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Yogha, Pranayam and Oxygen: Conception & Facts

oxygen,carbon dioxide,breathing

To understand the Yogah in present scientific scenario is very essential to prove the therapeutic effect of Yogah in the light of modern scientific clinical trials. The common conception about the breathing techniques is that we inhale the pure oxygen and exhale the pure carbon dioxide whereas oxygen is both essential and harmful to life. The maximum research publication regarding the effect of yogah discussed more about the effect of oxygen by inhaling only. To give the start to our research it is essential here to discuss some facts about the air and oxygen. The fact is that maximum number of diseases in the human system is due to the following molecules of oxygen itself.

The oxygen species produced in cells include.

1. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hypochlorous acid (HClO)
2. Hydroxyl radical (•OH)
3. Superoxide anion (O2−)

In the composition of earth atmosphere air at sea level (dry air) is % Nitrogen- 78.08, Oxygen-20.95 Argon- 0.93, Carbon dioxide-0.03, Neon-0.0018, Helium-0.0005, Krypton- 0.0001,Xenon-0.00001.

The composition of air which we inhale is roughly 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.96% argon and 0.04% carbon dioxide, helium, water, and other gases. (% by volume). The composition of air which we exhale is roughly 78% nitrogen, 15% to 18% oxygen, 4% to 5% carbon dioxide and 0.96% argon (% by volume).

Additionally vapors and trace gases are present: 5% water vapor, several parts per million (ppm) of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, 1 part per million (ppm) of ammonia and less than 1 ppm of acetone, methanol, ethanol and other volatile organic compounds.

The fact is that not all of the oxygen breathed in is replaced by carbon dioxide; around 15% to 18% of what we breathe out is still oxygen. The exact amount of exhaled oxygen and carbon dioxide varies according to the fitness, energy expenditure and diet of that particular person. Also our reliance on this relatively small amount of oxygen can cause over activity or euphoria in pure or oxygen rich environments.

Breathing in, or inhaling, is usually an active movement, with the contraction of the diaphragm muscles needed. At rest, breathing out, or exhaling, is normally a passive process powered by the elastic recoil of the chest, similar to a deflating balloon. The following organs are used in respiration: mouth, nose, gullet, windpipe, lungs, and diaphragm. Breathing is only part of the process of delivering oxygen to where it is needed in the body. The process of gas exchange occurs in the alveoli by passive diffusion of gases between the alveolar gas and the blood passing by in the lung capillaries. Once in the blood the heart powers the flow of dissolved gases around the body in the circulation. As well as carbon dioxide, breathing also results in loss of water from the body. Exhaled air has a relative humidity of 100% because of water diffusing across the moist surface of breathing passages and alveoli.

Breathing is one of the few bodily functions which, within limits, can be controlled both consciously and unconsciously. In the state of conscious breathing can be controlled in commonly in many forms of meditation, whereas in the state of Unconscious, breathing is controlled by specialized centers in the brainstem, which automatically regulate the rate and depth of breathing depending on the body’s needs at any time. When carbon dioxide levels increase in the blood, it reacts with the water in blood, producing carbonic acid. Excess expression of Lactic acid is produced by anaerobic exercise which also lowers down the blood pH. The drop in the blood's pH( detectable limit is 0.1 ) stimulates chemoreceptors in the carotid and aortic bodies in the blood system to send nerve impulses to the respiration centre in the medulla oblongata and pons in the CNS.
These, in turn send nerve impulses through the phrenic and thoracic nerves to the diaphragm and the intercostals muscles, increasing the rate of breathing. The system adopted by the human system for controlling the levels of O2 is called oxygen buffering and for controlling the levels of CO2 and excitation of reparatory centers.

Oxygen is both essential and harmful to life. In the process of biological oxidation 4% to 5% of the oxygen consumed in cellular respiration is not reduced to water .The phenomenon with involves in cellular respiration which produces the energy to the system is in a two way i.e. either by glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation. (1) We proved the fact that energy substrate availability could play an important role in this phenomenon. It is true that oxygen is the most critical nutrient of life, and it is also the source of reactive oxygen species (ROS).One of the most common known internal damaged caused by reactive oxygen species is oxidative stress. The human system will begin to disorganize and die after several minutes without oxygen. This automatic control of respiration can be impaired by drugs or disease.

During physical exercise, the level of carbon dioxide in the blood increases due to increased cellular respiration by the muscles, which activates carotid and aortic bodies and the respiration center, which ultimately cause a higher rate of respiration.

During rest, the level of carbon dioxide is lower, so breathing rate is lower. This ensures an appropriate amount of oxygen is delivered to the muscles and other organs. It is important to reiterate that it is the buildup of carbon dioxide making the blood acidic that elicits the desperation for a breath much more than lack of oxygen.Interaction Free radicals are also produced inside (and also released towards the cytosol) organelles, such as the mitochondrion. Mitochondria convert energy for the cell into a usable form, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

The process in which ATP is produced, called oxidative phosphorylation, involves the transport of protons (hydrogen ions) across the inner mitochondrial membrane by means of the electron transport chain. In the electron transport chain, electrons are passed through a series of proteins via oxidation-reduction reactions, with each acceptor protein along the chain having a greater reduction potential than the last. The last destination for an electron along this chain is an oxygen molecule. Normally the oxygen is reduced to produce water; however, in about 1-2% of all cases, the oxygen is instead reduced to give the superoxide radical, •O2-. Superoxide needs an additional electron to make it more stable, so it steals an electron from the nearest source, such as: mitochondrial DNA, the mitochondrial membrane (called lipid peroxidation), or from protein, or from reductants such as Vitamins C or E, or, from non enzymatic antioxidants such as glutathione or thioredoxin. If too much damage is caused to its mitochondria, a cell undergoes apoptosis or programmed cell death. Hyperventilating causes a drop in CO2 below normal levels, lowering blood acidity to trick the brain into thinking it has more oxygen than is actually present. Hyperventilating can cause your blood oxygen levels to go to dangerous.Recently, large numbers of Americans are practicing yogah for its proposed health benefits.

Some health professionals are referring their patients to yogaha teachers for help in managing a variety of stress-related ailments. Yogaha is regarded as a holistic approach to health that not only increases flexibility, strength, and stamina but also fosters self-awareness, emotional stability, and peace of mind. Yogaha has become a household word in the West. Millions of men and women read books about yogaha, attend classes or seminars, and do the physical exercises for which yogaha is famous. Many have tried meditation or some other form of yogaha on a regular basis. Clearly, yogaha is alive in Western society today. We have achieved the hypoxic conditions (1.5% O2, 93.5% N2, and 5% CO2 or 0.3% O2, 94.7% N2, and 5% CO2) humidified variable aerobic workstation for our experiments. Patanjali Yogah Peeth has undertaken this challenge to reveals the mystery of mode of action of Yogah on various diseases along with the effect on various system of body.

1.Ramey CA, Ramey DN, Hayward JS. Dive response of children in relation to cold-water near drowning. J Appl Physiol 2001;62(2):665-8.Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002).Adapted from Victoria E. McMillan (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001).
2.Parkes M (2006). "Breath-holding and its breakpoint.". Exp Physiol 91 (1): 1-15.
Published: 2008-04-05
Author: Arvind Kumar

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Arvind kumar

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