leh, India.
Latika Mohan, MD, Dean and professor and head in the
department of physiology, AIIMS in Rishikesh, All India
Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), in Rishikesh, India.
Yogesh Singh, MD, is an associate professor in the
Department of Physiology, AIIMS.
Corresponding author: Yogesh Singh, MD
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Himashree—Yoga and Performance at High Altitudes
weight; (2) body fat percentage (BFP); (3) heart rate (HR);
(4) respiratory rate (RR); (5) systolic and diastolic blood
pressure (DPB); (6) peripheral saturation of oxygen;
(7) end tidal CO2 (EtCO2); (8) chest expansion;
(9) pulmonary function; (10) physical work capacity
(VO2Max); (11) hematological variables; (12) lipid profile;
(13) serum urea; (14) creatinine; (15) liver enzymes;
(16) blood glucose; and (17) anxiety scores. Measurements
were made at baseline and postintervention.
Results • Two-hundred soldiers took part in the study. The
yoga group showed a significant improvement in health
indices and performance as compared with the control
group. They had lower weights, BFPs, RRs, DBPs, and
anxiety scores. They also had a significantly higher EtCO2,
forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in the first
second (FEV1), and VO2Max. Also, the yoga group showed
a significant reduction in serum cholesterol, low-density
lipoprotein, triglycerides, and blood urea as compared with
their preyoga levels and with the exercise group.
Conclusions • Practice of yoga facilitates improvements
in health and performance at HAs and is superior to
routine training with physical exercises. Comprehensive
yogic practices are an effective modality for improving
health and performance at HAs. (Altern Ther Health Med.
igh altitude (HA) is a psychophysiological stressor
for natives of lower altitudes. Drops in atmospheric
pressure resulting in a decrease in the partial
pressure of oxygen, with concurrent cold temperatures, act
as compounding stressors on various physiological systems.
Evolving strategies for optimizing the health and performance
of soldiers posted to HA regions (ie, altitudes >3000 m) is a
challenge for HA physiology research.
Comprehensive yogic practices—yoga, meditation, and
pranayama—have been recognized globally as a specific
system for promoting positive health, with diverse and wide
applications. Those practices are easy to follow and can be
ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2016 VOL. 22 NO. 5 53
The Yoga group did supervised Yoga 1 hour daily with 40 minutes of practices. The group was taught the comprehensive yogic practices by qualified yoga instructors. (5) Gomukhasana—1 minute for each side. Each spent 2 months learning and practicing the yoga module for HA then passed a written and practical examination certifying them to be yoga trainers for the soldiers. with the 2 practices being performed for 10 minutes each (Figure 1).6 In the context where comprehensive yogic practices have positive health effects on cardiorespiratory functions. which were selected for their benefits in reducing anxiety and promoting overall well-being. where weather conditions can be extremely cold.2 Yoga and pranayama induce adaptive. whereas meditative practices improve bodily and visceral functions through their influences on the mind. and (8) Shavasana—6 minutes. please visit copyright. The asanas were selected based on considerations related to hypoxia and extreme environmental conditions. such as hypoxia. The asanas were followed by the meditation and breathing exercises. rainy. The individuals who smoked or consumed alcohol were excluded. Then a common pool of volunteers was made. total of 2 minutes. The ease of their application and the simplicity of the practices have made those health practices more and more widely accepted worldwide. SEP/OCT 2016 VOL. (2) Suptapavanmuktasana—1 minute for each leg. (3) Pavanmuktasna—2 minutes. the yoga group did not take part in the army’s routine physical training. the soldiers participated in a graded exercise schedule as per the army’s normal health protocol. For 50% of the time (ie. India). Three qualified yoga teachers from Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (New Delhi. Following acclimatization. which were chosen for their provision of favorable changes in lung compliance and better oxygen delivery in hypoxic conditions. positive changes in respiratory function. To acclimatize them to the HAs during the first 6 days of their stay. 54 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES. (7) Shalabhasana— 2 minutes. The chosen asanas were relatively simple and had a beneficial effect on the back and limbs. The comprehensive yogic practices were carefully integrated into a module composed of 3 practices for optimal and comprehensive benefit: (1) asanas or physical poses. (6) Makarasana—2 minutes. and sit-ups. It is difficult to carry out outdoor physical activities consistently in HA regions. total of 2 minutes.This article is protected by copyright. 20 minutes). windy. METHODS Participants Soldiers in the Indian army are screened before induction to HAs (3000 to 3500 m). squats. Only volunteers aged between 20 and 30 years were included. the research team aimed to explore the effects of comprehensive yogic practices on health and performance at HAs by conducting a prospective. the soldiers practiced the asanas. It has also been suggested that comprehensive yogic practices can induce a hypometabolic state and could allow practitioners to tolerate stressful conditions. Both of the groups were evaluated on day 0 at baseline and on day 60 postintervention. (4) Vajarasana— 2 minutes. or unpredictable.3 Yoga has also been found to be beneficial in regulating cardiovascular rhythms through modulation of the autonomic nervous system. Figure 2 shows examples of some of the asanas. such as jumps. led the participants in the intervention group. Only perfectly healthy individuals are deployed. and the exercises comprised 20 to 25 minutes of jogging at 3 km/hour and 20 to 25 minutes of other physical exercises. who were fully qualified to conduct yoga courses.com integrated well into the daily routine.1. Prior to the induction of the participants. The exercise was followed by 10 minutes of cooling down. All soldiers signed an informed consent form and this study has been approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee for human studies that was constituted at the Army Hospital (Leh. Use ISSN#1078-6791.7 The selection of asanas assured that no head-lowering poses were included because those poses can load the carotid sinus and cause undesirable autonomic changes. randomized. In the present study. Comprehensive yoga practices can be carried out comfortably indoors.2. either comprehensive yogic practices for the intervention group or the normal schedule of routine physical training specified by the Indian army for the control group were performed. 200 were shortlisted for the study and divided into 2 groups of 100 soldiers each by stratified random sampling method. it is possible that the practices may also have favorable effects on health and performance at HAs. It is well known that yoga improves physical fitness. which were chosen for their support of physical fitness and endurance. (2) meditative practices.5. The remaining 50% of the time was equally divided between meditation and pranayama. case-control study with Indian soldiers who were stationed at altitudes between 3000 m and 3500 m in the Western Himalayas region. which included (1) Padmasana—2 minutes. At the beginning of each session. India). 22 NO. and (3) pranayama or breathing maneuvers.4 Nonpharmacologic management of essential hypertension and retardation of atherosclerosis are some fields where the practice of yoga has also been found to be effective. Using computer-generated random numbers. 5 Procedures After acclimatization. visit alternative-therapies. To share or copy this article. The pool consisted of nearly 600 individuals. the yoga group first performed Kapalbhati 3 times for 30 seconds and then began the asanas. Bhujangasana could also be added for 2 minutes and then Shavasana would be reduced by 2 minutes. Intervention The control group took part in training daily for 40 to 60 minutes.com. they had been stationed at HAs for a period ranging from 7 to 15 days.8 The pranayama comprised breathing exercises and followed the asanas (1) Aloma-Viloma—5 rounds of Himashree—Yoga and Performance at High Altitudes . that improved flexibility and musculoskeletal strength. with a smaller increase in metabolic demands. To subscribe.
without any pause. ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES. India). Omron. and EtCO2. (4) respiratory rate (RR). To share or copy this article. The measure was assessed by Hamilton’s anxiety rating scale. India). Mumbai. FEV1. and (2) Bharamari—4 rounds for 30 seconds each round. Japan). for a total of 5 minutes. MIR. The calculation was performed using the impedance principle with a body fat monitor (HBF-302. and psychological parameters were measured: (1) height and weight. please visit copyright. Lipid Profile. The meditation followed (1) Omkar meditation—2 minutes. ALP. Physical Work Capacity. (9) pulmonary function— forced vital capacity (FVC). and Aminotransferases. biochemical. The difference between the 2 readings in cm is taken as the chest expansion. Italy). Thane. The measures were analyzed from venous blood using the RA 50 chemistry system (Bayer. Asanas Recommended for High Altitudes Himashree—Yoga and Performance at High Altitudes 45 seconds to 1 minute. Serum urea is a kit based test using venous blood in the RA 50 chemistry system. (11) hematological variables—hemoglobin and hematocrit. (13) serum urea.6-km) walking test. Hematocrit. (15) liver enzymes— alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and amino-transferases. The measurements were made using a multiparameter monitor (MPM 5553 Pro. (16) blood glucose. Fasting and Postprandial Glucose. Use ISSN#1078-6791. because they would have been detrimental at HA. DBP. Height and Weight. Delhi. the tests were performed in the morning to minimize the diurnal variation. BPL. and (17) anxiety scores. Outcome Measures A wide and comprehensive range of anthropometrical.com Figure 1. and PERF were measured using a digital turbine-based spirometer (MIR Spirobank G. The chest expansion is measured by using a measuring tape to measure the chest circumference over the nipples. physiological. For all participants. RR. Body Fat Percentage. To subscribe. SpO2. Serum Urea. Rome. Tokyo. (6) peripheral saturation of oxygen (SpO2).11 This is a questionnairebased test to assess anxiety in an individual. HR. The measurements were performed using a digital scale (Seca 766. 22 NO. visit alternative-therapies.This article is protected by copyright. and (2) guided meditation—8 to 10 minutes. India).10 Hemoglobin. 5 55 . SBP. The risk factor was calculated by dividing the total cholesterol by the high-density lipoprotein (HDL). (12) lipid profile. FVC. SEP/OCT 2016 VOL. Level of Anxiety. forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1). (5) systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). Chest Expansion. The measure was indirectly calculated by a 1 mile (1. (3) HR. Pulmonary Function. It is scored using the composite rating of 14 individually evaluated criteria. Creatinine. (14) creatinine. The individual is instructed to exhale completely for the first measurement and then is asked to take a full breath and hold it for the second measurement. (7) end tidal CO2 (EtCO2). Yoga Program for High Altitudes Meditation System 25% Breathing System 25% Muscoloskeletal System 50% Breathing (10 min) Kapalbhati Anulom-Vilom Brahmari 1–2 min 5 min 2–3 min Meditation (10 min) Omkar meditation Guided meditation 2 min 8 min Asanas (20 min) Padmasana Suptapawanmuktasana Pawanmuktasana Vajrasana Gomukhasana Makarasana Shalabhasana Shavasana 2 min 2 min 2 min 2 min 2 min 2 min 2 min 6 min Figure 2.com. for a total of 2 minutes.9 Specific precautions were taken not to include any breath-holding maneuvers. (10) physical work capacity (VO2Max). Seca. (8) chest expansion. (2) body fat percentage (BFP).
16 ± 0. all values were within the normal range. low-density lipoprotein (LDL).71 . DBP. The EtCO2 showed a significant rise in the yoga Table 1.312 . body fat percentage. The markers for quality of life—physical work capacity. and intergroup comparisons were made using Student’s unpaired t tests.78 ± 0. HR.16 ± 0. Postintervention Control Group Within-group P Value Yoga Group Within-group P Value Intergroup P Value Weight (kg) mean ± SEM Fat (BFP) (%) mean ± SEM 62.89 ± 0.97 ± 0. a score of 25 to 30 indicates a moderate to severe anxiety severity.68 . and care was taken to control the false discovery rate in the study. and RR in the yoga group after 2 months. Corrections for multiple comparisons were made using the Benjamini-Hochberg procedure.051 .048a 90.37 21. end tidal CO2. A significant fall occurred for the yoga group in serum cholesterol from 184. please visit copyright.039a 21. A rating of 0 indicates that the feeling is not present in the patient.018a .1 ± 0. visit alternative-therapies.32 .69 mg/dL to 162.58 63.53 170. A significant improvement also occurred in the VO2Max for the control group. no significant differences existed between the control group and the yoga group for all parameters. a Abbreviations: SEM.87 34. A score of 17 or less indicates mild anxiety severity.50 90.94 ± 1. heart rate. Also. SBP. fasting and postprandial. The Hamilton’s anxiety scale.71 ± 0. The yoga group showed a significant increase in the VO2Max.06 71.19 .83 ± 0. NY.101 DBP RR (mm Hg) (per min) mean ± SEM mean ± SEM SPO2 (%) mean ± SEM EtCo2 (mm Hg) mean ± SEM 120. No significant changes were seen in any of the variables for the control group during the 2 months of the study. There was a significant difference in the control and yoga groups also at the end of 2 months.64 . Physiological Parameters Day 0.41 ± 0.36 120. 56 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES.01 . which showed a mean of 17.04 .47 62. A rating of 3 indicates severe prevalence of the feeling in the patient. beginning from 0 to 4.049a HR SBP (BPM) (mm Hg) mean ± SEM mean ± SEM P < .023 18. RR. and the blood urea levels were reduced significantly with the practice of yoga for 2 months (Table 3). respiratory rate.94 .21 ± 0.821 122. y 28. and DBP at the end of the 2 months. cm 172.77 ± 0.13 ± 1. USA).68 .022a 20.436 80.72 .05 was considered statistically significant.683 60.86 after 2 months of yoga.069 . BFP. Anthropometric Variables at Baseline Control Group (n = 100) Variable Yoga Group (n = 100) P Value Age. (Table 4).89 ± 0.72 89. and the yoga group showed an increase of 24%.51 .61 . To subscribe.19 93. group after 2 months and there was a significant difference between the 2 groups at the end the study.com.62 ± 0. There was a significant drop in body weight. BFP.94 . The mean age and height of both groups were similar (Table 1).1 ± 0.1 ± 0.81 ± 0.17 .13 ± 0.85 80.5 ± 0. Last. Hamilton’s anxiety score.072 32. significantly declined to 8.com Each item is scored independently based on a 5-point scale. A rating of 1 indicates mild prevalence of the feeling in the patient. The yoga group showed a significant reduction in weight. Baseline Control Group Yoga Group Intergroup P Value Day 60.12 P < . At the beginning of the study. A significant reduction was also seen for that group in triglycerides. EtCO2.51 .120 74.6 ± 0. and the risk factor for coronary-artery disease—are shown in Table 5. A rating of 2 indicates moderate prevalence of the feeling in the patient.12 1.081 67. A rating of 4 indicates a very severe prevalence of the feeling in the patient.036a . SPO2. and a significant decrease in anxiety.01 ± 0.33 before yoga. To share or copy this article. they showed a significant increase in the EtCO2.69 80. A score from 18 to 24 indicates mild to moderate anxiety severity.23 .58 63. a significant decrease in the risk factor for coronary-artery disease. The blood-sugar levels.21 . diastolic blood pressure.94 .47 27. and total lipids.32 72.62 Weight.86 .47 .9 .13 .724 18. SEP/OCT 2016 VOL.02 122. 22 NO.041a .4 ± 0. However.88 32. peripheral saturation of oxygen. BFP. Use ISSN#1078-6791. The control group showed a rise of 5%.55 Table 2.72 .13 ± 0.99 ± 1. kg 62. Within-group comparisons were made using Student’s paired t tests.19 . 5 Himashree—Yoga and Performance at High Altitudes . The Hamilton’s anxiety score was also significantly lower in the yoga group in comparison with the Statistical Analysis All values are expressed as means ± standard error of the mean.66 21.This article is protected by copyright.71 ± 0.05 was considered statistically significant. version 13 (IBM.81 21. Armonk. The physiological parameters for both groups on day 0 at baseline and on day 60 postintervention are detailed in Table 2.1 ± 1.76 Height.5 ± 0.38 . RESULTS Two-hundred soldiers were enrolled as participants.031a .77 ± 0.66 ± 1.45 ± 1.48 ± 0.13 . beats per minute.00 ± 0.0 ± 0. All analyses were made using SPSS statistical package. DBP. systolic blood pressure.13 ± 0. RR.92 mg/dL. The score of all 14 criteria is summed to get a composite score.9 ± 0.21 32. BPM.041a .046a 68. standard error of the mean.2 ± 0.2 ± 0.77 20.
visit alternative-therapies.014a .17 ± 5.81 ± 0.04 . Baseline Control Group Yoga Group Intergroup P Value Day 60.81 ± 0.32 ± 0.15 .15 4.60 .13 ± 0.05 was considered statistically significant.25 40.32 ± 2. physical work capacity. Postintervention Control Group Within-group P Value Yoga Group Within-group P Value Intergroup P Value P < .88 ± 0. please visit copyright. very low-density lipoprotein.80 .31 .92 ± 1.1 .37 .67 ± 2.247 120.046a 58.431 .37 ± 8.54 ± 6. HDL.76 ± 0.26 .This article is protected by copyright.68 119.46 . a Abbreviations: VO2Max.79 ± 0.05 was considered statistically significant.61 .71 ± 1.42 131. Use ISSN#1078-6791.90 . Table 4.69 ± 1.009a 4.59 .037a 14.13 162.005a .02 .031a .71 80. low-density lipoprotein.44 489.81 . Himashree—Yoga and Performance at High Altitudes ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES. LDL.117 498.17 74.002a Day 0.16 . 5 57 .147 4.69 ± 0.68 50.128 108.31 24.47 ± 0.42 ± 0.73 ± 0.91 .56 ± 0.32 112. high-density lipoprotein.13 . To subscribe.33 ± 1. standard error of the mean.048a .72 118.72 .38 130.30 ± 0.43 .61 ± 0.01 ± 0.87 ± 0.032 21.com Table 3.51 .26 . SEP/OCT 2016 VOL.71 .22 30.77 ± 1.11 ± 0.20 .33 ± 0. Postintervention Control Group Within-group P Value Yoga Group Within-group P Value Intergroup P Value P < .89 .926 434.039a Day 0. a Abbreviation: SEM.041a 24.06 ± 0. SEM.12 .49 501. Baseline Control Group Yoga Group Intergroup P Value Day 60.3 ± 0.013a .217 .00 ± 1.10 ± 0.45 16.65 184.27 17.50 ± 0.15 25.83 ± 0.51 ± 0.com.09 ± 0.73 ± 0.46 ± 0. standard error of the mean.86 ± 0.013a Day 0.22 ± 0. Biochemical Parameters Fasting Sugar mg/dL Mean ± SEM Postprandial Sugar mg/dL Mean ± SEM Blood Urea mg/dL Mean ± SEM 81.048a 41.15 .041a . standard error of the mean.718 25.31 ± 0. Lipid Profile Total Cholesterol Mean ± SEM Triglycerides Mean ± SEM HDL Mean ± SEM LDL Mean ± SEM VLDL Mean ± SEM Total Lipids Mean ± SEM 182.36 82.80 .01 ± 2. Table 5.083 8.512 40.7 ± 2.38 181.07 4.71 128.29 40.66 ± 1.81 .39 ± 1.45 . Baseline Control Group Yoga Group Intergroup P Value Day 60.14 ± 0.43 .02 ± 3.0 1.081 .023a 128.07 .010a .51 .41 46. Markers of Quality of Life Physical Work Capacity (VO2Max) mL/min/kg Mean ± SEM Risk Factor for Coronary-artery Disease Mean ± SEM Hamilton Anxiety Score Mean ± SEM 47.29 1.044a 30. a Abbreviations: SEM.61 1. 22 NO.31 124. To share or copy this article.023a 124.74 . VLDL. Postintervention Control Group Within-group P Value Yoga Group Within-group P Value Intergroup P Value P < .91 31.05 was considered statistically significant.911 100.001a .012a .11 ± 0.
This article is protected by copyright.08 .09 ± 0.54 ± 0.412 4. all scores were below pharmacotherapeutic levels for intervention. contrary to the rise found by Damodaran et al13 and Vyas and Dikshit. and EtCO2 for the yoga group as compared with the control group. the yoga group showed significant improvement in pulmonary functions.11 2. Similar improvements have been seen in individuals who practice yoga at sea level.053 . BFP. cholesterol. peak expiratory flow rate. In the control group. In HAs.61 ± 0. Yoga also is known to alter the chemoreflex sensitivity to hypoxia and hypercapnia. the research team found a significant drop in the values for total cholesterol. respectively. and LDL in the first month. 22 NO. Abbreviations: FVC. A significant improvement occurred in the VO2Max for both groups. LDL. The improvements in pulmonary function are particularly seen in the changes in the FVC and FEV1. and total lipids. including asanas.19 However. SEM.com control group.4.07 .66% to 93.78 ± 0. with those studies being conducted for a short duration (ie. and physical fitness.07 . and total lipids were reduced.013a 3.13 . an error of 4.72 ± 0. and those changes then became pronounced by the end of 2 months. After 2 months of yoga.35 L/min-1. However. breathing.4. the VO2Max increased by 24% (10 mL/kg/min) in the yoga group and by 5% (4 mL/kg/min) in the control group.05 was considered statistically significant. Studies by Shantakumaria et al21 and Acharya et al22 found beneficial effects for comprehensive yoga practices on participants’ lipid profiles.8. forced vital capacity.050 P < .74 ± 0. with a standard error of prediction of 0. Similar findings for a rise in the VO2Max with the practice of yoga have been reported in many studies. Postintervention Control Group Within-group P Value Yoga Group Within-group P Value Intergroup P Value a FVC L/min Mean ± SEM FEV1 L/Sec Mean ± SEM PEFR L/Sec Mean ± SEM 3. No changes occurred in the hemoglobin levels. improve the diffusion. RR. The multiple correlation for predicting VO2Max from the 1-mile (1. That result may have been brought about by improvements in the ventilation perfusion ratio.13 .20 but the current study has shown that those changes can be partly reversed with yoga. VO2Max. those positive findings should be interpreted with caution because the current study’s measurements were carried out in a field setting. 5 Table 6. A number of studies have reported the beneficial effects for yoga in cardiovascular diseases. Baseline Control Group Yoga Group Intergroup P Value Day 60. has not been delineated.012a . and their sensitivity and specificity were lower in comparison with the procedures for gold-standard testing in laboratory settings.17.30 .6-km) walking performance was R = 0. That finding highlights the fact that the physiological mechanisms and the 58 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES.14 diabetes mellitus. However. triglycerides.6.042a . The VO2Max calculation was done by an indirect 1-mile (1. To subscribe.29 .23 However.4 mL/kg/1/min-1 was seen in a study by Kline et al10 in 1987.216 9.57 7. please visit copyright. reflecting the yoga group’s overall mental fitness.1. However. To share or copy this article.13.037a 8. health. Those findings show that breathing manipulations. The rise for the yoga group in the SPO2 from 89.06 . total leucocyte and differential leucocyte counts. and the effects were not seen in the control group. total cholesterol. DBP. and other biochemical parameters for either group throughout the study. The exact metabolic mechanism. FEV1.42 ± 0. in addition to the altered chemoreflex activity.63 3. no significant changes were seen for any of those parameters.17 anxiety disorders. standard error of the mean.48% (Table 2) was not significant after the BenjaminiHochberg procedure for multiple comparisons was applied. Also. the pulmonary functions are compromised. Himashree—Yoga and Performance at High Altitudes . RR.16 The current findings are consistent with those studies done at sea level.13 ± 0.25 . Use ISSN#1078-6791. DISCUSSION The current study was the first to explore the effects of the comprehensive practice of yoga. More than unequivocally. thereby contributing to an enhanced physical work capacity. very low-density lipoprotein.83 ± 0. and meditation.6-km) test. therefore. and that change was coupled with a significant rise in the EtCO2. Pulmonary Function Day 0. The current study did not find any change in the HDL levels.92.15. forced expiratory volume in the first second. The increase in the diffusion was also substantiated by the increased EtCO2. adjustments being made at HAs were being augmented by the practice of yoga. LDL. which can reduce the physiological dead space and.39 7. the RR showed a significant decline. and blood-sugar levels within a period of 2 months.10 asthma. 10 days) and for a longer duration of 3 months. The work of breathing was considerably reduced as a result of the high FVC and the low RR. visit alternative-therapies. and EtCO2 in the present study. The highlight of the current study is that the comprehensive yoga practices appeared to mitigate the effects of hypoxia in comparison with a control group. SEP/OCT 2016 VOL. Mahajan et al14 did not find any rise in HDL. In summary. the team did not find any significant change in the HDL levels. In the current study.18 That fact may possibly be the explanation for the rise in the SPO2.11 and autonomic functions in general. the studies showed that blood sugar.82 ± 0.16. the fall in cholesterol was approximately 22 g/dL (12%) and that of triglycerides was 23 g/dL (18%).com. In the current study.19 That result may be due to the musculoskeletal training of the accessory muscles of respiration that is conferred by the breathing exercises of yoga.01 ± 0. PEFR. The FVC and the FEV1 improved significantly with the practice of yoga (Table 6).149 3.43 3. can be beneficial in a setting of hypoxia. as practiced in yoga.98 ± 0.6. a significant decrease occurred in weight. however.28 3. on health and performance at HAs of >3000 m.
Tomer OS. 11. and breathing at HAs. 2002. 21. 1997. Yoga probably benefits individuals by fine-tuning those delicate systems of metabolic balance. Malathi A. Reddy KS.s. Dikshit N. That finding was in contradiction to studies done at sea level. those factors need to be studied comprehensively. Indian Heart J. 1996. 14. Austin A. 1998. red-blood-cell indices. Effects of yoga on functional capacity and wellbeing. Sinha B. Vyas R. Am J Physiol. Porcari JP. To share or copy this article. September 1972.65(2):127-131. Indian J Med Res. respiratory pressures and pulmonary function. Deepak KK. Int J Yoga. 56(5):701-705. A limitation of the current study was that no data for measurements at sea level were available for its participants. Oxygen consumption during yoga-type breathing at altitudes of 520m. 23. Cooper S. et al. Endoscopic evaluation of therapeutic effects of “Anuloma-Viloma Pranayama” in Pratishyaya w. 13. Newton S. 2. Shah N. health. Suryavanshi. and leucocyte count.6(1):76-79. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). gender. 6. High altitude induced deep venous thrombosis: A study of 28 cases. Kumar A. Rao S. Effect of yoga training on handgrip. Kumar S. Nagendra HR. 2013. please visit copyright. Netherlands: Elsevier. It also showed that yoga was superior to routine aerobic exercise. Damordaran A.356(9257):1495-1496. 20. Guleria R. the hypoxic trigger for HR may have overridden the autonomic adjustments made by yogic practice. Med Sci Sports Exerc. The yoga had no effect on the hematological parameters.57:289-300. et al.84(1):251-257. Sachdeva U. REFERENCES 1. Indian J Med Res. Andrews G. Estimation of VO2max from a onemile track walk. 2000. The HR did not show significant changes in either the yoga group or the control group. Narendran S. and better oxygen saturation could be the chief factors in obtaining overall mental fitness.114:215-221.3(2):70. Marks GB. therefore. Gupta M. asanas. 1999. Upadhyay A. That new tranquilizer called yoga. El deeba R. Ray US. 1995. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. The Hamilton’s anxiety score was also significantly lower in the yoga group in comparison with the control group.44:i68. 12. Therapeutic potential of yoga practices in modifying cardiovascular risk profile in middle aged men and women. Spicuzza L. Comparison of changes in autonomic and respiratory parameters of girls after yoga and games at a community home. 4. Montano N. Thorax. 1971. Nagarathna R. CONCLUSION The current study showed that comprehensive yoga practices can facilitate physiological adjustments in individuals acclimatized to low altitudes to withstand the stress of HA exposure. Bhardwaj A. Arbe A. Sachdeva U. J Roy Stat Soc B. Patil N. 2003. even in a situation of HA stress.100:107ff.40(4):318-324. Hintermeister R. Indian J Physiol Pharmacolog. Hochberg Y. SEP/OCT 2016 VOL. McMahon SW. Aerobic capacity and perceived exertion after practice of Hatha yogic exercises. 2010. et al.11(2):267-274. Vempati RP. and 3. Dasgupta T. Manocha R. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We acknowledge the contribution of the volunteers and the yoga teachers from Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga. The positive and relaxing effects of meditative practices. Volume 7: Clinical Geropsychology.58:674 -679.This article is protected by copyright. Byrne DG. a decrease in the sympathetic discharge. who made this study possible. 2002.16 which have found a decrease in HR. Benjamini Y. Lancet. Yardi S. 2006. Indian J Surg. The future scope of study would be to delineate the individual benefits of meditation. such as hemoglobin hematocrit. Wilson AF. Sequeirab S. 18. Akhtar P. 9. 2013. Shantakumaria N. December 2001. 19.57:110-115. Oborne J. To subscribe. 22 NO. Yoga practice can be an effective modality to improve and maintain positive health for prolonged stays in HAs. age and body weight. Sahaja yoga in the management of moderate to severe asthma: A randomized controlled trial. Improvements in the anxiety score may have been the result of various direct and indirect factors. Kenchington P. Reddy TP.284 (6328):1523-1526.221(3):795-799. Effect of Pranayama (voluntary regulated breathing) and Yogasana (yoga postures) on lipid profile in normal healthy junior footballers. Sharma MK. and performance. Bernardi L. Study of pulmonary and autonomic functions of asthma patients after yoga training.r. Acharya B. Bijlani RL. Lipid profile of coronary risk subjects following yogic lifestyle intervention. Marathe S. Yoga and chemoreflex response to hypoxia and hypercapnia. 16. Benson H. Extreme environmental conditions and hypoxia can lead to increases in the sympathetic discharge. where the autonomic system is constantly swinging from sympathetic to parasympathetic. 17. Telles S. Raghuraj P. Thorax. 2010. ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES. Gabutti A. In the current study’s HA setting.22. Effect of meditation on respiratory system. Effects of a yoga intervention on lipid profiles of diabetes patients with dyslipidemia. J Altern Complement Med. Effect of two breathing exercises (Buteyko and pranayama) in asthma: A randomized controlled trial. 5 59 . Peters D. Yadav RK. Edelstein. 2005. Himashree—Yoga and Performance at High Altitudes AUTHOR DISCLOSURE STATEMENT No conflicts of interest existed for the authors in the publication of the current paper. 1987. Salome CM.50:633-640. to mucociliary clearance mechanism and Bernoulli’s principle. 2005.20 However. Use ISSN#1078-6791. Int J Yoga. 10. Selvamurthy W. may not confer any protection against the increased thrombotic conditions seen more commonly in HAs. Percept Mot Skills. Indian Heart J. visit alternative-therapies.68:84-88. 34(4):361-367. which is one possible causative factor for the increase in stress and anxiety. Ayu.13. 15. Khanam AA. Barry. 8. Akhtar M. cardiovascular system and lipid profile. Comprehensive Clinical Psychology.46(4):487-491.19:253.com. Porta C. 2002. Med Times. Amsterdam. Wallace RK. A wakeful hypometabolic physiologic state. Hypertension: Comparison of drug and non-drug treatments. 1982. Yoga.com The highlight in the current study was that it demonstrated the undisputed benefits of yoga. A brief but comprehensive lifestyle education program based on yoga reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. J Assoc Physician India. Mahajan AS. 3. 5. Br J Sports Med. The finding needs to be examined in detail with advanced autonomic testing and relevant catecholamine analyses to determine the actual autonomic status at HA with the practice of yoga.51(1):37-40. Upadhyay RT. Controlling the false discovery rate: A practical and powerful approach to multiple testing. 7. 1968. Pathak A. 22.800m. Kline GM.