Is super brain yoga real or hoax is a debatable topic, and the topic intensifies as you dig deeper into the subject. Read ahead to get some answers!
Superbrain yoga, as the name suggests, is related to your brain and thus grabs your attention.
For those not familiar with this term, Superbrain yoga is a self-improvement activity aimed at giving overachievers an extra edge and claims to cause drastic improvements in children with neurological disabilities such as autism, ADD, and ADHD.
It would be great to know that a simple yoga pose or asana can make you smart. Superbrain claims to give a more powerful, smarter, and faster brain.
This sounds impossible and more like a hoax or a joke, but it could also be real. While there are some claims of Superbrain Yoga being a hoax, others suggest it is real.
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What Exactly Is Super Brain Yoga?
Superbrain yoga is mainly a method introduced and publicized by author and pranic healer GrandMaster Kok Sui. In his website and book, he claims that this ancient technique has been refined and reintroduced by him.
This technique stimulates the chakras and re-energizes the body, boosts retention, restores brain connections, reduces stress, and slows aging.
Superbrain Yoga upholds that young and older adults, therapists, educators, artists, athletes, essentially everyone, benefits from improved holistic brain-body performance and enhanced wellbeing.
Master Chao Kok Sui, in his book SuperBrain Yoga (SBY), reveals that it is an ancient Indian form that utilizes breathing techniques and acupressure.
These techniques are seemingly supposed to create a balance in the two hemispheres of the brain and increase energy.
The website also cites an unnamed study that mentions that the alpha waves activity increases after performing Super Brain Yoga for a minute. This increased time in the Alpha state attributes to creativity, intuition, improved memory, emotional stability, and better health.
Yoga Master Choa Kok Sui is also known for his books on Pranic Healing. His book “Pranic Crystal Healing” teaches healing methods using the natural power from crystals.
What is Pranic Healing?
Pranic healing in modern times was propagated by Grand Master Choa Kok Sui, of Chinese descent, born in Philippines.
Pranic healing, involves a no-touch process, as it based on the idea that the body has the capability to heal itself. Pranic healing makes a claim that energy or prana can help heal ailments by contributing to the individual’s energy field.
Grand Master Sui also mentioned that pranic healing is similar to yoga and acupuncture in which treatment is done for the “energy body,” which affects the “physical body.”
Steps In Performing Super Brain Yoga
Step 1. The First Step is to remove any jewelry being worn and face east (use a compass if required to find the east direction)
Step 2. The second step requires you to roll your tongue inward and press it firmly on the roof of your mouth.
Step 3. Move your left hand, across your upper body and reach for your right earlobe with your left hand thumb
Step 4. Place your left thumb on the outside of your right earlobe, and your two fingers on the inside behind the ear.
Step 5. bend your right arm at the elbow and reach for your left earlobe, as you did with the left arm.
Step 6. Make sure your left arm is the one closer to your chest and your right arm is over and above it.
Step 7. Inhale deeply through your nose while squatting down to a sitting level position (no chair, squatting only). Try and remain squatting as close to the floor as possible.
Step 8. Hold the squatting position for two to three seconds and rise to your original standing position while exhaling.
Step 9. Take a pause for a second and count one cycle.
Step 10. Repeat this for seven more cycles by inhaling as you descend and exhaling as you rise.
Step 11. Take a pause for one second and repeat for seven more cycles (a total of 14 cycles)
Step 12. At the peak of your 14th cycle, release your ears and let your arms fall gently to your sides. Finally, release your tongue from the roof of your mouth.
The Elephant Pose
The squats in Superbrain yoga use the asana or yoga pose, which is the Chair Pose (Utkatasana) except for the crossed arms and ear grab.
Adding to those is the finger, arm, upper body, and tongue position, which is done in Thoppukaranam, a devotional practice. The practice was performed for Lord Ganesh or the elephant deity.
The direction is significant in enacting rituals. East mentions the compass point of the rising sun, so meditation or prayers take place facing East.
Thoppukaranam is also a general classroom corrective activity for inattentive or disorderly children in India.
The Significance of Ears
Ears have significance as they contain sensitive acupuncture points. In traditional Chinese medicine, ears could be stimulated to boost the release of feel-good endorphins.
The right earlobe, when pinched, stimulates the left brain, and the left earlobe, when pinched, stimulates the right brain.
Continuous pressure synchronizes and aligns both halves of the brain. Applying pressure on the earlobes might trigger useful hormone production and restore balance to several glands such as the pineal gland and hypothalamus. These glands control the circadian rhythm and response to light and dark.
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Does Superbrain Yoga Work?
On Superbrain Yoga Being a Hoax
The disbelievers classify and claim that it is a hoax. In his blog, Dr. Steven Novella, an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University, discredits the Superbrain Yoga fad as a pseudoscience.
He says that studies on the effects of Superbrain Yoga are biased and flawed, stating that the prana energy is make-believe and is no concrete researcher on impact of Superbrain Yoga.
As per the doctor, Superbrain Yoga has failed in conducting blind evaluations and omitting important details from studying protocols and conclusion.
It is placebo effect?
Researchers and neuroscientists believe that people practicing Superbrain Yoga, are experiencing a placebo effect.
Placebo effect, simply means that you if you believe that something is working or healing you, you will automatically start feeling better. This is irrespective of whether that thing has the requisite properties to heal you. It essentially refers to a treatment, medical or non-medical, that appears to be true but essentially is nothing but a dummy.
Thus, many believe Superbrain yoga to be having a placebo effect, where since the practitioner “believes” that Superbrain yoga is helping them, they might experience some positive outcomes.
Is There any Research on Superbrain Yoga?
A journal published in the 2014 International Journal of Yoga examined the effect of Superbrain Yoga exercise on selective attention and psychological states on 80 undergraduate students in India.
They found out that students performing Thoppukaranam, or the SuperBrain squats, had secured significantly higher controls in cognitive functioning, which included concentration, attention, and mindfulness.
They had also outperformed their peers in acuity, accuracy, and mental processing speed showing a significant drop in stress and anxiety.
A non-randomized, brief empirical study, published in the Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development in 2020, concludes that majority of students reported an improvement in health after performing Superbrain Yoga.
Thus, according to limited studies, five minutes of ear-pinching squats performed in a day brings improvements in your life, making you less forgetful and smarter.
Whether Superbrain Yoga is a powerful intervention for Autism, Alzheimer and Attention disorder is yet to be found. Superbrain yoga can be taken up as an activity in meditation as it has benefits similar to it.