International Journal of Yoga

: 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 83-

Response to "trataka and cognitive function"

Shubhada Talwadkar, Aarti Jagannathan, R Nagarathna 
 Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Aarti Jagannathan
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana, 19, Gavipuuram, KG Nagar, Bengaluru 560 019, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Talwadkar S, Jagannathan A, Nagarathna R. Response to "trataka and cognitive function".Int J Yoga 2015;8:83-83

How to cite this URL:
Talwadkar S, Jagannathan A, Nagarathna R. Response to "trataka and cognitive function". Int J Yoga [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Oct 1 ];8:83-83
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Dear Sir,

We are thankful to Tin and Wiwanitkit for their observation [1] on our article "effect of trataka on cognitive functions in the elderly." [2]

In response to their observation, we would like to quote that authentic traditional texts of yoga describe the benefits of trataka on a whole range of physiological and cognitive functions. [3],[4] Physiologically trataka relieves various eye ailments such as eye strain and headache, myopia, astigmatism, glaucoma [5] and even early stages of cataract. [6] There are different methods of practicing trataka serving different purposes. Different objects of awareness are used in the practice of trataka, depending on the purpose of practicing or taking condition of a subject practicing into consideration. Certain practices are to be done only under guidance, such as sun trataka if not done properly can damage the retina or can lead to other eye ailments.

The trataka procedure used in this study has been developed and used by Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana for the past many years and has found to be effective with nil adverse effects. The procedure was thus further modified to suit elderly individuals in our study where time of gazing at the flame was only 10 s to begin with, which was gradually increased to 1-2 min; there were different components including focusing, defocusing, internal focusing, with sufficient relaxation in between to reduce possible strain to the eyes. Within 7 days, subjects reported having reduced eyestrain, and no any adverse effects were noted. Similar positive effects of trataka along with other yoga practices have been shown to reduce visual strain in persons with progressive myopia. [7]

Thus, the trataka practice can be modified depending on the error of refraction. The authors would thus like to state that the trataka procedure as used in this study is feasible, safe and can be practiced by the elderly without worsening their eyesight problems.


1Tin SS, Wiwanitkit V. Trataka and cognitive functions. Int J Yoga 2015;8:82.
2Talwadkar S, Jagannathan A, Raghuram N. Effect of trataka on cognitive functions in the elderly. Int J Yoga 2014;7:96-103.
3Niranjanananda SS. Gheranda Samhita-Commentary on the Yoga Teachings of Maharshri Gheranda. Munger: Yoga Publications Trust; 2012.
4Muktibodhananda S, Saraswati SS. Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Munger: Yoga Publications Trust; 2000.
5Ramachandra K, Anupama N, Subbalakshmi NK, Sadashiva PM. Effect of jyotirtrataka on intraocular pressure in normal subjects. Thai J Physiol Sci 2008;21:8-13.
6Niranjanananda SS. Dharanadarshan-Yogic, Tantric and Upanishadic Practices of Concentration and Visualizations. 2 nd ed. Munger, Bihar: Yoga Publications Trust; 2003.
7Nagendra HR, Vaidehi S, Nagarathna R. Integrated approach of yoga therapy for ophthalmic disorders. Institutional report VKYOCTAS/84/015. Bengaluru: Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Therapy and Research Center; 1984.