The technique, known as Transcendental Meditation, involves a particular sound being repeated over and over again with the eyes closed
- Students who performed two 20-minute sessions twice a day were up to 25 per cent more likely to graduate from high school
A meditation technique made famous by the Beatles could boost brain power and even improve exam grades, scientists have claimed. A study of high school students found graduation rates were up to 25 per cent better for those who Chanting ‘om’ or a similar meditation mantra for 20 minutes twice a day. The relaxation technique, known as Transcendental Meditation, involves a particular sound being repeated over and over again with the eyes closed. New research suggests that Transcendental Meditation, taught to The Beatles by Indian Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1967 , can boost brain function and improve exam grades by up to 25 per cent It has also been shown to reduce the risk of death from heart attack and strokes and soothe stress and anxiety.
It became fashionable among ‘flower power’ hippies of the Sixties after John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr visited India and were taught it by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Professor Robert Colbert, from the University of Connecticut, said improved graduation rates benefit society as a whole, as well as improving prospects for the individual.
He added that dropping out can result in loss of income, along with more risk of turning to crime and ending up in jail, or becoming dependent on state benefit. In the study, analysis of the records of 235 students at an urban school on the east coast of the U.S. showed a 15 per cent higher graduation rate for those put on a transcendental mediation program compared to a control group.
When only the lowest academically performing participants in both groups were considered, passes rose by 25 per cent in the meditators. The meditating students were also less likely to drop out from school, or enter prison, and were more likely to be accepted to further education.
‘Our study investigated one such program, Transcendental Meditation, which appears to hold tremendous promise for enriching the lives of our nation’s students.’
In a 2009 interview, Ringo Starr said of Transcendental Meditation: ‘Over 40 years ago, we ended up in Rishikesh.That is where we hung out with Maharishi. We had met him a few months before in Wales. Since then, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, I have meditated. It is a gift he gave me.’ Paul McCartney added: ‘It is one of the few things anyone has ever given to me that means so much to me. For us, it came at a time when we were looking for something to stabilise us at the end of the crazy Sixties.’
The research is published in the journal Education.