EFFECT OF YOGA AND MEDITATION
Mr. Narendra Sidhaye & Mrs. Anjali Anaspure
At the beginning of 2010 the world population stood at more than 6.7 billion, nearly half of this population is below poverty line. When we stop for a moment and see all around, we find suffering, pain, disorder, war, disharmony, distrust, feeling of insecurity and conflict galore. There is enormous selfishness present in human beings which leads to all kinds of miseries and ills in society. We have become narrow minded and self centred to the extent that we do not hesitate to torture others for the sake of our happiness. The reptilian brain, our oldest brain, operates at the level of survival instinct. This brain regulates basic life functions, generates strong primitive emotions needed for survival (lust, fear, aggression), doesn’t take orders and is far away from “executive central” (the neo cortex).
It is clear from recent research that teachers have great potential to affect students’ educational outcomes. There is substantial evidence indicating that schools make a difference in terms of student achievement and the significant factor in that difference is attributable to teachers. Specifically, differential teacher effectiveness is a strong determinant of differences in student learning. Effective teachers believe that they can make a difference in student learning outcomes and they teach in a way that demonstrates the belief. The teacher effectiveness is closely associated with Teacher Efficacy that in turn is greatly dependent on emotional intelligence. So it will always be helpful for teachers if their EI can be enhanced.
While research into the construct of emotional intelligence is in its infancy, studies to date have shown that emotional intelligence does “explain variance in real-life criteria even after numerous other well-established measures are controlled for”. Teachers have rated school children with higher emotional intelligence as less aggressive and more pro-social than their peers.
Teachers being a part of society are also negatively influenced by values of society. Hardly a day goes by without news’ stories featuring teachers’ misbehaviour, harassing of students, teachers’ indulgence in aversive acts of brutally beating their students, unsympathetic attitude, lack of dedication towards job etc. Teachers’ flaws are reflected back in their students and ultimately in society thus continuing the vicious cycle. In order to snap this cycle it is utmost important to develop EI of teacher trainees so that they can self regulate their feelings and contemplate broadmindedly on various issues of life. This will not only help in improving the education system but also in reforming society. According to Henry Adams, “A parent gives life but as a parent he gives no more, a murderer takes life but his deeds stop there. A teacher effects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops.”
YOGA and MEDITATION
The term yoga comes from a Sanskrit word which means yoke or union. Traditionally, yoga is a method joining the individual self with the Divine, Universal Spirit or Cosmic Consciousness. Physical and mental exercises are designed to help achieve this goal, also called self-transcendence or enlightenment. On the physical level, yoga postures, called asanas, are designed to tone, strengthen and align the body. These postures are performed to make the spine supple and healthy and to promote blood flow to all the organs, glands and tissues, keeping all the bodily systems healthy. On the mental level, yoga uses breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana) to quiet, clarify and discipline the mind. One should never forget that yoga is not a religion, but a way of living with health and peace of mind. Beyond doubt Yoga originated in ancient India and is one of the longest surviving philosophical systems in the world. It is the gift of the oldest Vedic philosophy to the modern world.It is now an open secret that Yoga harmonizes mind with body that results in quantum benefits. Yoga through meditation works remarkably to achieve this harmony. In fact these work together in achieving the common goal of unity of mind, body and spirit – a state of eternal bliss. This broadens outlook of a person towards life. Our emotions seem to be associated with our mind and this is what makes human beings different from computer systems.
The term emotional intelligence (EI) was popularised by Goleman who claimed that emotional intelligence can be as powerful and at times more powerful, than I.Q. Emotional intelligence was first referred to in academic literature in 1990 and defined as “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.” Mayer, Salovey, Caruso & Sitarenios later refined their definition to state that emotional intelligence is “an ability to recognise the meanings of emotions and their relationships and to reason and problem-solve on the basis of them.”
The end of the twentieth century saw an unparalleled surge of scientific studies on emotion, hitherto almost unexplored territory because the status of feeling in mental life has been devalued by the reductionist approach of science. There was a time when IQ was considered to be the major determinant of success in life but in the last decade the psychologist Daniel Goleman has argued that emotional intelligence is more important. It is increasingly evident that IQ tests do not measure the aptitudes that count most in life. Societies define intelligence in terms of the society’s context, for example pre-literate societies depend on action- based skills taught in the context within which they will be used. Technological societies require abstract reasoning skills transmitted by means of formal schooling. Consequently what is defined as intelligence in a technological society reflects factors that make for success in school. Famous scientists have said that their discoveries seem to be merely following up the revelations of mystics from the past and even the arrogantly sceptical Freud wrote, “Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me”. The poets and mystics have always known that true intelligence is a blending of head and heart, of thought and feeling.
Many of the current measures of emotional intelligence, both ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (SSRI), owe their development to the theoretical framework proposed by Salovey & Mayer. They revised the model in 1997, detailing a four-branch model of emotional intelligence: ‘managing’, ‘understanding’, ‘using’ and ‘identifying’ emotions. It is based on the authors’ deepening commitment to understanding emotional intelligence as ability and is described as being both hierarchical and developmental. Each of the four branches is conceived as representing related emotional intelligence abilities, that is, the ability to a) identify emotions, b) use emotions to facilitate thought, c) understand emotions and d) manage emotions to promote personal growth.
An ability model of emotional intelligence suggests emotional intelligence skills can be taught and that individuals can learn and improve their competence in each of the four branches of emotional intelligence. For example, a teacher who is low on the second branch of emotional intelligence, ‘using emotions’, may be assisted to learn the skills required for “harnessing different emotions to encourage different approaches to problem solving”.
Developing emotional intelligence of B. Ed. students will result in developing skills and attitudes which will allow them to develop empathy with their students who will become leaders of tomorrow. In a context in which the teacher’s role in fostering active citizenship is being affirmed (Teaching Council, 2006), the capacity of teachers to be ‘emotional workers’ is central to their capacity to engage in development of education. The National Curriculum Framework (2000) has also given importance to spiritual quotient (SQ) along with intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ) for all round development. Emotional quotient comprises various related components that strengthen emotional intelligence.
SURVEY OF RELATED LITERATURE
A perusal of related studies revealed that a number of researches have been done and are presently going on Yoga, Meditation and Emotional Intelligence of school children. Yet no research has been done to study the effect of Yoga and Meditation on EI of B. Ed. Students. So this study was done to find the effect of Yoga and Meditation on Emotional Intelligence of B. Ed. Students i.e. Teacher Trainees.
DEFINITIONS OF THE TERMS
The terms Yoga, Meditation, Emotional Intelligence have already been defined in the preceding sections.
B. Ed. Students: The students studying in Department of Education of TMU, Pune, during academic year 2007 – 2008, for their bachelor degree. They are also called as Pupil Teachers or Teacher Trainees.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study was to investigate the effect of Yoga and Meditation on emotional intelligence of B. Ed. Students.
HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY
Yoga and Meditation has significant effect on the Emotional Intelligence of B. Ed. Students.
Yoga and Meditation has no significant effect on the Emotional Intelligence of B. Ed. Students.
VARIABLES OF THE STUDY
Independent variable: Yoga and Meditation
Dependent variable: Emotional Intelligence
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study was limited to 56 B. Ed. Students of TMU, Pune, doing their bachelor’s degree during the year 2007 – 2008
METHOD OF THE STUDY
This was an Experimental Research. Single Group pre test-post test Design was used.
PROCEDURE OF THE STUDY
Phase 1: Pre-test
Emotional Intelligence of B. Ed. Students was measured using MSCEIT (Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test)
Phase 2: Experimental phase
The curriculum of TMU had 1 month of Yoga Training to B. Ed. Students. So, it was very easy to administer the experiment. The experts from the field were invited to conduct Yoga classes for 1 hour, every morning for 1 month, excluding Sunday. The Yoga session was followed by Meditation under the Guidance of Mr. Narendra Sidhaye, for 20 minutes.
Phase 3: Post-test
Emotional Intelligence of B. Ed. Students was again measured using MSCEIT.
Phase 4: Analysis and conclusion
Results of the pre-test and post-test were analyzed and compared in order to draw the final conclusion.
SAMPLE OF THE STUDY
A Purposive Sample of 56 students of B.Ed. course of TMU, Pune was selected for the present experimental study.
For measuring emotional intelligence, MSCEIT ((Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) was chosen as it has highest reliability as well as validity. But in the Indian Context, there is likelihood of having obtained overall scores less than American Counterparts. Personal Summary Report of each of the students was obtained. For analysis, however total EI score was used.
The differences in the pre-test and post-test scores were calculated to yield the increments in scores of the students. The mean increment scores, standard deviations and critical ratios of the pre-test and post-test were calculated. The t-test was used to find out whether there is significant difference in the achievements of the pre-test and post-test.
The results obtained for the entire group are summarised in the table given below.
The coefficient of correlation, r = 0.752 (for the 2 tests scores)
Level of Significance
At both the levels of significance (0.01 and 0.005), the calculated t value is far more than table value. So, Null Hypothesis has to be rejected. Thus, we can conclude that there is significant increase in the EI of B. Ed. Students due to Yoga and Meditation.
The findings of the study have practical implications for the design of educational and training interventions geared toward enhanced emotional intelligence of students, the leaders of tomorrow. It reflects the significance of including Yoga and Meditation in curriculum for improving emotional intelligence which plays a pivotal role in every aspect of life. It should be practised regularly not only by B. Ed. Students but also by students at various levels in order to develop a better understanding of own emotions as well as emotions of others, paving way for Success in chosen Careers.
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Mr. Narendra Sidhaye (B. E. Mech. and M. Ed.) is founder chairman of Creative Engineers. He is working as an Independent Researcher in the Field of Education for last 15 years.
Mrs. Anjali Anaspure (M. Sc. Math, M.Ed. and SET) has worked as Lecturer in Education in TMV, Pune. She has Research Experience of 12 years in educational field.