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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 124-133

Effect of Prana vidya practices on intelligence quotient and performance quotient of adolescents: A randomized control trial


1 Department of Yoga Science, University of Patanjali, Haridwar, India
2 Department of Statistics, University of Allahabad, Prayagraj, India

Date of Submission08-Oct-2021
Date of Acceptance04-May-2022
Date of Web Publication10-Nov-2022

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Prem Prabhu
C/O Ram Gopal Maurya, House No. 13, Near Siddharth Paradise Panditwari, Dehradun - 248 006, Uttarakhand
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijoyppp.ijoyppp_22_21

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  Abstract 


Background: Intelligence is one of the most important aspects of one's consciousness. Various practices have been given in yogic texts to develop human consciousness in its entirety. The present study assesses whether Prana vidya practices (PVPs) are effective for the enhancement of intelligence in adolescents. Various studies have established that prana-related practices such as pranayama and pranic healing have played an important role in the prevention and treatment of various aspects of human health. Aim: To study the effect of PVPs on the intelligence quotient (IQ) and performance quotient (PQ) of adolescents. Materials and Methods: The present study was a randomized control trial, conducted to find the effect of 5-week Prana vidya intervention on IQ and PQ of adolescents where five different PVPs were given every day for 35 min. Thirty six adolescents aged between 11 and 16 years were selected for this study and assessed by Bhatia's Battery of Performance Tests of Intelligence before and after the intervention. Data Analysis: The data were analyzed for the variables IQ and PQ under the descriptive statistics, correlation, and the paired t-test. Results: The results show a significant increase (P < 0.01) in the IQ and PQ scores of the experimental group after the given intervention. The mean ± standard error values of IQ and PQ were found as be IQ (pre = 109.44 ± 3.46, post = 123.40 ± 2.43) and PQ (pre = 111.66 ± 3.48, post = 124.27 ± 2.53). The correlation coefficient was found to be significantly positive between pre- and post-tests of both IQ and PQ. Conclusions: The study findings suggest that PVPs increase IQ and PQ in adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescents, Agya chakra, intelligence quotient, performance quotient, Prana vidya, prana


How to cite this article:
Prabhu P, Gowda P, Chandra G. Effect of Prana vidya practices on intelligence quotient and performance quotient of adolescents: A randomized control trial. J Appl Conscious Stud 2022;10:124-33

How to cite this URL:
Prabhu P, Gowda P, Chandra G. Effect of Prana vidya practices on intelligence quotient and performance quotient of adolescents: A randomized control trial. J Appl Conscious Stud [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 8];10:124-33. Available from: http://www.jacsonline.in/text.asp?2022/10/2/124/360862




  Introduction Top


Although the development of consciousness is a continuous, gradual natural process, according to Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, human consciousness can be developed and transformed to its higher extent or into the divine consciousness by certain yogic practices. This ancient text describes 112 principle methods of transforming human consciousness (Singh, 1991). Maharshi Patanjali has described pranayama as a medium for the manifestation of wisdom (“tatah ksheeyate prakashavaranam;” Yogasutra 2.52) (Goyandaka, 2017a) and attaining concentration (dharana) of mind (“dharanasu cha yogyata manasah;” Yogasutra 2.53) (Goyandaka, 2017b). According to sage Gheranda, realization of self can be attained through meditation or dhyana (“dhyanat pratyakshamatmani;” Gheranda Samhita 1.11) (Kuvalayanand, 2018). Since dharana, dhyana, wisdom and self-realization mentioned above are the major dimensions of consciousness, which have always been emphasized to transcend by Yoga. Ultimately, all the yogic paths were designed to attain higher levels of consciousness (Feuerstein, 2011). Prana vidya or working on one's energy system, is one of the various yogic paths.

The Sanskrit word “prana” means “vital life energy,” which is the subtle existence of the physicality and significant for sustaining the life of living ones according to Upanishads. It is known by different names in different traditions, such as in Chinese medicine it's known as “Qi,” in Japan as “Ki,” and in Greek as “Pneuma” and around fourteen Indian spiritual traditions have spoken of prana (Manasa et al., 2020). The word “vidya” means knowledge, wisdom, science, etc., in Sanskrit (Vidya, 2021). Prana vidya entails a number of subtle practices that incorporate the use of specific pranayama, visualization, and body awareness (Saraswati, 2001). Prana vidya includes expansion, contraction, localization, and visualization of pranic consciousness (Saraswati, 1994). Due to the identical properties of the practices used in this study, such as expansion, contraction, and localization of the prana through visualization and pranic breathing, these practices are referred to as Prana vidya practices (PVPs).

In this study, a set of 5 different PVPs has been introduced, in which pranic energy is visualized and transmitted into the main energy centers or chakras (located between the navel and the head) in order to enhance their functioning. Chakras are the centers of controlling the flow of prana in all the physical, astral, and causal dimensions of human existence. In addition, chakras also act as an interchange or intermediary for energy transfer and conversion between two neighboring dimensions of a being (Motoyama, 2016a). Every chakra is responsible for the manifestation of specific qualities of consciousness (Saraswati, 2012). Besides, prana vidya itself creates the expansion of consciousness in terms of attaining mental clarity, developing greater awareness and the ability to cope with situations (Saraswati, 1994). Therefore, the group of PVPs proposed in this study is termed as Prana Vidya Practices for Consciousness Enrichment (PVPCE).

There are seven major chakras of human existence: Muladhara (root chakra), Swadhishthana (sacral chakra), Manipura (solar plexus or navel chakra), Anahata (heart chakra), Vishuddhi (throat chakra), Agya (third eye chakra), and Sahastrara (crown chakra), which ascend along the spine from the coccyx area to the crown of the head. Awakening or activating each of them with the right methods leads to the manifestation of various abilities and dimensions of consciousness (Motoyama, 2016b). Although the selected PVPs have the greatest effect on the agya chakra, these practices also stimulate and activate the other major chakras (from the manipur to the agya chakra), resulting in the manifestation of the associated aspects of consciousness. Therefore, the proposed name for this technique clearly conveys its significance and purpose.

The agya chakra (ājñā cakra) is the vortex of vital energy situated in the forehead and the brain region (Saraswati, 2006), where the pineal gland is situated (Kumar et al., 2018). This chakra is described as the “eye of knowledge,” and activation of this chakra enhances intelligence, concentration, and memory, while also strengthening and stabilizing the mind (Redmond, 2012). The dependent variables of this study are intelligence quotient (IQ) and performance quotient (PQ). IQ is expressed as the ratio of chronological age and mental age multiplied by 100 (Goddard, 2012). IQ is a total score derived from a set of standardized tests or subtests designed to assess human intelligence (Braaten and Norman, 2006), and PQ is the sum of the performance scores obtained from the battery of intelligence tests used in this study. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of 35 min of PVPs on IQ and PQ in adolescents over a 5-week period.

Prana vidya methods have long been used in various yogic traditions for spiritual upliftment, particularly to develop various mental abilities, under the guidance of spiritual masters or Gurus. The current case study was conducted in order to provide scientific validation of similar PVPs on intelligence.


  Materials and Methods Top


Participants and study area

A total of 36 participants aged between 11 and 16 years were chosen randomly from different government and private schools in Dehradun, Uttarakhand state, India. There were 14 boys and 22 girls among them. The sample size was calculated using G*Power, Germany (Erdfelder et al., 1996) on the basis of effect size derived from total attempts of the six-letter cancellation test. For the calculation purpose, the power of 0.90 and the Cohen's d of 0.28 (medium) were taken from the previous study (Telles et al., 2019). The following inclusion criteria were adopted for the selection of the participants: (i) Apparently healthy participants without any ongoing medical conditions and who did not have any of these: (a) The presence of any physical or mental disease (b) the past history of any chronic mental or neurological disease (ii) who willingly wanted to take part in this study.

The study was approved by the institution's ethical committee. The signed consent form was taken from the respective parents along with their oral approval for the participation.

Study design

This study was a randomized control trial, and the participants were divided into two categories: A (experimental) and B (control). There were eight boys, ten girls, and six boys and twelve girls, respectively, in both the categories. The participants were divided into respective groups using the method of random number generation. The assessment was conducted on an individual basis, and the intervention was given online for 5 weeks between May and June 2021 using the Zoom Cloud Meetings application, in accordance with COVID-19 instructions. Regular instructions were given to the participants and corrected whenever it was needed. After completion of the intervention, posttest data were collected. The assessment process was conducted with each participant personally by the instructor with the help of 2–3 volunteers.

Assessment

The participants were assessed using an intelligence test battery named Bhatia's Battery of Performance Tests of Intelligence (Bhatia, 1955), This test battery is a well-standardized and reliable tool for the assessment of IQ and PQ in the Indian context for the age group 11–16 years (Nandvadekar and Binorkar, 2016). This test battery measures the overall IQ based on all the 5 subtests; (i) Koh's Block Design (BD); (ii) Alexander's Pass-Along (PA); (iii) Pattern Drawing (PD); (iv) Picture Construction (PC); and (v) Immediate Memory (IM) Tests. PQ is derived based on 4 performance tests (BD, PA, PD, and PC) out of these 5 subtests (Roopesh, 2020).

Intervention

PVPCE technique was introduced on the basis of the principles of Prana vidya. This technique is a set of five different PVPs. The main part of this technique is the visualization of prana or life energy. The visualization works upon the principle “energy follows thought” (Sui, 2004). In other words, prana energy follows where one's thought or intention is focused. There were five different practices in the intervention for 35 min, a single session every day. The intervention was given for 5 weeks. The postdata were collected within 2 days after the completion of the intervention.

Details of the Prana Vidya Practices for Consciousness Enrichment (PVPCE) technique

The following is a summary of the practices along with the given instructions during the intervention. In addition, visuals (given below) were created to be shown to participants in order to make the visualization effective.

Prepractices for preparation for the main practice

Before entering the main practice, participants were asked to sit with the spine and neck erect in any of Padmasana (the lotus pose), Ardhapadmasana (the half lotus pose), or Sukhasana (the cross-legged simple pose), keeping the hands in the Gyana Mudra (the gesture of wisdom), and to chant Omkar (AUM, or “ॐ” in Sanskrit). Then they were asked to take a slow and deep breath in and to make the sounds of “a,” “u,” and “m,” respectively while exhaling; this practice was repeated five times. The total time determined for prepractices is 2 min. The prepractices were performed to develop a sense of stability and concentration in the participants, which is a necessary preparation for the upcoming practices.

Main practices of Prana Vidya Practices for Consciousness Enrichment technique

Practice 1: Storing the prana

Participants were instructed to visualize the white pranic light (a white light made up of prana) entering through the nostrils, moving downwards in the spine from point A, and storing in the navel chakra at point B with inhalation. Then, they were asked to breathe out normally without adding any imagination [Figure 1]. The purpose of this primary practice is to direct and accumulate prana into the navel chakra, the storage.
Figure 1: Visual representation of Practice 1, which shows point A just behind the suprasternal notch and point B just behind the navel in the spine (left), and the visualization of a moving white pranic light beginning from the nostrils, meeting at point A, and ending at point B (right), where “In” stands for inhalation

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Practice 2: Pranic pathway purification

They were instructed to visualize the white pranic light entering through the nostrils, moving downwards in the spine from point A, and then going up to navel chakra at point B with inhalation. Then they were asked to visualize that this light is moving in the opposite direction, towards the middle part of the brain, while exhaling [Figure 2]. This practice is intended to purify the energy pathways connecting the navel chakra to the agya chakra, as well as to energize the middle region of the brain.
Figure 2: Visual representation of Practice 2, which shows the visualization of white pranic light moving from nostrils, downwards in the spine (Point A) to point B (left) and towards the middle part of the brain from point B (right). “In” and “Out” represent inhalation and exhalation, respectively, in the figure

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Practice 3: Shambhavi mudra and prana transmittance into the agya chakra

Practice 3A

Shambhavi mudra: To practice shambhavi mudra, they were asked to raise both of their eyes upward and gaze on the middle of the forehead (slightly above the middle of the eyebrows). Then they were instructed to keep gazing there for the next two minutes. The purpose of this practice is to direct the prana toward the agya chakra and to develop a sufficient amount of focus for the upcoming practices.

Practice 3B

Prana transmittance into the agya chakra: (i) First, participants were instructed to visualize a moving white and sharp pranic line entering the brain from the middle of the forehead (slightly above the middle of the eyebrows) and exiting right behind the head. Then they were asked to visualize the reverse order also [Figure 3]. (ii) In continuation, they were asked to visualize the moving white pranic line entering the brain from the left side of the head (just above the ear) and moving out from the right side, and to visualize the reverse order also. They were instructed to alternating this practice [Figure 4]. This practice is intended to have a direct effect on the agya chakra as well as to sharpen brain functioning.
Figure 3: Visual representation of Practice 3B, which shows a moving pranic line entering the brain from the center of the forehead (right) and exiting right behind the head (left), as well as its reverse order. “1” and “2” stand for the start point and endpoint, respectively, and just the opposite for reverse order

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Figure 4: Visual representation of Practice 3B (second step), which shows the visualization of a moving pranic line entering the brain from the left side of the head (right) and exiting the right side (left), and shows its reverse order also. “3” and “4” stand for the start point and endpoint, respectively, and just the opposite for reverse order

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Practice 4: Pranic ball visualization to energize the brain

Participants were instructed to visualize a moving white pranic light entering through the nostrils while inhalation and going to the center of the brain, where a white pranic ball is located, which is getting as big as the head in size as light meets the pranic ball [Figure 5] and then shrinking back to its original size with exhalation [Figure 6]. The purpose of this practice is to transmit a sufficient amount of prana into the agya chakra while also energizing the entire brain.
Figure 5: Visual representation of Practice 4, which shows the visualization of white pranic light entering through the nostrils, meeting the pranic ball in the brain's center (left), which expands to the size of the head (right). “In” stands for inhalation in the figure

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Figure 6: Visual representation of Practice 4 (second step), which shows the visualization of the expanded pranic ball (left) reverting to its original size (right). “Out” stands for exhalation in the figure

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Practice 5: Pranic relaxation

Participants were instructed to close their eyes and keep their vision between the two eyebrows without extra effort. In the same state, they were instructed to visualize a colorful pranic light raining down on them, filling and energizing the entire body. They were asked to keep doing this practice for 3-min [Figure 7].
Figure 7: Visual representation of practice, which shows the visualization of raining pranic colorful light throughout the body

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Phase 2: In continuation, they were asked to rub their hands together and to visualize the white pranic light being produced in their hands, and when they began to feel the heat, to place their palms on their eyes for a while. Then they were asked to open their eyes. This practice aims to balance prana distribution and energize the entire system.

The time allocated for each main practice was 6 mins except prepractices (2 min), practice 3A (2 min), and practice 5 (3 min), watching the visuals for 1 min then 20 seconds' rest, rest of practice with the eyes closed, 2 round (2 min each), and 20 seconds' rest was given after completing each round. Complete details of intervention practices are given in [Table 1].
Table 1: Tabular form of Prana Vidya Practices for Consciousness Enrichment techchnique's practices along with the number of rounds and duration

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Statistical analyses

The average value (mean), standard deviation (SD), and standard error of the mean (SEm) were calculated followed by the sample correlation as the degree of a linear relationship between pre- and post-indices (IQ and PQ). The performance between pre- and post-situation was compared by the use of paired t-test. The statistical software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (IBM SPSS,Version 25) IBM Corp. (2017), NY, USA was used for the analysis. The following is the schematic diagram of the study design [Figure 8].
Figure 8: Schematic diagram of the design of the study (modified from the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) 2010)

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  Results Top


The mean age and SE of the mean (SEm) of 36 participants were observed as 12.82 ± 1.46 years.

The performance of pre-post IQ and PQ levels in experimental and control groups is presented in [Figure 9] and [Figure 10], respectively. Initial inspection of results clearly indicates that the practices had a positive effect uniformly on IQ levels in the experimental group [Figure 9]. However, there is no uniformity between pre- and post-IQ levels under controlled conditions. Similar results are seen for the pre- and post-PQ levels of adolescence [Figure 10].
Figure 9: Performance of Pre and post IQ levels of adolescence under experimental (A) and controlled condition (B). IQ: Intelligence quotient

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Figure 10: Performance of pre- and post-PQ levels of adolescence under experimental (A) and controlled conditions (B). PQ: Performance quotient

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Experimental and control group-wise descriptive statistics, correlation, and results of the paired t-test are given as under:

Experimental group

Descriptive statistics

[Table 2] shows the mean, SD, and SEm of each pair (pre and post) of the two indices (IQ and PQ). It is seen that for each pair, the mean of the postgroup is higher than the pregroup, with uniformly lower values of SD and SEm.
Table 2: Pairwise mean, standard deviation, and standard error of the mean of intelligence quotient and performance quotient of the experimental group

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Sample correlations

[Table 3] gives the sample correlation to show the degree of a linear relationship between pre- and post-indices. All the indices show significant positive correlations between the pre- and post-indices at a 1% level of significance.
Table 3: Correlation values between pre - and post - intelligence quotient and performance quotient of the experimental group

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Paired sample t-test

In [Table 4], the results of the paired t-test are given. It is observed that the pre- and post-test scores in both the indices significantly differ from each other. This shows the significant role of the experiment conducted on the candidates in increasing their performance levels.
Table 4: The paired t-test for comparing changes between pre - post - Prana vidya practices in intelligence quotient and performance quotient of the experimental group

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Control group

Descriptive statistics

[Table 5] shows the mean, SD, and SEm of each pair (pre- and post) of the two indices calculated in the study. It is seen that for each pair, the mean of the postgroup is slightly higher than the pregroup.
Table 5: Pairwise mean, standard deviation, and standard error of the mean for intelligence quotient and performance quotient of the control group

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Sample correlations

The results of sample correlations with positive values [Table 6] indicate that each candidate performed in the same order (since the P < 0.01). However, the correlation does not provide whether there is a significant difference between the performances or not. This difference is not found to be significant, as seen in the next section.
Table 6: Correlation values between pre - and post - intelligence quotient and performance quotient of the control group

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Paired sample t-test

The result of the paired t-test is given in [Table 7]. It indicates that there is no effect on the performance of each indices over time.
Table 7: The paired t-test for comparing changes between pre - post - Prana vidya practices in intelligence quotient and performance quotient of the control group

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  Discussion Top


The present study is a dedicated effort to investigate the effect of PVPs on the IQ and PQ of adolescence. In the experimental group, the significant increase in IQ and PQ scores was evident after the 5-week intervention.

Agya chakra is correlated with the pineal gland and is considered responsible for a variety of mental abilities (Jain and Yadav, 2016). The intervention practices (PVPs) are primarily intended to stimulate and activate the agya chakra using prana visualization; furthermore, these practices energize the entire brain. These could be regarded as the primary reasons for the increased IQ and PQ scores.

From the pranic perspective, the brain-centric pranayama such as Bhramari pranayama (BhPr) has a similar mechanism as PVPs, stimulating the agya chakra and energizing the entire brain by making a vibrating humming sound. In BhPr, a continuous humming sound is produced by obstructing the ears with the middle or index finger while exhaling, bringing awareness to the center of the head, where the agya chakra is located (Saraswati & Hiti, 1996). A study involving electroencephalogram signal recordings revealed an increase in high-frequency patterns in the brain during BhPr practice (Vialatte et al., 2009). Response inhibition is positively correlated with intelligence, according to a study conducted on preschool children (Lee et al., 2015). BhPr practice resulted in enhanced response inhibition and cognitive control in healthy individuals (Rajesh et al., 2014). Reaction time (RT) has a significant correlation with intelligence (Khodadadi et al., 2014); practicing BrPr led to a significant reduction in RT, indicating an improvement in information processing and reflexes (Kuppusamy et al., 2021).

PVPCE is a visualization-based technique; recent studies have established the beneficial effects of similar visualization techniques such as Pranic Energization Technique (Nagendra, 2014), Add-On Yogic Prana Energization Technique (Oswal et al., 2011a), and Yoga Prana vidya (Rajagopal et al., 2019) on various aspects of human health (Nanduri and Neravetla, 2020; Oswal et al., 2011b; Bhargav et al., 2012; Fernandes et al., 2012; Sankhla et al., 2014).

As per the knowledge of the authors, (i) this study is the first effort to scientifically evaluate the effect of PVPs on intelligence, and (ii) in order to make the visualization process more effective, visual representations have been created for each visualization practice where existing similar practices or techniques are used following the verbal instructions.

PVPs are primarily concerned with the agya chakra, which is considered to be associated with a variety of mental abilities. We evaluated intelligence as a primary aspect; the effect of PVPs on other aspects of this chakra should be investigated; this could be the future direction of this research.

There is a limitation to the assessment battery used in this study that it provides IQ and PQ scores of up to 131 at most (Roopesh, 2020). Since a few participants scored higher than 131 on the posttest assessment, there could be scope for further improvement in the IQ and PQ scores of the present study.


  Conclusions Top


The present study's findings suggest that PVPs (PVPCE technique) increase IQ and PQ in adolescents. This technique could be recommended for enhancing the intelligence of this age group. However, these practices may also benefit other age groups.

Acknowledgments

We are very thankful to all those people who helped us as volunteers to complete this research study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.





 
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