International Journal of Yoga
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-36
Exploration of lower frequency EEG dynamics and cortical alpha asymmetry in long-term rajyoga meditators

1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Science, DRDO, New Delhi, India
2 Division of Bioscience and Engineering, Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Delhi University, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sushil Chandra
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Science, DRDO, Lucknow Road, New Delhi - 110 054
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_11_17

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Background: Rajyoga meditation is taught by Prajapita Brahmakumaris World Spiritual University (Brahmakumaris) and has been followed by more than one million followers across the globe. However, rare studies were conducted on physiological aspects of rajyoga meditation using electroencephalography (EEG). Band power and cortical asymmetry were not studied with Rajyoga meditators. Aims: This study aims to investigate the effect of regular meditation practice on EEG brain dynamics in low-frequency bands of long-term Rajyoga meditators. Settings and Design: Subjects were matched for age in both groups. Lower frequency EEG bands were analyzed in resting and during meditation. Materials and Methods: Twenty-one male long-term meditators (LTMs) and same number of controls were selected to participate in study as par inclusion criteria. Semi high-density EEG was recorded before and during meditation in LTM group and resting in control group. The main outcome of the study was spectral power of alpha and theta bands and cortical (hemispherical) asymmetry calculated using band power. Statistical Analysis: One-way ANOVA was performed to find the significant difference between EEG spectral properties of groups. Pearson's Chi-square test was used to find difference among demographics data. Results: Results reveal high-band power in alpha and theta spectra in meditators. Cortical asymmetry calculated through EEG power was also found to be high in frontal as well as parietal channels. However, no correlation was seen between the experience of meditation (years, hours) practice and EEG indices. Conclusion: Overall findings indicate contribution of smaller frequencies (alpha and theta) while maintaining meditative experience. This suggests a positive impact of meditation on frontal and parietal areas of brain, involved in the processes of regulation of selective and sustained attention as well as provide evidence about their involvement in emotion and cognitive processing.

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