Background: Numerous scientific studies have reported beneficial physiological changes after short- and long-term yoga training. Suryanamaskar (SN) is an integral part of modern yoga training and may be performed either in a slow or rapid manner. As there are few studies on SN, we conducted this study to determine the differential effect of 6 months training in the fast and slow versions.
Materials and methods: 42 school children in the age group of 12-16 years were randomly divided into two groups of 21 each. Group I and Group II received 6 months training in performance of slow suryanamaskar (SSN) and fast suryanamaskar (FSN), respectively.
Results: Training in SSN produced a significant decrease in diastolic pressure. In contrast, training in FSN produced a significant increase in systolic pressure. Although there was a highly significant increase in isometric hand grip (IHG) strength and hand grip endurance (HGE) in both the groups, the increase in HGE in FSN group was significantly more than in SSN group. Pulmonary function tests showed improvements in both the groups though intergroup comparison showed no significance difference. Maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximum expiratory pressure increased significantly in both the groups with increase of MIP in FSN group being more significant than in SSN.
Conclusion: The present study reports that SN has positive physiological benefits as evidenced by improvement of pulmonary function, respiratory pressures, hand grip strength and endurance, and resting cardiovascular parameters. It also demonstrates the differences between SN training when performed in a slow and fast manner, concluding that the effects of FSN are similar to physical aerobic exercises, whereas the effects of SSN are similar to those of yoga training.
Keywords: Physical aerobic exercise; suryanamaskar; yoga training.