The practice of SKY was found to elevate serum levels of Yoga poses for 40 weeks pregnant brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF, an indicator of increased neuroplasticity Pin et al. 2006 Yoga poses for 40 weeks pregnant. Neuroplasticity refers to the processes by which short- and long-term changes in the brain occur, for example the configuration of synapses. In a randomized controlled trial of depressed patients, A-Min Huang and colleagues found that SKY practice increased BDNF and that the increase correlated with improvement in depression Pan et al.
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Complex neurophysiological effects, including increasing HRV and possibly increased electroencephalogram EEG coherence and synchrony, have been studied in Sky practitioners. Sudarshan Kriya Yoga Affects EEG Coherence and Synchrony In a pilot study of 10 SKY practitioners with different levels of experience, Stephen Larsen and colleagues Larsen, Ye, Gerbarg, Brown, Gunkelman et al. 2006, continuously recorded electrocardiogram, HRV, EEG 19 cortical sites, and respirometry during five-minute baseline, 70 minutes of SKY, and 20 minutes of post-SKY rest.