This study investigated changes in student self-awareness in a newly developed science course, The Science of Kriyayoga, which is a part of the Indic Studies minor at a medium size public university. Students enrolled in this course learned and practiced Kriyayoga techniques twice a week, over 15 weeks. Kriyayoga, a form of contemplative practice, emphasizes an anchoring and habitation in the present moment. Kriayoga is based on techniques designed to accelerate spiritual development and to create a profound state of tranquility in the participants. Pedagogy for this course utilized mind and body techniques for deepened learning. Data was collected in the form of surveys and interviews with students over two iterations of the course taught by the same instructor. One main question used for this study was, “To what extent and in what ways do you understand yourself in a scientific way through this course?” Two other questions were “Who are you?” and “What/who is your ideal?” Both quantitative and qualitative data was distilled and themes emerged which represent the key points of the findings.
A., Calati, R. & Serretti, A. (2011). Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 449-464. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2010.11.003
Davey, H. E. (2001). Japanese yoga: The way of dynamic meditation. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press
Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., Bonus, K. & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for teachers: A pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout, and teaching efficacy. Mind, Brian, and Education, 7, 182-195. https://doi.org/10.1111/mbe.12026
Hall, P. D. (1999). The effect of meditation on the academic performance of African American college students. Journal of Black Studies, 29, 24-29. https://doi.org/10.1177/002193479902900305
Jain, S., Shapiro, S. L., Swanick, S., Roesch, S. C., Mills, P. J., Bell, I. & Schwartz, G. E. R. (2007). A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: Effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33, 11-21. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15324796abm3301_2
Jennings, P. A., Frank, J. L., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M. A. & Greenberg, M. T. (2013). Improving classroom learning environments by cultivating awareness and resilience in education (CARE): Results of a randomized controlled trial. School Psychology Quarterly. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/spq0000035. https://doi.org/10.1037/spq0000035
Kuhlmann, S., Piel, M. & Wolf, O.T. (2005). Impaired memory retrieval after psychosocial stress in healthy young men. Journal of Neuroscience, 25, 2977-2982. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5139-04.2005
Lutz, A., Slagter, H. A., Rawlings, N. B., Francis, A. D., Greischar, L. L. & Davidson, R. J. (2009). Mental training enhances attentional stability: Neural and behavioral evidence. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 13418-13427.
Miller, J. (1994). The contemplative practitioner: Meditation in education and the professions. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.
Mrazek, M. D., Franklin, M. S., Tarchin Philips, D., Baird, B., & Schooler, J. W. (2013). Mindfulness training improves working memory capacity and GRE performance while reducing mind wandering. Psychological Science, 20, 1-6.
Roeser, R. W., Skinner, E., Beers, J. & Jennings, P. A. (2012). Mindfulness training and teachers' professional development: An emerging area of research and practice. Child Development Perspectives, 6, 167-173.
Solloway, S. (2000). Contemplative practitioner: Presence or the project of thinking gaze differently. Encounter: Education for Social Justice, 13, 30-42.
Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research: Perspectives on practice. Thousand Oaks. CA: SAGE.
Tagore, Rabindranath. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved November 25, 2013, from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/rabindrana389999.html.
Zajonc, A. (2006). Cognitive-affective connections in teaching and learning: The relationship between love and knowledge. Journal of Cognitive Affective Learning, 3, 1-9.
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, 597-605. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2010.03.014
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.