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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 205-214
Heartfulness meditation alters electroencephalogram oscillations: An electroencephalogram study


1 Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Welfare Harvesters, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Biomedical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Singh Deepeshwar
Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.ijoy_138_22

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Background: Heartfulness meditation (HM) has been shown to have positive impacts on cognition and well-being, which makes it important to look into the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the phenomenon. Aim: A cross-sectional study was conducted on HM meditators and nonmeditators to assess frontal electrical activities of the brain and self-reported anxiety and mindfulness. Settings and Design: The present study employed a cross-sectional design. Methods: Sixty-one participants were recruited, 28 heartfulness meditators (average age male: 31.54 ± 4.2 years and female: 30.04 ± 7.1 years) and 33 nonmeditators (average age male: 25 ± 8.5 years and female: 23.45 ± 6.5 years). An electroencephalogram (EEG) was employed to assess brain activity during baseline (5 min), meditation (10 min), transmission (10 min) and post (5 min). Self-reported mindfulness and anxiety were also collected in the present study. The EEG power spectral density (PSD) and coherence were processed using MATLAB. The statistical analysis was performed using an independent sample t-test for trait mindfulness and anxiety, repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) for state mindfulness and anxiety, and Two-way multivariate ANOVA for EEG spectral frequency and coherence. Results: The results showed higher state and trait mindfulness, P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively, and lower state and trait anxiety, P < 0.05 and P < 0.05, respectively. The PSD outcomes showed higher theta (P < 0.001) and alpha (P < 0.01); lower beta (P < 0.001) and delta (P < 0.05) power in HM meditators compared to nonmeditators. Similarly, higher coherence was found in the theta (P < 0.01), alpha (P < 0.05), and beta (P < 0.01) bands in HM meditators. Conclusions: These findings suggest that HM practice may result in wakeful relaxation and internalized attention that can influence cognition and behavior.


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