A Comparative study of three different Yoga modules on Attention and Concentration in normal children
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the
MASTER'S DEGREE IN YOGIC SCIENCES (M. Sc)
BY Dr. BHAGABAN BHUYAN GUIDES Dr. NAGARATHNA, Dr. H R NAGENDRA
(Vivekananda Yoga Mahavidya Piöham)
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana
(A deemed University, Recognised by UGC, Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India)
19, Eknath Bhavan , Gavipuram Circle , K. G. Nagar,
Bangalore - 560019, India
Abstract :The present study was aimed to assess attention and concentration ability in children following intensive practice of integrated approach of yoga and to compare the effects of three different modules of yoga on attention and concentration through cancellation tests. Normal healthy-English-medium school children [n=338, 9-12 years (10.0± 0.83)] were randomly assigned into three groups, sånöi [= Creativity Development(CR) Sthiti [= IQ Development (IQ); Laya [= Physical stamina Development (PS). They were taught three different yoga modules including yoga postures, breathing exercises, kriya (cleansing technique), meditation, games and lecture by trained instructors. Cancellation (Digit, Letter and Character) tests were administrated to children in all three groups on first and ninth day of the residential program. As data were normally distributed, the analysis was done using parametric, paired t-test. Comparison of pre and post values showed that there was significant improvement (p< 0.001) in digit cancellation test for all the three groups. [IQ group (31.11%); CRG group (25.69%) and PS group (24.35 %)] as well in character cancellation [IQ group (43.82%); CR group (34.81%) and PS group (32.45 %)]. Between the three groups analysis was done through one way ANOVA and multiple comparison Turkey test, which showed that the group which practiced the yoga modules for CR showed significantly more improvement compared to PS group in digit cancellation test. But there was no significant difference between IQ and CR groups. Males and females of each group (IQ, PS and CR) did not show significant difference.
Results suggest that (i) all the three integrated yoga modules improve attention and concentration (ii) the module designed for CR group was best and (iii) there was no gender effect.
These results may be due to (i) reduction of anxiety and there by improvements in performance (ii) the emphasis given to improve the brain functioning in CR & IQ groups and (iii) the probable non difference between boys & girls in this age range.
Summary & Conclusion :The data of all three groups were found to be non skewed and hence parametric test (Paired t-test) was chosen for analysis. Analysis of base line values of three groups was done with one way ANOVA, which showed data to be well matched. The pre-post analysis was also done using paired t-test. The results showed significant increase in cancellation scoring (digit and character except letter cancellation) in all the three groups (IQ, CR and PS). Pre-Post comparison within the groups were done non-parametric test (Wilcoxon signed rank test). Which also gives same result as parametric test (Paired t-test). In results section only parametric calculations are given.
The task of cancellation requires sustained visual attention, scanning without distraction and better concentration (13). A previous study was done on 108 school children, who performed better in spatial memory task and averaged 84%, following yoga breathing with nostril manipulation with no changes in verbal memory scores (3). It is known that reduced anxiety can improve the performance on tasks requiring attention, learning and memory (18). The anxiety-reducing effects of yoga practice, which are already known (19) could have facilitated in improving attention. Biofeedback induced relaxation training on sixteen learning disabled children showed significantly fewer numbers of errors in the attention task and significantly lower impulsive score compared to control group (5). Self-instruction and relaxation training showed significant change in attentive behavior of learning disabled children on a cognitive task (9). Drawing evidence from these previous findings, it may be tentatively concluded that significant improvement in cancellation score (digit and character scoring) could be attributed to the relaxation effect of yoga. In all three-cancellation tests, there was no significant difference in letter cancellation test, it could be due to the fact that letter cancellation is more complex than digit and character cancellation (20).
The group comparison done with Turkey test for multiple comparisons showed that the group, which practiced the yoga modules for CR, was significantly better than PS group in digit cancellation performance. The yoga module emphasizing technique to improve the brain functioning has normally shown better effect that yoga module which emphasized in physical stamina. The CR group showing greater improvement is probably indicated of greater connections to digit cancellation with right brain functioning.
A similar study was done which studied the visual attention ability through cancellation test before and after 30 minutes of different yoga breathing practices (SAV, CAV, NDS and breath awareness) on adults. This study indicated an over all improvement in visual attention (12).
Male versus female showed significant difference in letter cancellation test. It suggests, there was gender effect in letter cancellation in age range of 9-12 years.