The Effects of Yogic Breathing
Yogic Breathing Affects Cerebrospinal Fluid Dynamics During Breathing Practice
Practicing yogic breathing may have an effect on an individual’s cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics—the movement, flow, and circulation of the CSF—and on the health of the central nervous system, according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
CSF is a type of fluid compartment around the brain and spinal cord that serves as a cushion for these organs. CSF distributes nutrients and hormones, and along with interstitial fluid (ISF, the fluid found in the spaces around cells), helps the central nervous system to remove metabolic waste from its environment.
Like most fluids in our body, the CSF also moves. In fact, the study of CSF dynamics has become a recent focus in the field of neuropathology. Understanding how the CSF moves and exchanges with ISF is of high importance for Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the nervous system. CSF movement is driven primarily by pressure changes, usually from the pulsations of the heart and sometimes respiration.
Findings from this study suggest that respiration can potentially be the primary driver of CSF dynamics, depending on the form of breathing an individual is practicing. The researchers noted that the next step is to see how long-term yogic breathing training could affect the CSF dynamics, and therefore, central nervous system health.