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Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing
2014, 5(8), 909-912
© 2014 Indian Association of Health,
Research and Welfare
Effects of dynamic meditation on anxiety
Naved Iqbal, Archana Singh, Sheeema Aleem and Samina Bano
Department of Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India
Although traditional meditation has been found to be effective in improving physical and mental health of
subjects, but there was a paucity of research of the effect of active or dynamic meditation on these variables.
Therefore, the present study was aimed at studying the effect of dynamic meditation on anxiety of the subjects.
Total sample of the present study comprised of 60 subjects, 30 each in experimental and control group. Subjects
in the experimental group were given 21 days training in dynamic meditation. Anxiety of the experimental and
control group subjects was measured in pre and post condition with the help of Sinha anxiety scale. Obtained data
were analyzed with the help of analysis of covariance. In post condition, an experimental group scored better than
the control group on total anxiety. An effect size of dynamic meditation on anxiety was moderate.
Keywords: control group, dynamic meditation, experimental group, mental health
Meditation is a holistic discipline by which the practitioner attempts
to get beyond the reflexive, “thinking” mind into a deeper state
of relaxation or awareness. According to Smith (1975), the term
meditation refers to “a family of mental exercises that generally
involve calmly limiting thought and attention.” Shapiro (1982)
defines meditation as “a family of techniques which has in common
a conscious attempt to focus attention in a nonanalytical way and
an attempt not to dwell on discursive, rumination thought.” Such
exercises vary widely and can involve sitting still and counting
breath, attending to a repeated thought, or focusing on virtually any
simple external or internal stimulus.
The predominant meditation practices in much of Asia, from
Tibet to Japan, derive from Indian knowledge and tradition. But as
it reached China, Japan, Tibet, and Southeastern Asian countries,
each region added their own interpretations and developed their
own unique way of practicing meditation methods, as in China
where Buddhism and Taoism together yielded Zen (Wilber, 1998).
Meditation was spread to Western Society thousands of years after
it was adopted in the East. It finally started to gain popularity in
the West in the mid-20th century. In the 1960s and 1970s, many
professors and researchers began testing the effects of meditation
and learned about its multitude of benefits.
One common misconception is that all meditation procedures
are more or less “the same.” But this is simply incorrect, for
major meditation procedures often differ in an important way
(Jonathan, 2006). Different meditation traditions also often have
very different goals, ranging from physical health and mental well-
being to harmony with nature, higher states of consciousness, and
experience of God.
Broadly, all the meditation techniques can be classified into
two basic approaches: Concentrative meditation and mindfulness
meditation (Goleman, 1996).
Concentrative meditation
In concentrative meditation, the attention is focused on the breath,
an image, or sound (mantra), in order to still the mind and allow a
greater awareness and clarity to emerge.
Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation involves expansion of the attention
or awareness to become aware of the ongoing sensation
and feeling, images, thoughts sounds smells, and so forth
without becoming involved in thinking about them (Kutz et al.,
Apart from these broad categories, there are many other
meditation techniques that do not fit in above categories but they
exist with the same goal of attaining a state of mind achieved during
meditation. These meditation techniques that do not assume a fixed
posture comes under active meditation.
Active/dynamic meditation
Active/dynamic meditation refers to any meditation technique
which does not have one’s body assuming a static posture. Although
they are many, dynamic meditation introduced by Osho is one of
the most popular active mediation techniques. He said that if people
are repressed, psychologically are carrying a lot of burdens, then
they need catharsis. Hence, dynamic meditation is just to help them
clean the place (Osho, 2003).
Osho said he employed Western psychotherapy as a means of
preparing for meditation - A way to become aware of one’s mental
and emotional hang-ups-and also introduced his own “active
meditation” techniques, characterized by alternating stages of
physical activity and silence.
Dynamic meditation lasts 1 h and is in five stages. It can be done
alone, and will be even more powerful if it is done with others. It is
an individual experience so you should remain oblivious of others
around you and keep your eyes closed throughout, preferably using
a blindfold. It is best to have an empty stomach and wear loose,
comfortable clothing.
First stage: 10 min
Breathe chaotically through the nose, concentrating always on
exhalation. The body will take care of the inhalation. The breath
should move deeply into the lungs. Be as fast as you can in your
breathing, making sure the breathing stays deep. Do this as fast and
as hard as you possibly can – And then a little harder, until you
literally become the breathing. Use your natural body movements
to help you to build up your energy. Feel it building up, but do not
let go during the first stage.
Correspondence should be sent to Prof. Naved Iqbal
Department of Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia,
New Delhi – 110 025, India. Email:
Second stage: 10 min
Explode! Express everything that needs to be thrown out. Go
totally mad. Scream, shout, cry, jump, shake, dance, sing, laugh;
throw yourself around. Hold nothing back; keep your whole body
moving. A little acting often helps to get you started. Never allow
your mind to interfere with what is happening. Be a total, be whole
Third stage: 10 min
With raised arms, jump up and down shouting the mantra, “Hoo!
Hoo! Hoo!” as deeply as possible. Each time you land, on the flats
of your feet, let the sound hammer deep. Give all you have; exhaust
yourself totally.
Fourth stage: 15 min
Stop! Freeze wherever you are, in whatever position you find
yourself. Do not arrange the body in any way. A cough, a movement-
anything will dissipate the energy flow, and the effort will be lost.
Be a witness to everything that is happening to you.
Fifth stage: 15 min
Celebrate through dance, expressing your gratitude toward the
whole. Carry your happiness with you throughout the day.
Dynamic meditation provides the mediator an opportunity
to catharsis and purify his mind and body which is according to
Osho is essential to gain the meditative state of mind. Thus, this
purification of mind and body helps the individual to wash out his
mind from anxiety.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually
generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is
only subjectively seen as menacing (Bouras & Holt, 2007). It is
often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue, and
problems in concentration. Anxiety can be appropriate, but when it
is too much and continues too long, the individual may suffer from
an anxiety disorder (Bouras & Holt, 2007). Anxiety is not the same
as fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat,
whereas anxiety is the expectation of future threat (American
Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Anxiety is normal human response to stress. A stressor is any
external or internal factor or pressure, which is brought to bear
upon the individual. There are many ways in which people describe
anxious feelings, not always recognizing that these feelings are
associated with anxiety.
Traditional meditation has been found to be effective in
reducing stress and enhancing well-being (Carmody & Baer, 2008;
Jain et al., 2007), controlling addiction (Marlatt & Chawla, 2007;
Simpson et al., 2007), controlling aggression (Singh et al., 2007),
controlling sucidality and depression (Williams et al., 2006), and
other psychiatric problems (Dalton & Beach, 2006).
These studies were based on yoga and Buddhist meditation.
But there is a paucity of research on various dynamic or active
forms of meditation. Present researcher could find only one
study conducted by Vyas (2007) on dynamic meditation. As
noted by researchers, different procedures of meditation might
well be expected to produce different results with regard to
different variables and thus ought to be evaluated individually
(Jonathan, 2006).
In view of the above, the present investigation was planned to
study the effect of dynamic meditation on anxiety.
Participant and design
The sample of the study comprised of 60 subjects of both
sexes, within age group of 18-55. There were 30 subjects in the
experimental group and 30 in the control group. The experimental
group was contacted from Osho Dhyandeep Kendra, Bareilly,
UP region (India) and control group matched with important
characteristics with the experimental group collected from
different localities of Bareilly city. The mean age of experimental
group subjects was 35.46, and the mean age of control group
subjects was 31.26. There were 11 male and 19 female subjects
in the experimental group and 12 male and 18 female subjects
in the control group. In the experimental group, the number of
undergraduate, graduate, post graduate subjects were 3, 20, and 7,
respectively. In the control group, the number of undergraduate,
graduate, post graduate subjects were 6, 11, and 13, respectively.
Subjects who had serious physical or psychological problems were
excluded from the study.
The present study was a pre-test - post-test control group design.
Anxiety Scale
Anxiety was measured by anxiety scale by Sinha and Sinha (1995).
This scale contains 90 items. It has two response categories, “yes”
and “no.” “Yes” response is indicative of anxiety and is given “1”
marks whereas ‘no’ response is not given any marks. Reliability
coefficient of the test was found to be 0.92.
Reliability (internal consistency) was calculated by applying
Cronbach’s alpha test on the score of the present study. Overall
alpha is 0.96 in pre experimental assessment and 0.95 in post
experimental condition, which is very high and indicates strong
internal consistency among the test items (Table 1).
Subjects were contacted individually. Informed consent was taken
from all the subjects after explaining the purpose of the study. They
were told that their identity will not be disclosed in any kind of
publication of the study without their consent. Experimental group
subjects were contacted from Osho Dhyandeep Kendra, Bareilly,
where they received a 21 days dynamic meditation training under
the guidance of Swami Gyan Samarpan coordinator of Osho
Dhyandeep Kendra. Control group matched in terms of important
characteristics with the experimental group was contacted from
different localities of Bareilly city. Anxiety scale was administered
to experimental and control group before and after dynamic
meditation training. Post assessment was done after 21 days of
dynamic meditation training. Obtained data were analyzed with the
help of analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
Table 1: Reliability for anxiety scale on the present sample
Reliability N Cronbach’s alpha
Whole sample 60 0.96
Experimental group 30 0.96
Control group 30 0.96
Post score
Whole sample 60 0.95
Experimental group 30 0.94
Control group 30 0.96
Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing 2014, 5(8), 1-912 911
Obtained results are being presented in the Tables 2-6.
Table 2 is used to check the assumption of homogeneity of the
regression slope. It can be observed that there was non-significant
F-ratio (F=0.73, P=0.39) between the variance of experimental and
control group on anxiety. It means that data have not violated the
assumption of homogeneity of the regression slope. Therefore, we
can perform the ANCOVA test.
To check the assumption of equality of variance “Levene’s test
of equality of error variances” was applied. As shown in table, the
significance level was 0.39 which is >0.05 which shows that the
data do not violate the assumption of equality of variance (Table 3).
Table 4 shows that in the post-assessment condition, the mean
of the experimental group (21.20) was lesser than the control group
The effect of the covariate (pre-tests assessment) had been
statistically removed by calculating adjusted mean given in the
table. Table 5 shows that the mean of the experimental group
(20.95) was lesser than the control group (23.44).
Table 6 reveals that there was a significant difference between
the two groups on post assessment scores on the scale of anxiety
(F=4.94, P=0.03) as per the Table 4, the anxiety score of the
experimental group was lesser than the control group which shows
that meditation significantly help in reducing the anxiety of the
experimental group. The effect size of the meditation was moderate
(as per the guidelines of Cohen, 1988; 0.01 small 0.06 moderate
0.14 large) as depicted by partial Eta squared (0.08).
Analysis of ANCOVA in Table 6 showed that there was a significant
difference between the two groups on post assessment scores on the
scale of anxiety (F=4.94, P=0.03) as per the Table 4, the anxiety
score of the experimental group was lesser than the control group
which shows that meditation significantly help in reducing the
anxiety of the experimental group. The effect size of the meditation
was found to be moderate (as per the guidelines of Cohen, 1988;
0.01 small 0.06 moderate 0.14 large) as depicted by partial Eta
squared (0.080).
Findings of the present study have been supported by the work
conducted by Arana (2006) and Koszycki et al., (2007). These
studies showed that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
proved effective in improving the clinical symptom profile of social
anxiety, depression, rumination, state anxiety, and self-esteem in
adults with social anxiety disorder (SAD). These findings replicate
and extend preliminary reports of symptom reduction in patients
with SAD related to mindfulness training.
Jha et al., (2007) found in their study that changes in cognitive
forms of emotional regulation like attentional deployment have
been proposed as core mechanisms by which MBSR improves
clinical symptoms in patients with anxiety and depression
Dynamic meditation technique used in the present study was
also found to control anxiety of the subjects. Probably, this form of
meditation was also using the same mechanism as suggested by Jha
et al., (2007) for a traditional form of meditation.
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Table 2: Comparison between the control group and experimental
group on anxiety (covariate in pre‑condition)
Source Type III sum
of squares
df Mean
F Significant
Corrected model 16128.35 3 5376.11 326.80 0.000
Intercept 65.79 1 65.79 4.00 0.05
Group 13.66 1 13.66 0.83 0.36
Anxiety 1 15958.22 1 15958.22 970.05 0.000
Group*anxiety 1 260.01 1 260.01 0.73 0.39
Error 921.24 56 16.45
Total 46620.00 60
Corrected total 17049.60 59
Table 3: Leven’s test of equality of error variances
F df1 df2 Significant
0.73 1 58 0.39
Table 4: Means and standard deviation of experimental and
control group for total anxiety
Group Mean Standard deviation N
Experimental group 21.20 15.79 30
Control group 23.20 18.34 30
Total 22.20 16.99 60
Table 5: Estimated marginal mean
Group Mean Standard
95% CI
Lower bound Upper bound
Experimental group 20.95 0.79 19.36 22.54
Control group 23.44 0.79 21.85 25.03
CI: Confidence interval
Table 6: Comparison between the control and experimental group
on anxiety (post)
Source Type III
sum of
df Mean
F Significant Partial
Corrected model 15974.97 2 7987.48 423.66 0.000 0.93
Intercept 66.26 1 66.26 3.51 0.06 0.05
Anxiety 1 15914.97 1 15914.97 844.15 0.000 0.93
Group 93.13 1 93.13 4.94 0.03 0.08
Error 1074.63 57 18.85
Total 46620.00 60
Corrected total 17049.60 59
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... Studies concerning R/S singing used qualitative or mixed methodologies, whereas studies related to R/S movements were all quantitative. Table 3 provides results of the MMAT quality appraisal for all studies: the two studies identified as mixed methods [26,28]; the one qualitative study [27]; and the four quantitative studies [14,33,34,67]. Results for R/S singing and movement are discussed separately below. ...
... As shown in Table 3, overall quality of the four included studies on R/S movement was poor in all but one study [14], which could have been strengthened by inclusion of a control group. Two of the three studies [33,34] rated as poor in quality were from the same author and contained considerable similarity in the text. The third study had a small sample size and lacked a control group [67]. ...
... The four studies that met the criteria of sensorimotor R/S movements were all quantitative studies (see Table 6 for a summary of study characteristics and findings). Two studies were cohort studies with pre-post design [14,67]; the other two utilised control groups though they were not randomised [33,34]. It was not reported whether the control groups in these two studies received any intervention. ...
Background While mental health care needs have increased during the global pandemic, access to care has been reduced. Easily accessible alternative interventions may supplement existing mental health services to meet the increased need of mental health care. Our review explored the evidence of two alternative interventions, religious/spiritual (R/S) singing and R/S movement (dynamic meditation and praise dance), in relation to mental health outcomes. Method After registering with PROSPERO (CRD42020189495), a systematic search of three major databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO) was undertaken using predetermined eligibility criteria. Reference lists of identified papers and additional sources such as Google Scholar were searched. Quality of studies was assessed using the Mixed Method Appraisal Tool (MMAT). Data was extracted, tabulated, and synthesised according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews (PRISMA) guidelines. Results Seven of the 259 identified studies met inclusion criteria. Three studies considered R/S singing, while four considered R/S movement. In R/S movements, three studies considered dynamic meditation while one investigated praise dance. Although moderate to poor in quality, included studies indicated a positive trend for the effectiveness of R/S singing and movement in dealing with mental health concerns. Conclusion While R/S singing and R/S movement (praise dance and dynamic meditation) may be of value as mental health strategies, findings of the review need to be considered with caution due to methodological constraints. The limited number and poor quality of included studies highlight the need for further quality research in these R/S practices in mental health.
... Playing the violin or viola is both a cognitive and physical activity. Cognitively it requires engaging in proper practicing techniques and mindfulness to combat stresses that inhibit motivation and progress (Armecht, 2011;Bandura, 1977;Barbar et al., 2014;Bonneville-Roussy & Bouffard, 2015;Biasutti & Cocina, 2014;Burin & Osório, 2016;Butzer et al., 2016;Chang et al., 2003;Cox & Kenardy, 1993;Csikszentmihalyi, 1990;Diaz, 2018;Ericsson & Pool, 2016;Fredrikson & Gunnarsson, 1992;Fullagar et al., 2013;Hoge et al., 2017;Iqbal et al., 2014;Kenny, 2012;Kenny & Osborne, 2006;Kesselring, 2006;Khalsa et al., 2009;Khalsa et al,, 2013;Khng, 2016;Killough et al., 2015;Kobori et al., 2010;Krampen, 2010;LeBlanc et al., 1997;Lin et al., 2008;Nadler, 2004;Osborne & Franklin, 2002;Osório et al., 2017;Patston, 2014;Powell, 2004;Rahl et al., 2017;Rumsey et al., 2015;Sadler & Miller, 2010;Schneider & Chesky, 2011;Schubert, 2016;Sieger, 2017;Stern et al., 2012;Studer et al., 2010;Studer et al., 2012;Su et al., 2010;Thomas & Nettelbeck, 2014;Van Dam et al., 2014;Wells et al., 2012;Yondem, 2007;Zhukov, 2019). Physically, it requires both the utilization of small motor movements and engagement of large muscle involvement. ...
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It has been widely argued that meditation has psychotherapeutic potential. Research on meditation has yielded 3 sets of findings: (a) experienced meditators who are willing to participate without pay in meditation research appear happier and healthier than nonmeditators; (b) beginning meditators who practice meditation for 4-10 wks show more improvement on a variety of tests than nonmeditators tested at the same time; and (c) persons who are randomly assigned to learn and practice meditation show more improvement over 4-10 wks than control Ss assigned to some form of alternate treatment. However, this is not conclusive evidence that meditation is therapeutic. The therapeutic benefits found could be the result of expectation of relief or of simply sitting on a regular basis. (30 ref)
A framework for the integration of meditation and psychotherapy is presented through a consideration of the psychobiological nature of meditation (the relaxation response) and discussion of a traditional meditation practice (mindfulness meditation) as an effective cognitive technique for the development of self-awareness. The mechanisms by which the emotional and cognitive changes of meditation can be of therapeutic value are explored and the synergistic advantages of the combination of psychotherapy and meditation are discussed.
In 1977 the American Psychiatric Association called for a critical examination of the clinical effectiveness of meditation. The author provides a review of the literature bearing on clinical and physiological comparisons of meditation with other self-control strategies. He begins by providing a definition of mediation and then cites the literature comparing mediation with such self-regulation strategies as biofeedback, hypnosis, and progressive relaxation. He pays particular attention to the "uniqueness" of mediation as a clinical intervention strategy a well as the adverse effects of meditation. Finally, he offers suggestions and guidelines for future research.
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Although meditation has been practiced worldwide for centuries, there are no reports that it causes epilepsy or increases the predisposition to it. Medical care utilization statistics and clinical studies indicate that individuals who regularly practice the Transcendental Meditation technique have fewer problems of the nervous system and specifically show decreased symptoms of epilepsy. The frequency, amplitude, areas of activation, and effects of the EEG during the Transcendental Meditation technique are completely different from those of epilepsy. There is no evidence that the Transcendental Meditation technique increases glutamate, which has been associated with epilepsy. With regard to serotonin, the relationship of serotonin to epilepsy has to be viewed in the context of the abnormal brain tissue that causes epilepsy. The serotonin increases that may occur through meditation have been associated with only beneficial effects.
Verbal and physical aggression are risk factors for community placement of individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. Depending on the motivations involved, treatment typically consists of psychotropic medications and psychosocial interventions, including contingency management procedures and anger management training. Effects of a mindfulness procedure, Meditation on the Soles of the Feet , were tested as a cognitive behavioral intervention for verbal and physical aggression in 3 individuals who had frequently been readmitted to an inpatient psychiatric hospital owing to their anger management problems. In a multiple baseline across subjects design, they were taught a simple meditation technique, requiring them to shift their attention and awareness from the anger-producing situation to the soles of their feet, a neutral point on their body. Their verbal and physical aggression decreased with mindfulness training; no physical aggression and very low rates of verbal aggression occurred during 4 years of follow-up in the community.