The effect of Hatha yoga intervention on students’ creative ability


Dr. (Colonel) P.S James


Bollimbala, A., James, P. S., & Ganguli, S. (2020).
Acta Psychologica, 209, 103121.


There is increasing demand for individual creativity as organizations seek innovative ways to remain
relevant. Higher education institutions, particularly business schools, are sensitive to this demand
and are constantly in search for innovative ways to enhance the creative ability of their students.
Prior studies have shown encouraging results for physical activity-oriented interventions. Building on
this research, this study uses Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to understand if an acute
combinatory intervention, involving both physical and mental exercises embodied in Hatha yoga can
improve individual creativity. This study uses 92 MBA student participants to investigate the impact
of a 20-minute Hatha yoga session intervention against a short 20-minute case study session for the
control group. Creative ability of the participants is operationalized through divergent and
convergent thinking, which are then assessed through counter-balanced forms of Guilford Alternate
Uses tasks and Remote Associate Test, respectively. The results show that while Hatha yoga
significantly improves divergent thinking, the control group shows deterioration in divergent
thinking. There is no effect on convergent thinking. These findings lend some support to the executive function hypothesis. The study also finds that prodding a person to be more creative on a
routine academic task may not enhance their creative ability.

Link to Article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0001691819305505

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