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admin | starting exercise program | 20.01.2015
Astonishing results achieved after 10 minutes – EEG measurements of the balance between the brain halves before and after Nadi ShodanaBy psychologist mag. EEG and brain wavesIn the brain a continual rhythmic electrical activity is taking place, the so-called brain waves.
The two brain halvesThe left brain half is verbal, analytical and logical in its functioning, while the right is musical, emotional and spatially perceptive. MethodTwo groups, of 12 subjects each, had their EEG measured before and after Nadi Shodana. Group A consisted of teachers and students of the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School in Copenhagen with many years experience of Nadi Shodana. ResultWith all subjects in the experienced group, changes occur towards an optimal balance (fig.
Discussion and conclusionFor several of the advanced participators, apart from more alpha waves, there was also an increase of the amount of beta waves after Nadi Shodana.
The central figures on the pictures (see arrows) show the alpha activity before and after Nadi Shodana. The Main Menu you can access by clicking on the icon “3 lines”, at the top right of the screen. The Submenu of each menu item under the main menu will be visible when you click on the icon “3 dots and lines”, at the top left of the screen. One of the most important skills on the golf course or in the course of life surrounds our ability to detach from negative emotion by releasing its energy and letting it go.
Alpha brainwave entrainment music, courtesy of Music for Candles, was later added for your listening effectiveness and pleasure.
In the living brain, millions of nerve cells communicate with each other by emitting tiny electrical impulses. Brainwaves and states of consciousness The meditative state builds a bridge between the conscious and unconscious. Purpose of the StudyWe wanted to study the effects of Kriya Yoga on the brains activity (EEG). ResultsYoga teachers from the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School - all with many years experience of Kriya Yoga - participated in the research. Better contact with emotions and the subconsciousThe considerable increase in alpha and theta activity in most regions of the brain after meditation (fig.
After two hours of practising Kriya Yoga, both the alpha and theta activity has risen considerably. These brain maps are made on the basis of approximately 60 seconds recording of the brain waves from eight EEG channels during rest. As shown in fig.5, a brain map is made up of seven oval pictures, which with various colours indicate the distribution in the brain of a specific EEG parameter. Comparing Kriya Yoga with other statesFour examples of brain maps which show an increasing degree of contact with the subconscious.
Apart from this, practice of Alpha Meditation even for 15 minutes everyday improves memory and sharpens the mind.
Research has shown that this brainwave meditation accelerates the learning of meditation, as well as enabling people who find it very difficult to learn meditation the traditional way, to not just learn but to master it at a high level.
Elmer and Alyce Green of the Meninger Foundation pioneered the first neurofeedback studies, inspired by Japanese research on Zen monks, reported in Zoren Psychologia.
They used healthy subjects and taught one group (with neurofeedback) to mimic the Zen monks (who during meditation were able to systematically increase alpha {8-12hz} that reduced in frequency until it sank into theta {4-8hz}) while a control group just tried to relax. They discovered that the theta group often reported memories of long forgotten childhood events, which weren’t ‘remembered’ but ‘relived,’ had life altering insights that lead to profound changes in their life and increased their psychological health, becoming more poised, more accepting of self and others, less rigid and conforming and more creative. What surprised the Greens the most, was that they didn’t get sick anymore, while the control group had no change in their physical health. Working independently on theta brainwave meditation research, neurofeedback researcher and clinician Thomas Budzynski, found that theta states made subjects ‘hyper-suggestable’ (as if in a hypnotic trance) to suggestions for positive changes to their behaviour and attitudes and they were able to learn languages and other information much faster. His research indicates neurofeedback is closer to Zen than Yoga, as Zen integrates the inner and outer worlds in mediation practice with eyes slightly open.
Alpha theta neurofeedback is not only a form of mindfulness training as you focus on the feedback tone as well as breathing, which substantially accelerates mindfulness skill development and it’s benefits but as the brain is literally watching itself we can say it is brainfulness training.
Dr Julian Isaacs PhD, researcher and neurofeedback clinician points out the phenomenology of mysticism is accessed in altered states created by alpha theta brainwave meditation. Professor John Gruzelier head of the Cognitive Neuroscience and Behaviour Laboratory at Imperial Collage London and president of the Society for Applied Neuroscience conducted research with high achieving students at the prestigious Royal College of Music London in 2002. He compared alpha theta neurofeedback to Alexander technique (postural and body awareness training used extensively in the performing arts) and cognitive skills training (positive thinking similar to NLP).
The three groups of musicians had performances videoed and rated by a panel of independant expert judges who didn’t know what group they belonged to, before and after 4 weeks of training.
Hardt provided alpha neurofeedback training to two teams of US Army Green Berets being trained for classified missions. Yet Hardt’s program produce many positive benefits to the soldiers making them calmer, clearer more connected to their feelings reducing aggressiveness and defensiveness.
Another telling feature of Hardt’s program was that the soldiers were sent on a one month meditation retreat, which Hardt found caused the action oriented soldiers stress rather than enhancing them. This demonstrates the power of alpha neurofeedback as the ultimate brainwave mediation tool. Taking measurements from electrodes, which are placed on the scalp, is called electroencephalography (EEG).There are four types of brain waves. The left brain hemisphere thinks in words and concepts, and the right thinks in pictures, feelings and perceptions. It is performed in the following manner: One inhales through the left nostril (while closing the right), the breath is held (closing both nostrils), thereafter exhaling through the right nostril (closing the left).


This might seem paradoxical, as such an activation of the brain normally involves a decrease in the amount of alpha waves. In the inexperienced group the values after Nadi Shodana showed greater variance, which entails that this result is not statistically significant (even though their average for the temporal area is the same as the optimal value).
If you compare these you see that after Nadi Shodana the amount of alpha waves in the right brain half has increased (more red), and that the balance between the brain halves has improved.(For more information about brainmaps see Bindu no. This is the brain rhythm in the normal wakeful state associated with thinking, problem solving and active attention directed towards the outer world.
Mental tensions, excitement and anxiety can increase both amplitude and frequency of the beta rhythms.
In scientific literature there are often reports of an increase in alpha and theta waves during and after various forms of meditation.
EEG measurements were taken immediately before and after two hours of Kriya Yoga from eight electrodes, four over the left side of the brain and four over the right, placed on the scalp with the aid of elastic bands. 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 schizophrenic paranoiacs (Hoffmann,1982).
Four electrodes are placed on the left side, four on the right side (and a reference electrode on the top of the head) (see fig.
These pictures depict the brain as seen from above, where the small tip is the position of the nose.
Repressed - Extremely low alpha and theta indicates emotional blocking and poor contact with the subconscious. Normal - Moderate alpha together with some theta shows a good balance between conscious and unconscious activity with some degree of contact with the subconscious. Kriya Yoga - High theta activity during Kriya Yoga meditation shows activation of the unconscious at the same time as the very high alpha reflects a strong concentrated conscious awareness.
Once we understand this and learn to use the power within us, we can create wonderful changes in our life. The electrical impulses emitted continuously by the brain keep changing in frequency depending on the activity involved in. All those in the neurofeedback group improved, some by 50 percent, in stylistic accuracy and interpretative imagination (creativity). Average improvements were equivalent to two academic grades within the conservatory assessment system. In the field it is used extensively to remediate depression and anxiety problems also for emotional control for athletes to improve the consistency of their performance. These guys represent the archetypal alpha males who would be the least likely to do any form of mediation training. An even more amazing fact is when the equipment was provided for ongoing training at their base, two thirds chose to do it during their free time instead of sport!
If you can train commandos to not only do it but to gain benefit and to like it and want to do it in their free time that speaks volumes!
Alpha EEG responses of low and high anxiety males to respiration and relaxation training and to auditory feedback of occipital alpha.
EEG Biofeedback Method and System for Training Voluntary Control of Human EEG Activity, United States Patent #4,928,704, May 29, (1990). Erik HoffmannGreater clarity and calm, but also more energy and inspiration, is what people often say they achieve by using Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing).
In a normal brain, a spontaneous shift in balance occurs between left and right, depending on what one is doing.
Then one inhales through the right nostril, the breath is held, and exhales through the left nostril.
We avoided left-handed people, who can have a different balance between the brain hemispheres.All subjects performed five rounds of Nadi Shodana as described previously. This could be interpreted as that you become more active and at the same time remain calm and clear in the head.We found a similar “paradox” during a previous study where we measured EEG during the deep relaxation Yoga Nidra.
This activity can be registered as oscillations (popularly called brain waves) by placing electrodes on the scalp, amplifying the signals and displaying them on a computer monitor. Most people have some alpha activity in their EEG, especially when they close their eyes, turn the attention inwards and relax. In adults, theta waves normally appear only during dreaming or drowsiness, as well as during strong emotions.
These slow rhythms are associated with basic survival functions deeply seated in the brain. The ancient Tantric Kriya Yoga is a powerful method for awakening and expanding consciousness, as well as for strengthening the vital and psychic energy. The amplified EEG signals were transmitted to a computer, displayed on a screen and simultaneously stored on a hard disk. It also shows that through the meditation the subjects have obtained a better contact with their subconscious and their emotions.The great increase of alpha in the right temporal lobe is an interesting finding. Most interesting are the five pictures to the right, which show the distribution of delta, theta, alpha, beta-1 and beta-2 waves. Low to medium alpha shows that there is little or no conscious experience of what is happening in the subconscious. While functioning at this level, apart from the usual left brain activity, our right brain also gets activated. They are mostly to be found when the person has closed eyes, is mentally relaxed, but still awake and able to experience. When one is reading, writing and speaking, the left half will be more active than the right. This constitutes one round.For a detailed description of the various steps of Nadi Shodana, see the book Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life by Swami Janakananda.


Normally when the amount of theta waves increases, the alpha waves decrease and you fall asleep. So all persons in this group approached the best possible relation between the brain halves.
Theta waves are formed deep in the brain and reflect unconscious activity associated with emotions and dreams.
During psychotherapy, where patients relive their own birth, the appearance of delta waves has been observed. We therefore anticipated that the EEG measurements before and after a single Kriya Yoga session would show significant changes.
Subsequently the EEG data were analysed for distribution of delta, theta, alpha and beta rhythms in the EEG.Following the meditation, a significant rise of alpha and theta rhythms in the brain was observed in ten out of eleven subjects. Recent research in the US has shown that depressed, introvert people have more alpha in the left fronto-temporal region, while optimistic, extrovert people have more alpha in the right side. A brain map is constructed on the basis of a frequency analyser which shows the distribution in the brain of delta, theta, alpha and beta waves. The individual pictures show, in accordance with the tall vertical colour scale, the brain waves of the mean amplitude beneath each of the eight electrodes. When the eyes are opened, or the person is distracted in some other way, the alpha waves are weakened, and there is an increase of the faster beta waves (13-40 oscillations per sec.), that is the brain is activated. On the other hand, when one is listening to music or is engaged in visual spatial perception, then the right half is most active.It is important for the creative activity of the individual to have a “correct” balance and communication between the brain halves.
The EEG measurement was taken from four electrodes on the left and four on the right side, placed on the head with the aid of an elastic band (see fig. These changes are statistically significant and cannot be due to coincidences.Even though most of the changes in the inexperienced group are in the direction towards balance they are not, however, statistically significant.
During Yoga Nidra, however, the theta waves increased, but the decrease of alpha waves was minimal. After Nadi Shodana everybody in the advanced group came very close to the average value, which means it is statistically significant.
The brain oscillates at different rates (frequency) depending on the state of consciousness, just as the height of the waves (amplitude) can vary.There is a direct correlation between a persons activity or level of attention and his brain wave frequency (see fig. Both when one comes close to unconscious memories during deep meditation and close to repressed feelings in therapy the theta activity tends to increase.In order to have conscious access to and remembrance of the unconscious content, alpha waves must be present in the EEG. 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.Several scientific studies have demonstrated that theta rhythms in the EEG (mixed with alpha) correlate with the appearance of previously unconscious feelings, images and memories. Thus, the dark blue colour indicates a very small amplitude, while the red and white colours indicate maximum amplitude. This level connects us with our subconscious and helps us to access the amazing powers lying dormant there. The amount of alpha waves therefore shows to what degree the brain is in a state of relaxed awareness. Without alpha the unconscious content remains unconscious.The presence of a certain amount of theta combined with alpha in the EEG recorded during rest may signify personal insight and creativity. 4 and 5) during the distinct changes in consciousness that occur in connection with Kriya Yoga.
The increase of these rhythms was greatest in the rear part of the brain (parietal regions), where both alpha and theta rhythms rose by an average of 40% (see fig. The two oval pictures to the left on the brain map display respectively the distribution of the mean alpha frequency and distribution of the total amplitude regardless of frequency (0,5 -36 Hz). Present research, however, measures the difference before and after Kriya Yoga meditation (see fig. The signals from the electrodes were relayed through an amplifier to a computer, where the eight channels of EEG was displayed on screen.
Delta rhythms combined with alpha can reflect an inner intuitive, empathetic radar, a kind of sixth sense. Alpha waves, on the other hand, show that the brain is in a more open and creative state, with a better contact with the emotions and the subconscious.Scientific studies have shown that the amount of alpha waves increases during meditation, and there is a lot to suggest that people who meditate have more alpha waves than normal. There was a general tendency for these rhythms to spread from the rear part of the brain forwards. Periods of about 60 seconds EEG recording, one before and one following Nadi Shodana, were analysed for the temporal and post-temporal lobes, which are considered the most important sites to measure this balance. The measurements then, however, were not done in connection to any meditation practice, but during ordinary rest, before and after the course. In the half conscious state, between wakefulness and sleep, theta waves are often dominant, and during the wakeful, mentally relaxed state with closed eyes, alpha waves dominate in most people.
In ten of the eleven right handed people, the alpha increased more in the right than in the left side of the temporal regions (fig. Finally, the high frequency beta waves with small amplitude appear during conscious wakeful activity. Thus the EEG measurements can verify whether a person is conscious (alpha and beta waves) or unconscious (delta and theta waves). All the above mentioned results are statistically significant and therefore cannot be ascribed to coincidence.



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