Effects of Breathing Practice in Vinyasa Yoga on Heart Rate Variability in University Students
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractObjective: This study investigated the effects of the breathing practice in vinyasa yoga on heart rate variability (HRV) in university students. High HRV is correlated with decreased anxiety and improved performance. It was hypothesized that HRV would increase and heart rate (HR) would decrease after yoga. Design: Thirteen students were enrolled into a 10-week yoga program and asked to attend at least 5 yoga classes. Before and after the class, the students' H RV, and in some cases respiration rate, were measured. Each participant's measures were compared pre and post yoga sessions, and statistical differences or trends in the data were evaluated. Setting: The study was performed in the Campus Recreational Center, University of Arizona. Results: For students who attended 3 yoga sessions, HRV (standard deviation of inter beat intervals) significantly increased post versus pre for each session, and HRV in the low frequency range (LF power) was significantly increased after the third session compared to pre first session [1348±1468 ms² (SD) vs. 3796 ± 3456 ms² , n=10]. Heart rate did not significantly change. Average respiration rate pre first session was 14.77 ± 2.54 (SD) br/min compared to 8.53 ± 2.56 after the last yoga session for which respiratory data were taken. Conclusion: Students experience increased HRV and decreased respiration rate after yoga sessions, consistent with increased ability to handle stress.
Degree ProgramHonors College