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Date Posted: 16:08
Author: Waqidi - 15 Aug 2001
Subject: The Science of Kriya Revisited

From Bindu No. 12 of the Scandinavian Yoga and Medititation School - Copyright 1998 - resident teacher -Swami Janakananda

"Mapping the brains activity after Kriya Yoga" by Erik Hoffmann, Ph.D.


Purpose of the Study

We wanted to study the effects of kriya Yoga on the brains activity (RRG). in the scientific literature there are often reports of an increase in alpha and theta waves during and after various forms of meditation. The ancient Tantric Kriya Yoga is a powerful method for awakening and expanding consiousness. as well as for strengthening the vital and psychic energy. We therefore anticipated that the EEG measurements before and after a single Kriya session would show significant changes. Furthermore we wanted to chart the brains acitivity on coloured brain maps ... during the distinct changes that occur in coneection with Kriya Yoga.


Eleven yoga teachers from the Scandinavian Yoga and Medidiation School - all with many years experience of Kriya Yoga - participated in the research. EEG measurements were taken immediately before and after two hours of Kriiya Yoga from eight electrodes. four over the left side of the brain and four over the right, with the aid of elastic bands. The amplified EEG signals were transmitted to a computer, displayed on a screen and simultaneously stored on a hard disk. Subsequently the EEG data were analysed for distribution of delta, theta, alpha and beta rythms in the EEG.

Following the meditation, a significant rise in alpha and theta rythms in the brain was observed in ten out of eleven subjects. For some, the alpha waves almost doubled. The increase of these rhythms was greatest in the rear part of the brain (parietal regions), where both alpha and theta ryhtms rosa by an average of 40%. There was a general tendency to spread from the rear part of the brain forwards.


The considerable increase in alpha and theta activity in most regions of the brain after meditation indicates that the brain is deeply relaxed and focussed following Kriya Yoga. It also shows that though meditation the subjects have obtained a better contact with their subconscious an their emotions. The great increase in the right tempora lobe is an interesting finding. Recent research in the US has shown that depressed, introvert people have more alpha in the left frono-temporal region, while optimisitc, extrovert people have more alpha in the right side. According to the American research. an increase of alpha in the right side, as found in this study of Kriya Yoga, counteracts stress and depression.

Seeral scientific studies have demonstrated that theta rythms in the EEG (mixed with alpha) correlate with the appearance of previously unconscious feelins, images and memories. Brain researchers claim that a person in the high alpha/theta state is able to sonfront and integrate unconscious processes.

This knowledge from modern research supports the experience that yogies have had from Kriya Yoga... that the meditative state, characterised by high alpha/theta activity, can bring about a release or "cleansing" of unconscious material in a person. This study demonstrates that Kriya Yoga is an extremely effective technique for raising the alpha/theta activity in the EEG and therefore it also strengthens the associated positive effects.

[From a side bar in the article showing the "change in the temporal right/left (R/L) alpha ratio after two hours Kriya Yoga. The average ratio goes from 0.99 to 1.12 for those in the study]

With mentally healthy human beings. an ideal R/L ratio is 1.05-1.10- a little higher (culturally determined?) activity in the left compared to the right side.

During deep relaxation, though human beings come nearer to a balance of 1.0 between the brain halves.

On the other hand, with neurotic and psychiatric patients, a R/L ratio far below 1.00 is found. The greater the mental disturbance, the lower the ratio: People suffering from anxiety neurosis. for instance, show values from 0.93 to extremely low values from 0.50 to 0.60 where you find the schizophrenic paranoics (Hoffmann, 1982)

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