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YTN #2

Yoga breathing improves right brain "scores"...

Students studying yoga breathing showed a major improvement on tests of spatial memory, said to be a right brain function, according to a study by Indian researchers. School children ages 10 to 17 were assigned to one of four groups, each of which practiced a specific yoga breathing technique: right nostril breathing, left nostril breathing, alternate nostril breathing, or breath awareness without manipulation of nostrils. After 10 days of breath training, all four groups showed an average 84% improvement in scores on tests of spatial memory vs. a control group of students which showed no improvement in scores. "Yoga breathing through a particular nostril increases spatial memory scores without lateralized effects," by Naveen KV; Nagarathna R; Nagendra HR; Telles S., of the Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India, in Psychol Rep, 1997 Oct, 81:2, 555-61. Abstract

Pranayama increases grip strength...

Indian researchers report that the practice of pranayama led to an increase in hand-grip strength. The researchers divided a group of 11-18 year old yoga camp students into five groups. Each group was given a different breathing practice to do in addition to their regular daily yoga exercises. The five breathing practices included breathing through the right nostril only, left only, alternate nostril breathing (nadi sodhana), breath awareness and mudras. The researchers measured the hand-grip strength of the students before and after the program. At the end of the 10-day program, students who practices left, right and alternate nostril breathing showed a significant increase in hand-grip strength in both hands. There was no change in the students who practiced breath awareness and mudras. "Pranayama increases grip strength without lateralization," by P. Raghuraj; R. Nagarathna; H.R. Nagendra; S. Telles S of the Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, in the Indian J. Physiological Pharmacology, April 1997. Abstract

Yoga no better than psychotherapy as aid to methadone programs...

Hatha yoga proved no better than, but just as good as, traditional psychotherapy in helping patients in a methadone program, according to a study by Harvard Medical School researchers. Many treatment programs are experimenting with alternative therapies in hopes of finding ways to improve the effectiveness of treatment programs. In the Harvard study, a group of patients were put into either a group hatha yoga program or psychotherapy. At the end of six months, the two groups scored about the same on a variety of physical and psychological tests. In their study, the researchers noted that both yoga and psychotherapy contributed to a program that helped significantly reduce drug use and criminal activity by the patients. "Comparing Hatha yoga with dynamic group psychotherapy for enhancing methadone maintenance treatment: a randomized clinical trial," by Shaffer HJ; LaSalvia TA; Stein JP, of Division on Addictions, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA, in Altern Ther Health Med, 1997 Jul, 3:4, 57-66. Abstract

 

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