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Thirteen male patients attending JIPMER staff clinic for essential hypertension volunteered to be subjects for this study. All the patients were having uncomplicated essential hypertension for 3 to 17 (6.84 ± 1.39 SEM) years and were under treatment with Atenolol. Their age was 41 to 60 (50 ± 1.84 SEM) years, height 160 to 170 (163.84 ± 1.01 SEM) cm and weight 62 to 76 (71.07 ± 1.13 SEM) kg. After explaining purpose and design of the study, informed consent was obtained from them. They were taught yogasans and pranayams and practiced the same under our direct supervision daily for one hour, Monday through Saturday for a total duration of four weeks. The yogasans and pranayams taught were : 

Asans : naukasan, vipareetakarani, matsyasan, shashasan, shavasan with kayakriya 

Pranayams : pranava, chandra anuloma and savitri pranayams. 

Basal recordings were taken in sitting posture after 10 min of rest in a chair. Systolic pressure (SP), diastolic pressure (DP), mean pressure (MP) and HR were recorded by non-invasive semi-automatic blood pressure monitor (Press-Mate 8800, Colin Corporation, Japan). Pulse pressure (PP = SP-DP) and RPP (RPP=HR × SP × 10-2) were calculated. HR and BP response to isometric handgrip was determined by asking the subject to sustain the handgrip for 2-3 min using partially inflated sphygmomanometer cuff so as to maintain the mercury column at a level corresponding to 1/3 of maximum voluntary contraction pressure (19). In our pilot study we found that our hypertensive patients could maintain the handgrip for 2-3 min as compared to 3-4 min in normal young subjects. Hence in the present study the duration of isometric handgrip exercise was kept at 2-3 min.

HR and BP were recorded before the yoga training and at weekly intervals during the four week training period. The response to IHG test was measured before and at the end of four week study period. Results were expressed as mean ± SEM. Data were analyzed by repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by Turkey- Kramer multiple comparison test. Students paired ‘t’ test was used to compare the parameters after the handgrip exercise and resting values and also for percentage (delta) changes before and after yoga training. For all comparisons, P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.

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