Effects of Pranayama on mental and physical health Parameters in University-level Sportspersons

Background: Sports-training in Indian universities is mostly aimed at performance-enhancement while physical and mental health aspects are often overlooked in such a setup. Even sports psychology is mostly aimed at performance enhancement.

Objective of the study: To see if Pranayama can be developed as an economical intervention to improve physical and mental health parameters among university level sportspersons in Indian setup.

Methods: One hundred eight adult volunteers of university-level sportspersons of both gender were included the study. Their age ranged between 17 to 28 years. The selected subjects were divided into two groups, experimental- and control- with fifty-four (54) subjects in each group. The Anuloma-viloma Pranayama & Bhastrika Pranayama training period for experimental groups was of twelve weeks. Muscular Endurance, Flexibility, Pulse rate, Respiratory rate, Lung Capacity, Weight, Height, Mental Health were taken as physical health parameters. The mental health was tested with the Mental Health Inventory Questionnaire. Control groups did not undergo Pranayama.

Results: The experimental group showed significant improvement in most of the physical and mental health parameters after twelve weeks of Pranayama practice on regular basis. The control group showed no significant improvement in these variables.

Conclusion: Anuloma-Viloma and Bhastrika Pranayama appear to be economical, less time-consuming and easily learnable interventions that could be used as a planned intervention to improve physical and mental health parameters among the sportspersons of university-level.

Key Words: Breathing Techniques, Yoga, Students, Sportspersons, Indian Universities.

Authors Name:  Abhishek Anand, Dr. R.N. Singh & Prof. H.H. Awasthi

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