The Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.

 1995 Oct;39(4):418-20.

Telles S, Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR.

Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore.

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The autonomic and respiratory variables were studied in seven experienced meditators (with experience ranging from 5 to 20 years). Each subject was studied in two types of sessions–meditation (with a period of mental chanting of “OM”) and control (with a period of non-targetted thinking). The meditators showed a statistically significant reduction in heart rate during meditation compared to the control period (paired ‘t’ test). During both types of sessions there was a comparable increase in the cutaneous peripheral vascular resistance. Keeping in mind similar results of other authors, this was interpreted as a sign of increased mental alertness, even while being physiologically relaxed (as shown by the reduced heart rate).