Stig-Endre Tryggestad Elvevoll

The practical usage of breathing control programs and the recorded effects for youngsters in  the Norwegian school system

Several research studies suggest that voluntary controlled breathing, also known as ‘Pranayama’ in yoga terminology, has various positive implications on human health, such as positive effects on pulmonary functions and diseases [1, 2, 3, 4]; improvement of cognitive capabilities [5]; and constructive effects in stress, anxiety and depression related treatments [6]. The knowledge in itself is valuable, however, the majority of the value is realized when the theory is put into practice and contributes to improved life situations.

KraftCentralen – a supplier of M.E.G.* competences to young adults – has utilized well established breathing techniques when providing pupils in upper secondary education and in non-degree granting college breathing control programs. The individual and interpersonal results of the programs have been carefully recoded mainly by qualitative interviews, and the results imply that breathing control enhances the students’ ability to master stress and is a useful method to handle a compound and copious life and school situation.

Our suggestion is that the breathing control programs – in combination with other relevant methods and tools for performance enhancement – can contribute to reducing dropouts in upper secondary education in Norway, a highly relevant topic in the current national political school debate.

* M.E.G. stands for Mestring, Endring and Gjennomføring (Mastering, Change and Achievement)

1. Malhotra V et al. Study of yoga asanas in assessment of pulmonary function in NIDDM patients. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2002;46(3):313–20.
2. Chodzinski J. The effect of rhythmic breathing on blood pressure in hypertensive adults. J Undergrad Res 2000;1(6).
3. Singh S et al. Role of yoga in modifying certain cardiovascular functions in type 2 diabetic patients. J Assoc Physician India 2004;52:203–6.
4. Harinath K et al. Effects of Hatha yoga and Omkar meditation on cardiorespiratory performance, psychologic profile, and melatonin secretion. J Altern Complement Med 2004;10(2):261–8.
5. Uma K et al. The integrated approach of yoga: a therapeutic tool for mentally retarded children: a one-year controlled study. J Ment Defic Res 1989;33(5):415–21.
6. Brown R, Gerbarg P. Sudarshan Kriya Yogic breathing in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression: part II–clinical applications and guidelines. J Altern Complement Med 2005;11(4):711–7.