Research at Anvesana research laboratories is organized across six major disciplines, each with its strength, specialties and goals. Though there are several areas under interrogation at each facility, the common theme is the emphasis on understanding the complex interplay between the physical, mental, social and spiritual planes of being. All the research disciplines also undertake fundamental studies providing opportunities for medical applications and standardization of tools.
The Molecular Bioscience Laboratory is dedicated for understanding the important biological processes at the molecular level – with the goal of using this knowledge to tackle major problems in human health and disease. The Molecular Biosciences laboratory is an exclusive facility which focuses on the molecular basis of Yogic practices. The techniques that are pioneered in our laboratory include DNA sequencing, microarrays, flow cytometry, fluorescent microscopy, high performance liquid chromatography, chemiluminescence, and 2D electrophoresis to name a few. The Molecular Bioscience group is working to understand the influence of Yoga at the biochemical, genomic and proteomic levels in states of health and various diseases especially Non- Communicable diseases with special interest to type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Cancer. This work is likely to lead to a better understanding of the Yoga practices which we hope to involve in the regulation of genes and interactions of proteins inside the cell.
In the past years, this laboratory has added a lot to the understanding of autonomic modulations following yoga practices, evaluating the functions of autonomic nervous system in various mental states, meditation and breathing practices. To name a few key contributions, an overall parasympathetic predominance and a considerable reduction in metabolic rate & oxygen consumption in Yoga practitioners were demonstrated from this lab. Also, the capability of the autonomic nervous system to respond to stressful stimuli without getting stressed following yoga practices reported from this laboratory has gained great attention. Currently, researchers at this lab are working on understanding autonomic modulations following different yoga techniques.
The cognitive neuroscience laboratory (CNL) through its multidisciplinary approach studies the neural underpinnings of human behaviour, primarily using 128 channel dense EEG, and Evoked Potentials, functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS). The cognitive neuroscience research group targets to ascertain the role of yoga as a mind body intervention in regulating the neural processes influencing cognition pertaining to various mental states. Recent studies from this group with f-MRI & dense array EEG has identified increased activity of cortical areas associated with working memory, and attention following cyclic meditation
Psychology lab attempts at standardizing tools and designing theoretical frameworks from traditional knowledge, to address the specific needs of Yoga research. The laboratory hosts a spectrum of facilities to assess cognition, physical abilities, professional skills using computerized tests. The laboratory has shown evidences to bring out the efficacy of yoga in performance, and cognitive abilities, following traditional Indian systems of education. Recently implicit tools were used to study inherent attitudes and preferences in yoga population. The laboratory is working further to develop specific tools for assessment for Yoga research integrating the western methodologies and the concepts of Indian psychology.
The Bio-Energy laboratory explores subtle energy aspects of biological and inanimate systems. The facilities of the lab include Electrophotonic Imaging a Kirlian principle based system for subtle energy measurements; Acugraphaelectrodermal assessment based on Chinese traditional medicine system; Nadi Tarangini- an indigenous pulse based diagnostic system for assessment of tridosha (vata, pitta, kapha) based on Ayurveda principle and Random Event Generator to study the influence of human mind on the hypothetical consciousness field & power of intention of individuals. Recognizing the need for standardization of subtle energy measuring instruments, initial work of the Laboratory involved experiments to validate these instruments to meet the scientific standards. Using these tools later research showed effect of Yoga in organism’s regulation at subtler levels. Evidence from these experiments supports the existence of subtler dimensions like pranamaya kosa. Effects of various traditional rituals have also been shown on the consciousness field. Future directions of the lab include developing ability to assess a person’s state of health using non-invasive subtle energy tools, complementing the modern methods of diagnosis, resulting in early detection of manifestation of diseases.