Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-16

Role of yoga in psychological correlates of learning ability in school children


1 Principal, Kadambini Women's College of Education, Kismat Bajkul, West Bengal, India
2 Director, VTIPE'S Research Centre for Human Excellence, Education and Health Sciences, Kismat Bajkul, West Bengal, India
3 Principal, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University College of Physical Education, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication16-Jun-2017

Correspondence Address:
Tushar Kanti Bera
Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, College of Physical Education, Pune, Maharashtra
India
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DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_5_17

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  Abstract 


Background: The art of learning may contribute to various skills required for better performance in human abilities involving memory, learning (attention fluctuation, sentence completion, and general intelligence), perception, motor functions, etc.
Objective: This experiment was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of yoga training intervention toward improvement in the selected psychological correlates of learning ability among the school children.
Method: A parallel group, research design was considered in this experiment, which was conducted on sixty male students (n = 60), age group of 12–14 years, who were randomly assigned into two identical groups (Group A: exp group and Group B: control) and each group consists of thirty students. The research design includes pretest, yoga training, mid-test, detraining, and posttest. The variables of learning abilities (viz., attention fluctuation, sentence completion, and general intelligence) were tested three times (pre-, mid-, and post-) using standard methods. The yoga training intervention comprising prayer recitation, Yoga Asanas, Anuloma Viloma (Pranayama), and Omkar Chanting was imparted for 45 min daily in the morning (except Sundays and holidays) for a total period of 45 days, whereas the controlled students were kept busy with recreation and library readings. Then, mid-test was conducted. Further, the detraining phase (Phase II) was considered for the next 45 days, and then posttest was conducted. Thus, total duration of the experiment was 90 days.
Statistical Analysis: All statistical analyses were carried out by 2 × 3 × 3 factorial ANOVA followed by Scheffe's post hoc test.
Result: The results revealed that Hatha Yogic practices lead to the reduction in attention fluctuation which implies improvement in attention ability among the school children. Further, improvement in sentence completion ability and general intelligence was evident after yoga training intervention. Moreover, detraining phase of 6 weeks could maintain similar trend of results as compared to the controlled subjects.
Conclusion: Hatha Yogic practices lead to a significant improvement in the selected correlates of better learning ability in school children.

Keywords: Learning correlates, school children, yoga


How to cite this article:
Bera M, Barik AK, Bera TK. Role of yoga in psychological correlates of learning ability in school children. Yoga Mimamsa 2017;49:13-6

How to cite this URL:
Bera M, Barik AK, Bera TK. Role of yoga in psychological correlates of learning ability in school children. Yoga Mimamsa [serial online] 2017 [cited 2017 Nov 17];49:13-6. Available from: http://www.ym-kdham.in/text.asp?2017/49/1/13/208279




  Introduction Top


Human is equipped to interact with his/her abilities to the outside world through the learning process. The art of learning may contribute to various skills or learning styles, required for better performance and utility. The human abilities involved in improving the performance are memory, learning, attention, perception, intelligence, and motor functions (Mirsky, 1987). There are various reports available so far in relation to human performance associated with abilities and academic achievement. Learning abilities are associated with one's perceptual motor skills (Maeland, 1992) and autonomic arousal (Fenz & Graig, 1972), creativity, intelligence, personality, and academic achievement (Sen & Hagvet, 1993), whereas the affective determinants of learning abilities are anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal ideation, negative emotion, etc, (Fine, 1972; Tangney, Stuewig, & Debra, 2007). These reports indicate that psychological attributes are associated with learning abilities. Many investigations support the idea that yoga training is good for school children (Ganguly & Gharote, 1974; Kocher, 1976; Paranjape & Bhole, 1979; Rajapurkar, 1988; Sahu & Gharote, 1984; Sahu & Bhole, 1983), and therefore, yoga, nowadays, is being implemented in majority of the secondary schools in India. Thus, yoga stimulus can be suitable for educating the children along with enhancing psychological correlates of learning abilities. However, there are no reports available so far about impact of yoga intervention in enhancing psychological correlates of learning process among school children. Therefore, this study was conducted with a view to find out the effect of yoga training schedule and detraining effects on psychological correlates of better learning responses.


  Method Top


Experimental design

This is a phase-wise, longitudinal study with parallel group design, which was conducted on two identical groups (Group A: experimental group and Group B: control group) of male students, age group if 12–14 years, drawn randomly from the hostellers of Kajlagarh Bijay Chand High School, Kajlagarh, Purba Medinipur (district), West Bengal (India). A total of sixty students (n = 60) volunteered where each group consisted of thirty students. The research design includes pretest, yoga training, mid-test, detraining, and posttest.

The variables of learning abilities (viz., attention fluctuation, sentence completion, and general intelligence) were tested three times (pre-, mid-, and post-)using standard methods.

The yoga training intervention comprising prayer recitation, yoga asanas, anuloma viloma (pranayama), and Omkar Chanting was imparted for 45 min daily in the morning (except Sundays and holidays) for a total period of 45 days, whereas the controlled students were kept busy with recreation and library readings. Then, mid-test was conducted. Further, the detraining phase (Phase II) was considered for the next 45 days, and then posttest was conducted. Thus, total duration of the experiment was 90 days.

Assessments

Attention fluctuation was measured using Kymograph Palmer, London. While measuring attention fluctuation, the volunteers were asked to focus their attention on the weakest stimulus marked on the revolving masson disc. The disappearance and the appearance of the stimulus constitute an event of attention fluctuation, and the duration between two attention fluctuation events constitutes a cycle, thereby number of attention fluctuation cycle is derived for the present study. The sentence completion is a projective tool to perceive the three personality dimensions. Sentence completion test comprises three personality traits; they are (a) self-confidence, (b) sociability, and (c) ambition (Dubey & Dubey, 1987) and the scoring was done in points. General intelligence level of the students was assessed in points using Bera's intelligence scale (Bera, 1993). These are the standardized tests and possess accepted level of reliability and validity.

These tests were administered at the baseline (pretest), mid-test (after yoga training intervention), and posttest (after detraining phase) for the assessment of learning ability of the students.

Statistical analysis

Considering the nature of experimental design, the data were primarily analyzed to determine the measures of central tendency and dispersion. Further, 2 × 3 × 3 factorial ANOVA followed by Scheffe's post hoc test was employed to compare the impact of yoga for improvement in psychological correlates to better learning abilities.


  Result and Discussion Top


The results on variable-wise descriptive statistics as presented in [Table 1] indicate that the mean scores in attention fluctuation of yoga group during pretest, mid-test (after 6 weeks of yoga training), and posttest (after 6 weeks of follow-up/detraining) were 46.25 (5.60), 26.32 (4.54), and 31.26 (5.05), respectively. Similarly, the mean scores of control group were 41.37 (6.14), 39.15 (4.18), and 40.14 (5.24), respectively. This result revealed that there was a trend of reduction in attention fluctuation after yoga training and continued to maintain the same even after the follow-up or detraining period as compared to the control group. This helps interpret that yoga training for 6 weeks duration could improve attention ability, a factor for better learning, among the school children.
Table 1: Mean and standard deviation of psychological correlates of learning abilities

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The children's mean scores in sentence completion test of yoga group during pretest, mid-test (after 6 weeks of yoga training), and posttest (after 6 weeks of follow-up/detraining) were 64.36 (7.16), 78.45 (8.56), and 76.37 (8.48), respectively. Similarly, the mean scores of control group were 68.42 (8.60), 64.46 (7.85), and 70.06 (8.52), respectively. This result revealed that a trend of improvement in sentence completion ability was evident after yoga training and continued to maintain the same even after the follow-up or detraining period as compared to the control group. This helps interpret that yoga training for a 6-week period could improve the sentence completion ability, which is a correlate for better learning, among the school children [Table 1].

[Table 1] also indicates that the children's mean scores in general intelligence test of yoga group during pretest, mid-test (after 6 weeks of yoga training), and posttest (after 6 weeks of follow-up/detraining) were 58.28 (6.45), 70.18 (8.05), and 65.47 (7.60), respectively. Similarly, the mean scores of control group were 63.42 (5.97), 60.48 (7.36), and 58.64 (6.19), respectively. This result revealed that a trend of improvement in general intelligence ability was evident after yoga training and continued to maintain the same even after the follow-up or detraining period as compared to the control group. This helps interpret that yoga training for a 6-week period could improve the general intelligence ability, which is a correlate for better learning, among the school children.

The result on 2 × 3 × 3 factorial ANOVA followed by Scheffe's post hoc test revealed that yoga training (phase 1) for a 6-week period indicates a statistically significant reduction in attention fluctuation (CD = 0.38, p < 0.05), whereas the control group could not (CD = 11, p > 0.05); however, no significant change was evidenced among the students of yoga group after follow-up or detraining period (CD = 0.16, p > 0.05). The result of inferential statistics revealed that the yoga training for 6 weeks could help improve attention ability of the school children, which is one of the correlates to better learning ability. The result also helps interpret that the impact of yoga training revealed a continuous trend of improvement in attention ability even during the detraining period [Table 2].
Table 2: Scheffe's post hoc test for difference between pairs of ordered means in psychological correlates of learning abilities (control vs. yoga training)

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The result of post hoc test revealed that yoga training (phase 1) for a 6-week period indicates a statistically significant improvement in sentence completion ability (CD = 0.42, p < 0.01), whereas the control group could not (CD = 13, p > 0.05); however, no significant change was evidenced in yoga group after follow-up or detraining period (CD = 0.18, p > 0.05). The result of inferential statistics revealed that the yoga training for 6 weeks could help improve the sentence completion ability of the school children, which is the another correlates to better learning ability. The result also helps interpret that the impact of yoga training revealed a continuous trend of improvement in sentence completion ability even during the detraining period [Table 2].

In case of general intelligence, the result of post hoc test revealed that yoga training (phase 1) for a 6-week period indicates a statistically significant improvement in general intelligence ability (CD = 0.34, p < 0.05), whereas the control group could not (CD = 10, p > 0.05); however, no significant change was evidenced in yoga group after follow-up or detraining period (CD = 0.14, p > 0.05). The result of inferential statistics revealed that the yoga training for 6 weeks could help improve the general intelligence ability of the school children, which is also the important correlate to better learning ability. The result also helps interpret that the impact of yoga training revealed a continuous trend of improvement in general intelligence ability even during the detraining period [Table 2].

The learning is a complex process involving various kinds, namely, verbal and motor abilities such as autonomic arousal, creativity, intelligence, personality, and academic achievement (Sen & Hagvet, 1993; Mirsky, 1987). The mastery of the learning process over unique stimulus processing that involves sensory and motor coordination reflects in the skills that are verbal as well as manual (Maeland, 1992). The performance of skills depends upon the type of the abilities or specific areas of brain responsible for the improvement in learning processes (Fenz & Graig, 1972). However, the result of the present study revealed that the role of yoga stimulus could trigger to improve learning process as measured through attention, sentence completion, and general intelligence abilities. The persistent effect during detraining period (withdrawal of yoga intervention) could prove that yoga training helps not only improve the correlates of learning abilities among the school children but also maintain the abilities for a longer period even though the yoga intervention is withdrawn. The impact of yoga was favorably evident to improve learning abilities because yoga training might have induced a state of neuro-psycho-physiological relaxation that perhaps controls neuromuscular tension and results into improvement in mental performance leading to attention ability among the school children. In fact, a recent study showed that 4 days of meditation training could enhance the ability to sustain attention (Zeidan, Johnson, Diamond, David, & Goolkasian, 2010). Moreover, improvement in general intelligence and sentence completion (motor skill acquisition) suggests interaction between intelligence and learning environment. Further, there are various reports correlated with EEG, intelligence, and mental performance (Becker-Carus, 1971; Fine, 1972; Sen & Hagvet 1993). These reports, in turn, suggest that yoga intervention might have helped reduce the cognitive component of state anxiety and confidence (Lox, 1992). Thus, overall improvement in the correlates of better learning ability evident in this investigation may be due to the fact that yoga might have facilitated the learning skills.


  Conclusion Top


This investigation, within the limitations, concludes that Hatha Yogic practices lead to significant improvement in the selected correlates of better learning ability among the school children.

Grant-in-aid provided from Vidyasagar Technological Institute of Physical Education and Sports, Nazirbazar, Kismat Bajkul, Purba Midnipur, West Bengal, India.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Becker-Carus, C. (1971). Relationships between EEG, personality and vigilance. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 30 ( 6), 519-526.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Bera, T. K. (1993). Bera's general intelligence test. A part of Doctoral Thesis. University of Kalyani, West Bengal (India).  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Dubey, L. N., & Dubey, A. (1987). Sentence Completion Test. Lucknow: Ankur Psychological Agency.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Fenz, W. D., & Graig, J. G. (1972). Autonomic arousal and performance during sixty hours of sleep deprivation. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 34 ( 2), 543-553.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Fine, B. J. (1972). Intrinsic motivation, intelligence and personality as related to cognitive and motor performance. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 34 ( 1), 319-329.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
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Ganguly, S. K., & Gharote, M. L. (1974). Cardiovascular efficiency before and after yogic training. Yoga Mimansa, 17 ( 1), 89-97.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Kocher, H. C. (1976). Influence of yogic practices on mental fatigue (An exploratory study). Yoga Mimamsa, 18 ( 2), 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Lox, C. L. (1992). Perceived threat as a cognitive component of state anxiety and confidence. Perceptual and Motor Skill, 75 ( 3), 1092-1094.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Maeland, A. F. (1992). Hand writing and perceptual motor skill in clumsy, dysgraphic and normal children. Perceptual and Motor Skill, 75 ( 3 Pt 2), 1207-1217.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Mirsky, A. F. (1987). Behavioral and psychophysiological markers of disordered attention. Environmental Health Perspectives, 74, 191–199.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Paranjape, S. D., & Bhole, M. V. (1979). Resting neuromuscular activity as influenced by long term yogic training. Yoga Mimamsa, 19 ( 4), 18-26.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Rajapurkar, M. V. (1988). Lateralization of cerebral functions (right-left brain studies – A review). Yoga Mimamsa, 27 ( 3 & 4), 1-18.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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Sahu, B. J., and Bhole, M. V. (1983). Effect of three weeks yogic training programme on psycho-motor performance. Yoga Mimamsa, 22 ( 1 & 2), 59-62.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Sahu, R. J., & Gharote, M. L. (1984). Effect of short term yogic training programme on dexterity – A pilot study. Yoga Mimamsa, 23 ( 2), 21-27.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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Sen, A. K., & Hagvet, K. A. (1993). Correction among creativity, intelligence, personality and academic achievement. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 77 ( 2), 497-498.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
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Zeidan, F., Johnson, S. K., Diamond, B. J., David, Z., & Goolkasian, P. (2010). Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training. Consciousness and Cognition, 19 ( 2), 597-605.  Back to cited text no. 17
    



 
 
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