Scientific research has found that meditation produces a physiological state of restful alertness, which is separate and distinct from ordinary waking, dream states, and deep sleep. This shift in physiology is defined by the body becoming deeply rested as indicated by significant reductions in respiration, minute ventilation, tidal volume, and blood lactate, and significant increases in basal skin resistance (an index of relaxation).
Research has also indicated an improvement in mental physiologic, including optimization of brain functioning, holistic improvement in intellectual performance, improvement of postgraduate academic performance, and an increase self-actualization.
In 1993, Kiran Bedi, inspector general of Indian prisons reformed the harsh Indian penal system, introducing Vipassana courses in Tihar jail, the largest prison in India. Vipassana is an ancient method of meditation used for control of one's conscious and subconscious mind through a breathing process. The results were successful, a dramatic shift took place in the behaviors of both inmates and jailers. As a result the entire Indian prison system improved.
The methods to be used in the SYA program aims to help participants heal their minds. Meditation and related practices are an effective and verifiable tool for accomplishing this goal. Violent, aggressive thoughts tax the body's nervous system through excessive, intensified use and require the mind to work overtime to sustain this increased activity level. The act of showing down and develop the strength of the breath as well as developing a higher capacity of concentration helps to lessen the activity of the nervous system. This physiological benefit reinforces the act that has perpetuated it, which then creates a sustainable, beneficial cycle of peace throughout the mind and body. Other medical documentation supporting these claims are as follows :
- Reduced Blood Pressure (American Journal of Hypertension, 2008)
- Reduced Heart Failure (Ethnicity & Disease, Winter 2007)
- Decreased Reactivity to Pain (Neuro Report, August 2006)
- Decreased Metabolic Syndrome (JAMA's Archives of Internal Medicine, June 2006)
- Extended Longevity (American Journal of Cardiology, May 2005)
- Reduced Thickening of Coronary Arteries (Stroke, March 2000)
- Reduced Constriction of Blood Vessels (Psychosomatic Medicine, Jan 1999)
- Reduced Myocardial Ischemia (American Journal of Cardiology, May 1996)