Effect of Left and Right Nostril Breathing - Pranayama for Children - A Study

Research on Effect of Nostril Manipulation on Brain Hemispheres

 -Devaki Belwalkar, Vinay Reddy and Akshaya Sekharan



Yoga Bharati supported its youth in conducting a research project to demonstrate whether uni-nostril breathing can be used to manipulate the performance of cognitive tests. In the summer of 2013, we conducted a Presidential Challenge Study with children. During January and February of 2013, we helped conduct a Suryanamaskara pilot study on general health. Building on that success, we decided to do a science project for the Synopsys Science Fair using yoga as a research tool.

Past research has shown that the left brain is connected to the right nostril and the right brain is connected to the left nostril. We want to test whether we can use conscious uni-nostril breathing to manipulate the performance of cognitive tests for the right and left hemisphere of the brain. The goal is to further demonstrate the relationship between breathing and cognitive functions such as creativity and analytical thinking skills in children and to find a way to improve these processes. We are doing this research under the guidance and support of Dr. Erik Peper of San Francisco State University, Dr. Naveen KV of SVYASA university, Bengaluru, India, and Ashwini Surpur, the Director of Yoga Therapy at Yoga Bharati.

Simplified procedure:

  • The children underwent a 14 day training for 20 minutes a day.
  • They learned how to do right and left nostril breathing.
  • There were four days of testing under the supervision of Dr. Erik Peper.
  • Cognitive tests were performed include the Corsi Block Tapping test and the California Verbal Learning Test. Both of the tests will be taken on a computer to measure spatial and verbal memory.