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Research: yoga & the lungs

Yoga practice improves pulmonary function in healthy individuals. Following yoga training in this study, there was statistically significant increases in:

  • vital capacity
  • tidal volume
  • expiratory reserve volume
  • breath holding time
  • endurance & peak expiratory flow rate (Birkel 2000)

Birkel D.A. et al. Hatha yoga: Improved vital capacity of college students. Alt Ther Health Med. 2000;6:55–63.

Karthik et al. Effect of Pranayama & Suryanamaskar on Pulmonary Functions in Medical Students. (2014), J of Clin & Diagnostic Research.


Cramer H et al. Yoga for asthma: a systematic review & meta-analysis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2014;112(6):503–510.e5.

Manocha R, et al. Sahaja yoga in the management of moderate to severe asthma: a RCT. Thorax. 2002;57(2):110–115.

Sabina A.B. et al. Yoga intervention for adults with mild-to-moderate asthma: a pilot study. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005;94(5):543–548.


Donesky-Cuenco D. et al. Yoga therapy decreases dyspnea-related distress & improves functional performance in people with COPD: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15(3):225–234.

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