Tag Archives: benefits of yoga

BIOL 349 Physiology Research Project at WWU

9 Sep


In my Human Physiology course at Western Washington University, we were asked to conduct a research study on a topic of our choice.   My Physiology Lab partners and I studied the impact of Pranayama and Viparita Karani on mean arterial pressure (MAP is a measure of blood pressure) in college-age women.  Above you can see our poster and below a figure from our paper.


Figure 3. Average percent change in mean arterial pressure (MAP) for the treatment and control groups during three time intervals: Posture/Breathing shows the difference between Stages 1 and 2, Recovery is between Stages 2 and 3, and Overall shows the difference between Stages 1 and 3. Error bars show standard error (Tierney et al 2015).

While we did not find a statistically signifiant difference in MAP resulting form the posture; however, we did find that a simple, 5-minute Pranayama practice reduces MAP.  I invite you to have a look at our paper and also take five minutes to practice breathing to the recording I prepared for the study.

Here is a link to the paper.

Here is a link to the breathing recording.

On a side note, our group’s project won Best Poster in our class.
Great work, ladies!



Meditation Motivation

1 Aug

Stroke_Of_InsightThis Ted talk by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist who speaks eloquently of her experience having and recovering from a stroke, is always so compelling, inspiring and empowering. What a beautiful reminder of our interconnectedness with all of the universe, and how we are empowered to practice accessing the place within that is always at peace.

Her book is just as great at the talk. You can find it now at the Center’s Lending Library!

“I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be.”

~Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD


My teacher often cites an ancient adage that I think sums up this topic beautifully: “Where attention goes, energy flows.”  We have a choice: we can focus on the pain and suffering in the world, worrying and feeling into the sense of lack and fear, or we can direct our focus on cultivating an inner space of love and peace, which will radiate out and create more of these qualities in the world around us.

We are familiar with methods that get us out of the left hemisphere, like yogasana, concentration, breathing, meditation.  How do we continue to reside in that place of inner peace once we leave the yoga mat or the meditation cushion?