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Short-term yoga training expands breathing and lung capacity in young, healthy adults

SAN FRANCISCO Young and healthy Thais who participated in just 18 short yoga sessions showed significant improvements on six of seven measures of respiratory function, according to research from Khon Kaen University.

"This research suggests that short-term yoga exercise improves respiratory breathing capacity by increasing chest wall expansion and forced expiratory lung volumes," said lead researcher Raoyrin Chanavirut. "These findings may benefit people suffering from illnesses that affect breathing, including asthma." The researchers chose five Hatha Yoga positions designed to improve chest wall function, including the cat, tree and camel positions.

*Paper presentation: "Yoga exercise increases chest wall expansion and lung volumes in young healthy Thais," will be presented at the Experimental Biology 2006 conference, April 1-5. The presentation will take place 12:45 p.m.-3 p.m., Tuesday, April 4, Airway Mechanics and Mechanotransduction in the Lung, 767.1/board #C676, and is on view 7:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. in the Convention Center Exhibit Hall. Raoyrin Chanavirut, Kwuanjai Khaidjapho, Piyanat Jaree, and Panicha Pongnaratorn, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand did the research. The American Physiological Society sponsored the presentation.

Incorporates Hatha Yoga

Fifty eight healthy volunteers, all around 20 years old, participated in the six-week study. Half of the volunteers did five positions of Hatha Yoga during 20-minute sessions, three times a week. The control group did not do the exercise, but continued their usual lifestyle, and did not smoke or drink, Chanavirut said.

The researchers obtained base line lung expansion and lung volume measures on the 58 volunteers before the experiment began and took final measurements after the experiment ended. They used a tape measure to determine lung expansion capacity, measuring the


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Contact: Christine Guilfoy
cguilfoy@the-aps.org
301-634-7253
American Physiological Society
5-Apr-2006


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