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Breathing for Brains: Yoga's Cognitive Transformation in College Students

Subhi Jain, Neelam Balekar, Neelam Balekar


This study investigates the potential cognitive-enhancing effects of meditation and pranayama practices in young adults aged 18–25. A randomized controlled trial was conducted, with one group undergoing a two-month, meditation and pranayama intervention, while the other served as a control with no intervention. Various physiological parameters were assessed, including blood pressure, pulse rate, lung capacity, and oxygen levels. The intervention group practiced mindfulness, Om meditation, focus meditation, body scan meditation, and pranayama techniques. Significant improvements in cardiovascular health indicators were observed in the intervention group, including reduced blood pressure, lower pulse rates, and increased oxygen levels. The intervention group also exhibited extended breath-hold durations and deeper breath cycles. These findings suggest that integrating meditation and pranayama into daily routines may offer a non-pharmacological approach to cognitive enhancement. Clinicians could consider recommending these practices to individuals seeking cognitive improvements. Future research could explore long-term effects and variations in practice frequency, intensity, and duration, potentially benefiting different age groups and cognitive disorders.

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