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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 33-39

Yoga and brain wave coherence: A systematic review for brain function improvement


Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Anup De
Research Scholar, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/hm.hm_78_19

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Background: The recent hype in yoga practice is concomitant with the fact that it helps the practitioner to achieve radiant health and serene mind. The science of yoga has also become a powerful stream of knowledge. It has increased the number of scientific studies on different yogic interventions, but has also been performed to evaluate its effects on brain wave activity, particularly in neural oscillations. Objectives: In this systematic analysis, we reviewed studies investigating the effect of integrated yoga, meditation, and pranayama on brain wave activity that affects overall cognitive functions. Methods: Broad search strategy was practiced using several online databases: PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, Europe PMC, Scopus, and IndMED. Studies were included in integrated yoga, meditation, and pranayama with brain wave activity, and the entire relevant articles were critically analyzed according to the nature of this study. Results: Several studies examined yogic interventions for restoring brain functions, nerve diseases, and cognitive impairment and suggested that integrated yoga, meditation, and pranayama practices improve verbal skills, reaction time, hand–eye coordination, speed accuracy, and neural activity. Yogic intervention increases overall brain wave (delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma) activity, which increases overall cognitive functions with greater perceived cognition, working memory, attention, better switching ability, focusing ability, positive mind, and perception. It has also been reported that yogic intervention activates dormant areas of brain while downgrading memories not of interest and upgrading useful ones.Conclusions: There is emerging evidence from randomized controlled trials to support yoga practice, which significantly improves brain wave activity resulting in better cognitive functions.


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