Comparison of changes in autonomic and respiratory parameters of girls after yoga and games at a community home

Percept Mot Skills. 1997 Feb;84(1):251-7. doi: 10.2466/pms.1997.84.1.251.


The heart rate, breathing rate, and skin resistance were recorded for 20 community home girls (Home group) and for 20 age-matched girls from a regular school (School group). The former group had a significantly higher rate of breathing and a more irregular breath pattern known to correlate with high fear and anxiety, than the School group. Skin resistance was significantly lower in the School group, which may suggest greater arousal, 28 girls of the Home group formed 14 pairs, matched for age and duration of stay in the home. Subjects of a pair were randomly assigned to either yoga or games groups. For the former emphasis was on relaxation and awareness, whereas for the latter increasing physical activity was emphasized. At the end of an hour daily for six months both groups showed a significant decrease in the resting heart rate relative to initial values (Wilcoxon paired-sample rest), and the yoga group showed a significant decrease in breath rate, which appeared more regular but no significant increase in the skin resistance. These results suggest that a yoga program which includes relaxation, awareness, and graded physical activity is a useful addition to the routine of community home children.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / therapy*
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / therapy*
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response / physiology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • India
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Residential Treatment
  • Respiration / physiology*
  • Yoga*