What’s This Research About?

This was the first systematic review of studies about the physiological and cognitive effects of alternate nostril breathing (ANB), written by Dr. Shreya Ghiya.

Pranayama refers to conscious breath modification by altering its rhythm, rate, duration, and depth. In yoga practice this breath manipulation is used to achieve a degree of control over the mental state but also has physiological effects on the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems. Recently there has been an increase in research looking at these effects using breath as a relatively easy, inexpensive, and effective method to achieve health benefits.

ANB is a common breathing method which has several variations described in the definitions section. Purported benefits of ANB include modulation of sympathovagal balance, improved cardiac function, stress relief, and increased cognitive ability.

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