Abstract :The present study was conducted to compare three different integrated yoga modules on Associative memory in 241 school children of both genders aged between 13-17 years were randomly allocated to three groups after stratifying for age /sex. The groups are 1(CV group) Creativity group (n=81), 2 (IQ group) Intelligent quotient group (n=81) & (PS group) Physical stamina group (n=79). All the groups prescribed specific yoga modules for 10 days. Associative memory was assessed by using Wechsler's memory scale test. The assessments were taken day 1&day 9th. The percentage of improvement in the three groups are as (CV -12.2%, IQ-11.4%, P.S- 11.3%). The result showed significant improvement found in all groups with using paired sample 't' test. No significant difference found between the groups in ANOVA test.
Summary & Conclusion :The present study shows that there is significant improvement in associative memory as assessed by Wechsler memory scale after 10 days IAYM. All the three groups were matched in the baseline data. For pre-post comparison paired t-test and for between group comparison ANOVA test was selected. The male and female does not show any difference in the baseline data. The comparison of pre-post data in each group shows significant improvement. Although there is no statistically significant difference between the groups
Earlier studies in the Vivekananda yoga research foundation(4) in two groups of 38 children each (age mean 13.8±1.3 yrs) in a residential setting with IAYM s intervention for 10days had shown significant improvement in yoga group in visual verbal memory (16% ,p<0.01), auditory scores(19%, p<0.001), audio visual memory scores (5%, p<0.01) as compared to non yoga control group who showed significant deterioration as (17%, 26%, 21% and 7% correspondingly).
Later in the efficacy of uni-nostril breathing on hemisphere function (5) using standard tests for spatial and verbal memory specific to right and left hemisphere functions were undertaken in the same setting of PDC camps. 108 normal children (mean age 13 years) were allotted to 4 groups of 27 each practicing left nostril breathing (CAV) , Right nostril breathing (SAV), Alternate nostril breathing (NS) and Breath awareness (BAW). Assessments of both spatial and verbal memory tests had ten test items. Result showed significant improvement in spatial and verbal memory for all 4 groups.
Based on these observations the same researchers went on to repeat the same kind of study with a random allocation of 108 children to 4 groups with an addition of a non-yoga control group. This was published in an indexed journal (2). Thus Naveen et al in 1997 which clearly established that yoga practices have much greater impact on spatial memory (84%) than verbal memory (25%) without laterised effect of specific uni-nostril breathing practices. It was opined that these effects could be explained by the anxiety reducing effect of yoga.
Further attempts were made to study the effect of yoga on all aspects of memory (8). This was undertaken by using the assessments on Wechsler Memory Scale test (WMS) in a similar residential setting of PDC during summer holidays. There were a total of 118 children (from 3 batches) in age group 11-14 years. After the 10 days residential camp WMS were assessed on 6 facets which showed significant improvement. Maximum improvement of 136% was observed on recollecting details of a story. This process of remembering visual imagery which occurs as a subconscious aid to committing novel unrelated items to memory. This improves both verbal comprehension and processing (a left brain task) as well as visual imagery (right brain task). Hence the author concluded that yoga enhances function of both right and left brain to a comparable degree, where right brain function is showing better improvement.
Yoga texts and experts describe various benefits of yoga practices on different facet of personality. All the previous studies have used a common program of IAYM with changes only in the uninstall breathing pranayamas. Hence more specific modules based on scriptural knowledge for improving left brain functions- intelligence quotient, right brain functions -creativity and physical stamina were evolved and effect on the WMS was assessed in the present randomized design . Result confirms the generalized effect of the integrated yoga modules taught in the residential summer holiday PDC set up. 11 to 12 % increase in associative learning (the 7th facet of WMS) is demonstrated in this study. Earlier study had shown 0 to 58% change in associative learning in 3 different batches of IAYM in the same age group where as the present study has a uniform result of 11 to 12% change.
In addition this results are in tune with earlier observations(2,3) where in the improvement in left brain memory (be it verbal memory or facet 5 and7 of WMS ) was in the range of 8 to 25% as compared to right brain memory which was in the range of 80-100% . Thus we could expect that the module designed for facilitative left brain memory would have shown significantly greater degree of improvement on this management. The absence of every significant difference between the groups seems to be due to the overwhelming holistic effect of the whole program on to overall stability, harmony and anxiety reducing effect of yoga.