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Increased Grey Matter Associated with Long-Term Sahaja Yoga Meditation: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study

Posted on May 28, 2022 at 8:30 AM

Definition - What does Sahaja mean?

From birth, born with, naturally occurring, congenital. 

Sahaja is a Sanskrit word that translates to “spontaneous” or “naturally born together." This term is widely used in Buddhism and has particular importance in Tantrism.


Additionally, Sahaja yoga is a form of meditation which was devised by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi in 1970 and has become popular all around the world. Since its inception, this type of yoga has been practiced by hundreds of thousands of people in more than 90 countries.


Yogapedia explains Sahaja

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi says that Sahaja yoga allows an awakening to occur in each person, which, on a larger scale, will help achieve a global unity of mankind. She also claims that this practice lets each person become their own spiritual guide.


For those who mediate for the purpose of achieving liberation or a spiritual awakening (moksha), this is a form of yoga that offers an intense meditative practice to that end. The goal is to expand one's awareness until it is capable of discovering the eternal truths of the universe and human existence.  -- Yogapedia

Increased Grey Matter Associated with Long-Term Sahaja Yoga Meditation: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study

Sergio Elías Hernández, José Suero, .....and Katya Rubia


To investigate regional differences in grey matter volume associated with the practice of Sahaja Yoga Meditation.


Twenty three experienced practitioners of Sahaja Yoga Meditation and twenty three non-meditators matched on age, gender and education level, were scanned using structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging and their grey matter volume were compared using Voxel-Based Morphometry.


Grey matter volume was larger in meditators relative to non-meditators across the whole brain. In addition, grey matter volume was larger in several predominantly right hemispheric regions: in insula, ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex, inferior temporal and parietal cortices as well as in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and left insula. No areas with larger grey matter volume were found in non-meditators relative to meditators.


The study shows that long-term practice of Sahaja Yoga Meditation is associated with larger grey matter volume overall, and with regional enlargement in several right hemispheric cortical and subcortical brain regions that are associated with sustained attention, self-control, compassion and interoceptive perception. The increased grey matter volume in these attention and self-control mediating regions suggests use-dependent enlargement with regular practice of this meditation.......

Indexed for NIH by Dragonfly Kingdom Library

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