“Stillness is the altar of spirit.”
― Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi.

The word ‘Yoga’ comes from Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ which primarily means ‘concentration’. Its other meanings include union. joining.

Therefore according to the oldest yogic text yoga means concentration.

We shall explain in this article what is ‘Dhyana’ and how shall you benefit from it progressively.

What is Dhyana?

‘Dhyana’ has been derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Dhi’, which translates to contemplation, reflection and paying full attention. According to Maharshi Patanjali: “Tatra pratyaikataanataa Dhyaanam” which means “An incessant flow of attention on the concentrated object is called Dhyana”

It helps us go beyond the limitations of the physicality and the mind. When we transcend the singular perspective of the body and the mind we realise that we have a complete dimension of life within us.

Dhyana grands us the ability to observe everything with our consciousness without actually evaluating it. It grants us the highest form of intelligence.

It is one of the eight limbs of ‘ashtanga’ yoga, in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It revolves around the idea of making the mind work for you instead of the other way. If we make our bodies still our minds surrender to us.

Being someone from a medical background I cannot unsee the immense scientific and biological benefits of ‘Dhyana’.

Here. I have curated and listed the top 4 reasons along with key studies about its benefits.

Improved concentration

Studies show greater coherence in the brain hemispheres amongst practitioners experiencing dhyana. EEG coherence measures of how well connected various areas of the brain are. Higher coherence of these hemispheres indicates greater exchange of information between various regions, which means improved functional coupling and coordination. Higher levels of coherence are also correlated to higher scores on IQ and creativity tests, as well as stability and cognitive flexibility.

Studies reveal the presence of a high increase in delta band power and theta band along with notable reduction in beta band power. Beta band power reduction indicates reduced susceptibility to mental tension, excitement and anxiety. Higher theta and delta activity has been noted in previous research as indicative of conscious access to deeper states of meditation.

Improved cardiac health

Studies reveal that participants having balanced Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System along with an overall increase in Heart Rate Variability (HRV) while practising. The higher level of  HRV also contributes to improvised immunity in stressful situations along with providing greater survival advantage on individuals. Lower levelS of HRV is been linked to various heart diseases such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, ischaemia, chronic heart failure and myocardial infarction.

Improved sleep

Studies conducted by noticing whole-night polysomnographic measures and EEG data were recorded with more inclusions. The results depicted that the REM sleep percentage, sleep efficiency and total sleep time of meditators is significantly higher compared to the control group of non-meditators.

Meditators also experienced better sleep quality as experiencing fewer awakenings after sleep onset.

Reduced menstrual disorders

Surprisingly the results show significant 57% decrease in Dysmennorhea impact,  72% decrease in psychological symptoms including irritability, mood swings, depression, crying spells and arguments, 40% decrease in breast swelling and tenderness, and a 50% decrease in bloating and weight gain.

It not only this much, but there was also an 87% decrease in the incidence of severe menstrual flow and an 80% decrease in the menses irregularity. There was a 63% reduction in the need for medical or surgical interventions and 83% reduction in the number of instances of impairment at work.

The benefits of these include preventing or reducing depression and anxiety.

The beauty of ‘dhyana’ is immensely important to improvise our mental and physical health.

Centre Lothlorien and Dhyana

At Centre Lothlorien we believe that Yoga is ”A Way of Life’. We wish to share our view of the traditional knowledge of Yoga and Ayurveda to give everyone around us the chance to enhance and improve their lives. To incorporate these benefits of ‘Yoga’ and ‘Dhyana’ you are welcome to visit us at Centre Lothlorien and enrol in one of our courses. You can stay updated with yogatips by following our Youtube channel.