Immediate effects of right and left nostril breathing on verbal and spatial scores.

Author: Joshi M, Telles S.
Affiliation: Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore 560 019.
Conference/Journal: Indian J Physiol Pharmacol.
Date published: 2008 Apr-Jun
Other: Volume ID: 52 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 197-200 , Word Count: 106

The immediate effect of two yoga breathing techniques was assessed on verbal and spatial memory tasks, considered hemisphere-specific. Forty-five participants (24 males; age range 20 to 45 years (mean age 27.1 +/- 8.1 years) were randomly allocated to three groups (n = 15 each) and were assessed immediately before and after 45 minutes of three breathing practices i.e., right nostril yoga breathing, left nostril yoga breathing, or breath awareness as a control intervention. Spatial memory scores increased after left nostril yoga breathing compared to before (by 16 percent, P = 0.03, paired t-test). Hence, breathing through the left nostril increased performance in a spatial cognitive task, corresponding to the cerebral hemisphere contralateral to the patent nostril.