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IMPROVEMENT IN VISUAL PERCEPTION FOLLOWING YOGA TRAINING 
Visual discrimination was tested in two groups of 18 College students each, with ages ranging from 17 to 22 years. One group (the ‘yoga' group) had 10 days training in yoga. Including asanas (physical postures), pranayama (voluntary regulation of breathing), tratakas (visual focusing exercises), meditation, and lectures on the theory of yoga. The control group carried on with their routine activities. The ability to detect intermittent light of fixed luminance, at varying frequencies was tested in both groups at the beginning and end of 10 days. While Initial values were similar for both groups. at the end of 10 days the frequency at which the yoga group was able to detect the flickering of the stimulus, was significantly more than the initial values (Wilcoxon's paired signed ranks test), whereas the control group showed no significant change. The final value of the yoga group was also significantly more than that of the control group (t test for unpaired data).  Read More...


IMPROVEMENT IN VISUAL PERCEPTUAL SENSITIVITY IN CHILDREN FOLLOWING YOGA TRAINING
 
A sample of 14 children with ages ranging from 12 to 17 years (6 females) who received 10 days of yoga training and another 14 age and sex matched controls who did not receive yoga training were assessed on Day 1 and Day 10 for visual perceptual sensitivity through Critical Flicker Fusion Frequency (CFF) and degree of illusion. Yoga group practised yogasanas, pranayama, kriyas, meditation and bhajans along with specially designed games to improve memory and attention. The control group carried on with their routine Activity. Following 10 days of yoga training, yoga group showed a significant increase in CFF (9.2%) and decrease in degree of illusion (24.89% for in trails and 31.05% for out trails), while the control group showed no change. Thus the present study suggests that younger subjects can show better improvement in performance in a relatively short duration as compared to previous reports.  Read More...


A COMBINATION OF FOCUSING AND DEFOCUSING THROUGH YOGA REDUCES OPTICAL ILLUSION MORE THAN FOCUSING ALONE
Abstract: The degree of optical illusion was assessed using standard Muller- Lyer lines in two groups (yoga and control) of thirty subjects each. All subjects were between eighteen and forty two years of age. The difference between the reading at which the lines were actually equal and the reading at which the subject felt them to be equal, was noted as the degree of illusion (“di”). Each subject was assessed at the beginning and end of a month. During the month the yoga group received training in yoga, while the control group carried on with their usual routine. At the end of the month the yoga group showed a significant (two factor ANOVA, Tukey test, P <.001) decrease in the “di’ (86%), whereas the control group showed no change. The improvement following yoga could he attributed to the combination of focusing and defocusing involved in yoga practice, as these factors are known to influence the ‘di’. Previous results which mentioned a 79% decrease in “di” with focusing alone, provided a comparison.  Read More...


PROGRESSIVE INCREASE IN CRITICAL FLICKER FUSION FREQUENCY FOLLOWING YOGA TRAINING
Abstract: The critical flicker fusion frequency (CFF) is the frequency at which a flickering stimulus is perceived to be steady, with higher values suggesting greater perceptual accuracy. The CFF was measured in two age-matched groups of healthy male volunteers whose ages ranged from 25 to 39 years, with 18 subjects in each group. After baseline assessments one group (yoga group) received yoga training, while the other group (control group) carried on with their routine activities. Yoga practices included asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, meditation, devotional sessions and lectures on the theory of yoga. After 10 days neither group showed a change in CFF. However, at 20 and at 30 days the yoga group showed significant increases in CFF by 11.1% and 14.9%, respectively (two factor ANOVA, Tukey multiple comparison test). The control group showed no change at the day 20 and day 30 followup. Read More...


PHYSIOLOGICAL CHANGES IN SPORTS TEACHERS FOLLOWING 3 MONTHS OF TRAINING IN YOGA
Three months of training in the ancient Indian science of Yoga, which included different asanas (physical postures) and Pranayamas (voluntary regulation of the breathing) has following effects in normal, hea1thy subjects, viz a significant reduction in heart rate, BP and an increase in mean skin temperature, and alpha index of EEG, reduction in blood glucose, plasma cholesterol, dopamine B hydroxylase and monoamine oxidase, and increased levels of urinary 17-keto steroids. These changes were interpreted as a shift in autonomic equilibrium towards parasympathetic dominance. The present study was conducted to assess whether yogic training of the same duration (3 months) would cause physiological changes in 40 male physical education teachers whose ages were between 25 and 48 years (34.7 + 5.9), and who had already been actively engaged in diverse physical activities for 8.9 + 5.8 years.  Read More...


IMPROVEMENT IN STATIC MOTOR PERFORMANCE FOLLOWING YOGIC TRAINING OF SCHOOL CHILDREN
Summary - Two groups of 45 children each, whose ages ranged from 9 to 13 years, were assessed on a steadiness test, at the beginning and again at the end of a 10-day period during which one group received training in yoga, while the other group not. The steadiness test required insertion of and holding for 15 see. a metal stylus without touching the sides of holes of decreasing sizes in a metal plate. The contacts were counted as errors during the 10-day period, one group (the 'Yoga' group) received training in special physical postures (asanas), voluntary regulation of breaching (Pranayama), maintenance of silence, as well as visual focussing exercises (tratakas) and games to improve the attention span and memory. The other group (control) carried out their usual routine. After 10 days, the 'yoga' group showed a significant (Wilcoxon's paired signed-ranks test) decrease in errors, whereas the 'Control' group showed no change. Read More...


PRANAYAMA INCREASES GRIP STRENGTH WITHOUT LATERALIZED EFFECTS
Abstract: The present study was conducted to determine whether breathing through a particular nostril has a lateralized effect on hand grip strength. 130 right hand dominant, school children between 11 and 18 yrs of age were randomly assigned to 5 groups. Each group had a specific yoga practice in addition to the regular program for a 10 day yoga camp. The practices were: (1) right, (2) left, (3) alternate- nostril breathing (4), breath awareness and (5) practice of mudras. Hand grip strength of both hands was assessed initially and at the end of 10 days for all 5 groups. The right, left- and alternate- nostril breathing groups had a significant increase in grip strength of both hands, ranging from 4.1% to 6.5%, at the end of the camp though without any lateralization effect. The breath awareness and mudra groups showed no change. Hence the present results suggest that yoga breathing through a particular nostril, or through alternate nostrils increases hand grip strength of both hands without lateralization.  Read More...


PLASTICITY OF MOTOR CONTROL SYSTEMS DEMONSTRATED BY YOGA TRAINING
Abstract: The static motor performance was tested in two groups with 20 subjects in each (age range 17 to 22 years, and 5 females in each group). Tests were carried out at the beginning and end of a 10 day period. The test required being able to insert and hold a metal stylus within holes of varying sizes for 15 sec. Accidental contacts between the stylus and the sides of the holes, were registered on a counter as errors. During the 10 days one group (the yoga group) practised asanas (physical postures), pranayama (voluntary regulation of breathing), meditation, devotional sessions, and tratakas (visual focussing exercises). The control group followed their usual routine. At the end of 10 days the yoga group showed a significant reduction in number of errors (Wilcoxon paired signed ranks test), while the control group did not change. Our earlier study showed a similar improvement in children (9 - 13 years). It was interesting to note the same degree of plasticity in motor control systems in young adults. The implications for rehabilitation programmes have been discussed.  Read More...


FACTORS INFLUENCING CHANGES IN TWEEZER DEXTERITY SCORES FOLLOWING YOGA TRAINING
Abstract: Yoga has already been shown to improve perceptual-motor skills, but the factors which influence its effects are not well defined. This study correlates age, gender, and motivation to learn yoga with the performance in a dexterity task following yoga. Tweezer dexterity was recorded in eighty subjects belonging to four groups. Two groups were given a month of yoga training. One group consisted of subjects who had volunteered to join for the training and the other group was deputed for the training as part of their job. The two remaining groups did not receive yoga training and were selected to match the respective groups receiving yoga, for age and sex, but not for their motivation to learn yoga. The test involved using a tweezer to place metal pins in evenly spaced holes in a metal plate within four minutes. Following yoga the scores of the volunteers who learnt yoga increased significantly, whereas there was no change in scores of deputed subjects and non-yoga groups. For reasons described in detail, factors such as age and gender did not appear to contribute to the difference in performance. Hence motivation to learn yoga appeared to influence the magnitude of increase.  Read More...


YOGA TRAINING AND MOTOR SPEED BASED ON A FINGER TAPPING TASK
Abstract: A finger tapping task was used to assess motor speed (MS) of both hands in 53 adults and, 152 children before and after yoga training and in 38 adults of a non-yoga (control) group. All subjects were right hand dominant. The 30 second tapping speed (TS) test was considered as three time intervals, i.e. 0-10 second (TSI), 10-20 seconds (TS2) and 20- 30 seconds (TS3). There was a significant (Student's t-test) increase in all three TS values following 10 days of yoga in children and 30 days of yoga in adults. However for both groups at baseline and final assessments, TS2 and TS3 were significantly lower than TS1. Hence the TS was increased after yoga training during the first 10 seconds of the test but not during the next 20 seconds. These results suggest an increase in motor speed for repetitive finger movements following yoga training, but not in strength or endurance, as the increase was not sustained over 30 sec.  Read More...


EFFECT OF YOGA TRAINING ON MAZE LEARNING
Abstract: The performance in a maze learning task was assessed in adults of either sex (n=31) before and after 30 days of yoga training and in an age and gender matched control group of subjects who did not receive training in yoga. Subjects were blind folded and used the dominant hand to trace the path in a wooden pencil maze. At each assessment, subjects were given 5 trials, without a gap between them. Performance was based on the time taken to complete the maze and the number of blind alleys taken. The time and error scores of Trial 1 were significantly less after yoga (two-factor ANOVA, Tukey test). Repeating trials significantly decreased time scores at Trial 5 versus Trial 1, for both groups on Day 1 and for the control group on Day 30. Hence the yoga group showed improved performance in maze tracing at retest 30 days later, which may be related to this group being faster learners and also the effect of yoga itself. Yoga training did not influence maze learning, based on the performance in 5 repeat trials.  Read More...


IMPROVED PERFORMANCE IN THE TOWER OF LONDON TEST FOLLOWING YOGA
Abstract: Twenty girls between 10 and 13 years of age, studying at a residential school were randomly assigned to two groups. One group practiced yoga for one hour fifteen minutes per day, 7 days a week, while the other group was given physical training for the same time. Time for planning and for execution and the number of moves required to complete the Tower of London task were assessed for both groups at the beginning and end of a month. These three assessments were separately tested in increasingly complex tasks requiring 2-moves, 4-moves and 5-moves. The pre-post data were compared using the Wilcoxon paired signed ranks test. The yoga group showed a significant reduction in planning time for both 2-moves and 4-moves tasks (53.9 and 59.1 percent respectively), execution time in both 4-moves and 5-moves tasks (63.7 and 60.3 percent respectively), and in the number of moves in the 4-moves tasks (20.9 percent). The physical training group showed no change. Hence yoga training for a month reduced the planning and execution time in simple (2-moves) as well as complex tasks (4,5-moves) and facilitated reaching the target with a smaller number of moves in a complex task (4-moves).  Read More...


YOGA BREATHING THROUGH A PARTICULAR NOSTRIL INCREASES SPATIAL MEMORY SCORES WITHOUT LATERALIZED EFFECTS1
Summary-
Uninostril breathing facilitates the performance on spatial and verbal cognitive tasks, said to be right and left brain functions, respectively. Since hemispheric memory functions are also known to be lateralized, the present study assessed the effects of uninostril breathing on the performance in verbal and spiritual memory tests. School children (N= 108 whose ages ranged from 10 to 17 years) were randomly assigned to four groups. Each group practised a specific yoga breathing technique: (i) right nostril breathing, (ii) left nostril breathing, (iii) alternate nostril breathing, or (iv) breath awareness without manipulation of nostrils. These techniques were practised for 10 days. Verbal and spatial memory was assessed initially and after 10 days. An age-matched control group of 27 were similarly assessed. All 4 trained groups showed a significant increase in spatial test scores at retest, but the control group showed no change. Average increase in spatial memory scores for the trained groups was 84%. It appears yoga breathing increases spatial rather than verbal scores, without a lateralized effect.  Read More...

 
                               All Research Papers are published online courtesy www.vyasa.org
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