Effect of Left, Right and Alternate Nostril Breathing on Verbal and Spatial Memory

J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 Feb;10(2):CC01-3. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/12361.7197. Epub 2016 Feb 1.


Introduction: Yoga has beneficial effects on memory. In females, left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for verbal memory and right hemisphere is responsible for the spatial memory, while the opposite is true for males.

Aim: Aim of the present was to study the effect of unilateral right nostril breathing, left nostril breathing and alternate nostril breathing on verbal and spatial memory scores.

Materials and methods: A total of 51 female subjects (age 18-25 years, mean±SD =21.71±3.11) were taken and divided into three groups (n=17). Each group was imparted one of the three different types of nostril breathing practices such as Right Nostril Breathing (RNB), Left Nostril Breathing (LNB) and Alternate Nostril Breathing (ANB) for 1 week for 45 minutes daily. Subjects were given the memory test, before and after 45 minutes of intervention for three consecutive days. Memory tests were performed by using Wechsler Adult Intelligent Scale.

Statistical analysis: Results were analysed by ANOVA with SPSS version 17.0.

Results: Results showed that there was increase in recall of digit span-forward, digit-span backward, associate learning and spatial memory scores with RNB, LNB and ANB, which were statistically highly significant(p<0.005).

Conclusion: Inclusion of nostril breathing in exercise regimen may be helpful in improving recall of memory.

Keywords: Nostril breathing exercise; Spatial memory scores; Verbal memory scores; Wechsler memory scale.