Millennium Post

Yoga and Applied Science for enhanced learning

Patañjali sutra explains that i.e. cleanliness, contentment, austerity or penance (tapas), study and recitation of sacred scriptures and devotion to the Lord are the five ‘Niyamas’ or observances. What better way than yoga to cultivate these values through education?

In an attempt to understand and scientifically establish the importance of inculcating Yoga as a part of our education system, the Human Resource Development Minister’s efforts are truly noteworthy.

According to Pa?ini, a 6th-century BC Sanskrit grammarian, who wrote the first commentary on the Yoga Sutras, yoga means samadhi or concentration.

Science describes Natural frequency = (1/2p) vk/m, where K = Stiffness and m = mass
Natural frequency is the frequency at which a system tends to oscillate in the absence of any driving or dampening force. “Free vibrations” of any elastic body is called natural vibration and happens at a frequency called natural frequency.

Forced vibrations happen at frequency of applied force (forced frequency). If forced frequency is equal to the natural frequency, the amplitude of vibration increases manifold. This phenomenon is known as resonance.

Stiffness is P/d where P is the applied load, and d is the deflection at P For a body to operate at higher frequencies, the natural frequency needs to be high enough so that the forced frequency or external disturbances do not cause failures by resonance.

How then does raising the natural frequency of a body become important? In mathematical terms, increase stiffness/toughness or reduce body mass, so that the deflection is small for a unit load. The ability to have smaller deflections for large loads would in a way raise the stiffness/toughness of the body. Material properties have a significant role in determining the natural frequency. Herein lays the strength of Yoga, the power of concentration and its effect on human body.

Every object including the human body (or mass) has a resonant frequency. When an object is vibrated at its resonance frequency, the maximum amplitude of its vibration will be greater than the original amplitude (i.e. the vibration is amplified) Several researchers have reported that vibrations in the frequency range of 0.5 Hertz to 80 Hertz (Hz) have significant effects on the human body. The Gayatri Mantra: recited at about 20 Hz has a healing effect on DNA like no other sound in our life.
Individual body members and organs have their own resonant frequencies and do not vibrate as a single mass. This causes amplification or attenuation of input vibrations by certain parts of the body due to their own individual resonant frequencies. The most effective resonant frequencies for vertical vibration lie between 4 and 8 Hz.

Vibrations between 2.5-5 Hz generate strong resonance in the vertebra of the neck and lumbar region with amplification of up to 240 per cent. Vibrations between 4-6 Hz set up resonances in the trunk with amplification of up to 200 percent. Vibrations between 20-30 Hz sets up the strongest resonance between the head and shoulders with amplification of up to 350 per cent.

Whole body vibration may create chronic stress and sometimes even cause permanent damage to the affected organs or body parts. Suspected health effects of whole body vibration include blurred vision, decrease in manual coordination, drowsiness (even after proper rest), lower back pain/injury, insomnia, headache and/or upset stomach. Although whole body vibration causes stress that may lead to health failures, controlled vibration actually improves the DNA. Practicing Yoga under a trainer will aid in controlled vibration and improve DNA.

The earth too vibrates at a resonance of 7.83 Hz, better known as the Schumann Resonance. This vibration is considered to be the natural state of everything. Inhaling and exhaling  
at about this frequency will set up a rhythmic beat in consonance with that of the earth and hence could be extremely useful in controlling the metabolism–catabolism processes of the
human body.

Let us move to the material world. Every rigid object in existence has a natural structural resonance frequency, a frequency at which it wants to shake more than any other. A wine glass can also be shattered by singing the right note - though you have to hold the note for several seconds so that the vibrations build up. In addition, you will have to sing in just the right minimum pitch, or else have your voice amplified.

The first sloka of Rigveda says - By theoretically triggering the fundamental field of matter in space into expansion, the extraordinary output of free energy can be obtained.

As I earlier said, the resonant frequency of an object depends on its structure. Generally, larger the object, lower the frequency. Large buildings need to be designed so that natural weather conditions (such as wind, rain), do not combine to shake them at one of the resonant frequencies. Failure to do so can result in mishap due to the resonance like that of the London’s Millennium Bridge or the Angers Bridge in France.

Let us apply this theory to the human body. In our mind’s eye, the process would go something like this: First, figure out the resonant frequency of the human body. This can be done by triggering a known low energy disturbance and accelerometers to measure the passage of that disturbance through the human body. Since the human body is not exactly rigid, a disturbance could be triggered through various body parts. We could start the process with the brain. Ideally an objective function that captures the natural frequency of all body parts may determine the natural frequency of the human body.

Measure how long it takes for the disturbance to reach the other side of the human brain, bounce back and return to the epicentre, where it originally started. Let us say it takes about 1 second for one complete cycle. When the echo returns, trigger another disturbance at that instant and the same location, thereby adding the two disturbing energies. Wait for the stronger echo this time. Do it again and again. Trigger disturbance after disturbance until the human brain itself can be seen to bulge and distort from space. Keep doing it. Finally, the whole human brain spontaneously breaks apart, and separates permanently into pieces. Is the human brain thus destroyed? Not really.

The first problem is one of energy dissipation. During each oscillation, some energy is lost. Disturbances do not echo forever and then laws of rigid body dynamics do not exactly apply here. Otherwise, the human brain would shake forever, which is not the case. As it goes on, the amount of energy stored in the human brain rapidly levels off to a strictly finite quantity - even though more energy is added all the time.

However, one can notice that the total energy retained is only slightly more than the energy from the original disturbance. If we want this total energy to be big enough to destroy the human brain, the original disturbance has to be large enough to destroy the brain permanently.

Secondly, some assumptions are made. Even an object as simple as a solid sphere actually has multiple vibrational modes i.e. different ways in which it can shake. For more complicated systems, the number of vibrational modes become very large and not all of them can be known. In the Millennium Bridge mentioned above, the reason for the alarming vibration was the discovery of an entirely new vibrational mode, which had never been seen in any previous structure.

It is not at all clear which of the human brains modes we would aim to agitate. Real disturbances generate at least three distinct types of waves, which pass through the brain’s interior on different paths and at different speeds. Also, it is not clear which of these waves we would be attempting to build up. In addition, the brain’s interior is not uniform and solid, but layered and fluid and so is the entire human body, meaning that it does not vibrate anything like an ordinary sphere would. This complicates the situation further.

And lastly, it is far from clear what happens at this mysterious point where the brain finally has enough energy to shake itself to bits. More abstractly, it would seek a state which is more stable, a state with lower energy. However I suspect this prevents one from becoming one with the cosmos.
Yoga allows one, through the power of meditation, to concentrate and raise the natural frequency constantly by altering the value of ‘k’ and ‘m’, which allows the amplitude to not build indefinitely till it breaks. The phenomenon would last till the first harmonics since the value of k and m cannot be altered forever.

Yoga aids in the movement to the second harmonics by not allowing the amplitudes to build or allowing the cross over in least possible time. Like it is said (Practice makes one perfect)
Higher orders of concentration    and meditation would eventually place the human system to operate at higher levels of frequencies that would eventually merge with the cosmic resonance or realisation that sets in. This certainly requires     (Self realisation) Moving over from one phase to another would obviously put the human body and mind to great test and perseverance. In the process of reaching a state of cosmic resonance, there will be several states that ordinary human beings will not be able to realise. Herein, lies the journey from Hata Yoga to Raja Yoga. The real understanding of life and the cosmos as enlisted in Ishavasyopanishad begins here.

Meditation, so important to Yoga in building concentration and thereby altering the natural frequencies of the human body, is central to realisation and mind-body healing.

Schumann resonance is a global electromagnetic resonance, which has its origin in electrical discharges of lightning within the cavity existing between the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere. This cavity resonates with electromagnetic waves in extremely low frequencies of approximately 7.86Hz – 8Hz, and is the fundamental “beat” of the planet.

“Ordinary” thought waves that are created by a human brain ranges from 14 Hz to 40 Hz. This range only includes certain types of dendrites belonging to brain cells, predominantly within the left side of the brain, which is the centre of activity.

If both sides of our brain are synchronized with each other at 8 Hz, they work more harmoniously and allow the maximum flow of information. In other words, the frequency of 8 Hz seems to be the key to activating the full and sovereign potential of our brain. The multiples of this at different harmonics raise the ability to perceive visible and invisible spectra.

8 Hz is also the frequency of the double helix in DNA replication. Hence, a human body resonating at this frequency or a frequency of 432Hz has the ability to heal DNA. On a musical scale, if we take 8Hz as our starting point and work upwards by five octaves (i.e. by the seven notes in the scale five times), we reach a frequency of 256 Hz, in which scale the note A has a frequency of 432Hz.

According to the harmonic principle, by which any produced sound automatically resonates all the other multiples of that frequency, when we play C at 256 Hz, the C of all other octaves also begin to vibrate in unison and so, naturally, the frequency of 8Hz is also sounded. This is why (together with many other mathematical reasons) the musical pitch tuned to 432 oscillations per second is known as the “scientific tuning” and allows natural healing. The human body, which has the ability to resonate at this frequency or be tuned to higher harmonics, has the potential to reach Raja Yoga.

Indeed, all our children should realise that everything in the Universe is controlled and owned. Yoga rationalises simple and truthful living and makes better citizens for tomorrow’s India by instilling valued principles. Hence yoga is a great supplement to better education.

(Dr. S S Mantha  is Ex Chairman, AICTE and Prof. Robotics and Control Theory)
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