Due to transition in the journal platform, the previously submitted articles, which are under process can be re-submitted here for quick process, kindly co-operate


Volume: 44 Issue: 1

  • Open Access
  • Original Article

Systemic and ocular pressure changes following sympathetic activation in yoga practitioners - A comparative study

Sudha B. Sreenivas1, Vinitha K. R.1,5, Ramya C. M.1, Arun Gopi2, Sreenivas M. R.3, Jishamol K. R.


1Dept. of Physiology, 2Statistician, JSS Medical College, Affiliated to JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, Karnataka, India 

3Eye Care Clinic, Dhanvanthri Road, Mysuru, Karnataka, India 

4Government Nature Cure and Yoga Medical College and Hospital, Mysuru, Karnataka, India 

5Dept. of Physiology, Oxford Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India 


 Corresponding author: Vinitha K.R. Email: [email protected] 

Year: 2024, Page: 146-150, Doi: https://doi.org/10.51248/.v44i1.3440

Received: Sept. 6, 2023 Accepted: May 7, 2024 Published: Nov. 10, 2023



Introduction and Aim: Blood Pressure (BP), Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and Ocular Perfusion Pressure (OPP) are precursor parameters that lead to development of glaucoma. Under conditions of stress, either physical or psychological origin, there is disturbance of autonomic regulation. This causes increased activation of the sympathetic nervous system which might influence BP and ocular pressures. An altered autonomic balance towards lower sympathetic drive is observed in subjects practicing yoga, but it is not clear whether this adaptation also influences ocular pressures. Our study attempted to analyze variations in BP, IOP and OPP following sympathetic activation in yogic practitioners and non-practitioners of yoga. 

Materials and Methods: One hundred and ten subjects aged 18 - 25 years were recruited and categorised into yoga and non-yoga group. Basal BP was recorded using a sphygmomanometer and IOP was recorded using a rebound tonometer. Isometric hand grip (IHG) and Cold pressor test (CPT) were administered one at a time. IOP and BP were recorded immediately following these sympathetic activation tests. Mean arterial pressure and OPP was calculated using standard formula. 

Results: Significant increase in the values of pulse, BP, IOP and OPP following sympathetic activation were observed in the non-yoga group which was not noted in the yoga group. Elevation in systemic and ocular pressures following sympathetic activation was less in yoga practitioners. This adrenergic response was greater in the non-yoga group. 

Conclusion: Regular yoga practice maintains adequate perfusion of ocular tissues by autoregulation. Hence yoga can be recommended as a complementary health approach for the autonomic nervous system imbalance. 

Keywords: Blood pressure; intraocular pressure; ocular perfusion pressure; isometric hand grip; cold pressor test.



  1. Cherecheanu, A.P., Garhofer, G., Schmidl, D., Werkmeister, R., Sthmetterer, L. Ocular perfusion pressure and ocular blood flow in glaucoma. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2013;13(1):36-42. 
  2. Kingman, S. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness globally. Bull World Health Organ 2004;82:887-888. 
  3. Chung, H.J., Hwang, H.B., Lee, N.Y. The association between primary open-angle glaucoma and blood pressure: Two aspects of hypertension and hypotension. Biomed Res Int. 2015; 827516. 
  4. Zygmunt, A., Stanczyk, J. Methods of evaluation of autonomic nervous system function. Arch Med Sci. 2010;6(1):11-18. 
  5. Jyotsana, R.B., Archana, D.M., Mrunal, S.P., Rajay, N.B. Autonomic functions in raja-yoga meditators. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015; 59(4):396-401. 
  6. Chou, W.Y., Liu, C.J., Chen, M.J., Chiou, S.H., Chen, W.T., Ko, Y.C. Effect of cold provocation on vessel density in eyes with primary open angle glaucoma: An optical coherence tomography angiography study. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):9384. 
  7. Maheswari, M., Ann, G.T. Effect of yoga on the autonomic nervous system: Clinical implications in the management of atrial fibrillation. J Yoga Physio 2017; 2(5):9-25. 
  8. Mirabai, A., Sutnga, T., Sarada, N.A Study on the effect of yoga on sympathetic nervous system .IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences (IOSR-JDMS). 2017;16(5):13-16. 
  9. Robert, N.W., James, D.B., David, G.H., Felipe, M. Intraocular pressure consensus, series 4. Kugler publications; Netherlands: 2007. 
  10. Mathapathi, R.S., Patil, S.S. Association of refractive errors with intraocular pressure and its relationship with age and gender. Indian J Clin Anat Physiol. 2016;3(4):419-422. 
  11. Lanwan, L.P., Clark, C.V., Hill, D.W. Intraocular pressure responses to systemic autonomic stimulation. Eye. 1989;3:477-483. 
  12. Rajak, C., Rampalliwar, S., Mahour, J. A study of combined effect of yoga (yogic exercises, pranayama & meditation) on hyper-reactivity to cold pressor test in healthy individuals. Natl J Physiol Pharm Pharmacol. 2012;2:140-145. 
  13. Bakke, E.F., Hisdal, J., Semb, S.O. Intraocular pressure increases in parallel with systemic blood pressure during isometric exercise. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009;50(2): 760-764. 
  14. Castejon, H., Chiquet, C., Savy, O., Baguet, J.P., Khayi, H., Tamisier, R., et al., Effect of acute increase in blood pressure on intraocular pressure in pigs and humans. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010; 51:1599- 1605. 
  15. Chen, W., Chen, Z., Xiang, Y., Deng, C., Zhang, H., Wang, J. Simultaneous influence of sympathetic autonomic stress on Schlemm’s canal, intraocular pressure and ocular circulation. Sci Rep 9, 2019; 20060. https://doi.org/10.1038/ s41598- 019-56562-0 
  16. Schmidl, D., Garhofer, G., Schmettere, L. The complex interaction between ocular perfusion pressure and ocular blood flow. Relevance for glaucoma. Exp Eye Res. 2011;93:141-155. 

Cite this article


Sudha B. Sreenivas, Vinitha K. R, Ramya C. M, Arun Gopi, Sreenivas M. R, Jishamol K. R. Systemic and ocular pressure changes following sympathetic activation in yoga practitioners - A comparative study. Biomedicine: 2024; 44(1): 146-150