Dr Hiroshi Motoyama Ph.D., Head of the Institute for Religious Psychology in Tokyo, Japan, has been carrying out scientific research into yoga, meditation, psychic and spiritual development. To do this he has found it necessary to develop more sensitive equipment. In A Psycho-physiological Study of Yoga Dr Motoyama has examined the psychological and physiological concomitants of yoga practice in order to define any special characteristics in the physiology of a yogi to distinguish him from a person not practicing techniques of consciousness expansion and spiritual development.
He made a polygraph on an advanced Indian yogi, Kakinada, while he was practicing bhastrika pranayama (the bellows breath). The significant results were:
By way of comparison, a disciple of the yogi who had practiced yoga for one year was also recorded on the polygraph while performing bhastrika pranayama. His polygraph shows no such alteration in physiological parameters.
Dr Motoyama and Kakinada yogi claim bhastrika, which is accompanied by profound alterations in the autonomic function, has the power to awaken the kundalini.
In a subsequent experiment, Dr Motoyama made a polygraph on a 70 year old raja yogi from India. This man's meditation practice produced some different results.
EEG - predominantly alpha waves with high potential, indicating a deeply relaxed state of mind. Respiratory rate - decreased from normal.
GSR - no change, indicating stability of the sympathetic nervous system. In this raja yogi we see a parasympathetic predominance, whereas the kundalini yoga practice produced sympathetic predominance. These two cases indicate that different branches of yoga product different physiological effects.
Dr Motoyama has carried out a great deal of research into the chakras and kundalini. He has set out to ascertain by scientific means whether or not the chakras do exist, and if they do, what is their relationship to the autonomic nervous system and the internal organs. He used the chakra/plexus relationships compiled by Dr Ananda, Head of Physiological Studies for the National Institute of Health in New Delhi. Drawing also on prior research work carried out by Dr Ishikawa Hidetsurianaru, Prof, of Physiology at Kyoto University, he monitored the internal organ activity by recording the electrical potentials at certain specific skin points. Through a series of such experiments, Dr Motoyama found that there are significant differences in the physiological functions of the organs associated with each chakra which the subjects of the study claimed to have awakened through spiritual practice. His research led him to conclude that chakras do exist.
In further research work, Dr Motoyama tried to clarify the differences between spiritually developed and normal subjects. He noted that:
The results of these and many other experiments have led Dr Motoyama to the conclusion that there is a super-conscious awareness of a non-ordinary reality. The potential to discover and explore this hidden dimension is within us all waiting to be awakened, but some have developed it more than others. The practices of yoga and tantra provide modern men and women with a readily accessible doorway to the higher states of consciousness.