Co-author: Neha Nasar.
A hand in gyan mudra pose, one of many hand actions utilized in KK yoga
Supply: Photograph by Nataliya Vaitkevich/Pexels
We’re all on the lookout for methods to de-stress nowadays. A examine accomplished by one in all my college students (Neha Nasar) for her senior honors thesis examined a easy and really efficient methodology of lowering stress and bettering cognitive operate.
That methodology is a system of yoga and meditation referred to as Kirtan Kriya yoga or KK yoga. KK yoga includes a sequence of “mudras,” or hand actions and chanting. It’s simple to be taught and takes solely about 12 to fifteen minutes to finish.
What’s KK yoga?
KK yoga has been proven to enhance reminiscence, consideration, total cognitive operate, sleep, and immune system operate, along with lowering melancholy, stress, and ranges of the stress hormone cortisol in sufferers who’ve Alzheimer’s illness (Newberg et al., 2010; Khalsa, 2015).
The mudras and chanting that characterize KK yoga are thought to stimulate 84 acupressure factors, leading to elevated cerebral blood move to the prefrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex.
These mind areas are vitally essential in govt, cognitive, and emotion capabilities. As well as, decreased blood move to those mind areas are early indicators of Alzheimer’s illness, typically predating the analysis of the dysfunction. KK yoga has additionally been proven to efficiently enhance reminiscence in people experiencing gentle cognitive deficiencies and impaired reminiscence, in addition to these in high-stress environments (Khalsa, 2015).
Neha designed a longitudinal examine involving individuals that have been fairly not like these in most research of KK yoga effectiveness. In her examine, wholesome, non-cognitively impaired undergraduate college students volunteered to apply KK yoga as soon as every week for six weeks.
Firstly of the six weeks, and once more on the finish of the six weeks of yoga apply, individuals took half in a gaggle KK yoga session, studying and training the hand actions and chanting. Throughout these group classes, we used an internet visible model of the digit span reminiscence check (DSMT) to evaluate the results of the yoga on working reminiscence.
Within the DSMT, individuals are proven a random sequence of digits, one quantity at a time, and are requested to recall these digits first in the identical order (e.g., if the digit sequence was 1 5 7 8, the proper recall was 1 5 7 8) after which in reverse order (if the sequence was 1 5 7 8 the proper reverse recall was 8 7 5 1).
The lengths of the digit sequences elevated by one digit on every trial from 5 to 10 digits. The pace of presentation of the digits various from one quantity each ~1.3 seconds (gradual) to at least one quantity each ~0.7 seconds (quick).
Research have proven that the “ahead” recall trials assess working reminiscence and a spotlight and the “backward” recall trials measure cognitive management and govt functioning. The long-term results of KK apply have been measured by evaluating DSMT scores within the preliminary group apply with the ultimate group session six weeks later.
We additionally collected samples of saliva utilizing the SalivaBio Oral Swab (SOS) Methodology supplied by Salimetrics.com. These samples have been frozen after assortment and shipped to Salimetrics® for ELISA assay of cortisol. Cortisol swabs have been obtained simply earlier than KK yoga apply and once more quarter-hour after finishing the yoga. Comparisons of the short-term results of KK yoga on cortisol ranges have been obtained by evaluating the earlier than and after yoga samples. The long-term results of KK yoga have been measured by evaluating ranges at week one with ranges at week six.
Through the intervening six weeks of the examine, we requested individuals to participate in a single on-line KK yoga session per week. On the night previous to the yoga session, individuals accomplished a survey of their moods, score their ranges of stress, anxiousness, and melancholy.
General, KK yoga successfully decreased cortisol ranges, melancholy, anxiousness, and perceived stress. At each the start and the top of the six-week coaching interval, cortisol ranges have been considerably decrease quarter-hour after KK apply than these obtained earlier than yoga.
Ranges of cortisol after six weeks of yoga apply decreased, however the lower was not statistically vital, maybe as a result of the variety of stressors on our individuals additionally elevated towards the top of the examine as last exams approached.
KK yoga apply considerably decreased melancholy and a touch vital lower in self-reported stress over the six weeks. Lastly, the person situations (ahead and backward recall) on the DSMT have been differentially affected by KK yoga.
The individuals’ efficiency on the DSMT from the start to the top of the six weeks improved most within the quick ahead and quick backward situations, indicating that KK yoga influenced the individuals’ working reminiscence, consideration, and cognitive functioning.
So, an easy-to-learn, time-efficient mixture of yoga and meditation seems to have vital advantages in bettering temper and reminiscence in a inhabitants of wholesome, non-cognitively impaired college students. It could be a easy addition to the every day routines of busy college students, demonstrates huge psychological advantages, and will additionally function a therapeutic device to take care of stress.