International Journal of Yoga
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Effect of yoga therapy in reversible inguinal hernia: A quasi experimental study
Jagatheesan Alagesan, Suthakar Venkatachalam, Anandbabu Ramadass, Sankar B Mani
January-June 2012, 5(1):16-20
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.91697  PMID:22346061
Background: Hernia is an abnormal protrusion of an organ or tissue through a defect in its surrounding walls which most commonly involves the abdominal wall, particularly the inguinal region. The treatment options for hernia ranges from simple exercises to modern surgeries. The effect of yoga therapy is not scientifically examined for reversible inguinal hernia and hence this study is undertaken with the aim to test the effect of selected asanas in reversible inguinal hernia. Materials and Methods: A quasi experimental trail of 19 males through consecutive sampling was done with selected asanas for three months and the outcome was measured by a questionnaire focusing on pain, aggravating factors, relieving factors and frequency of occurrence of symptoms of hernia. Results: The pre and post interventional data were compared statistically and found significant reduction of symptoms with P≤0.001 in pain, frequency of occurrence and aggravating factors. The relieving factors showed significant increase with P≤0.001. Conclusion: Yoga therapy with selected asanas is effective in the treatment of reversible inguinal hernia.
  19,684 561 -
REVIEW ARTICLE
Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life
Catherine Woodyard
July-December 2011, 4(2):49-54
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.85485  PMID:22022122
The objective of this study is to assess the findings of selected articles regarding the therapeutic effects of yoga and to provide a comprehensive review of the benefits of regular yoga practice. As participation rates in mind-body fitness programs such as yoga continue to increase, it is important for health care professionals to be informed about the nature of yoga and the evidence of its many therapeutic effects. Thus, this manuscript provides information regarding the therapeutic effects of yoga as it has been studied in various populations concerning a multitude of different ailments and conditions. Therapeutic yoga is defined as the application of yoga postures and practice to the treatment of health conditions and involves instruction in yogic practices and teachings to prevent reduce or alleviate structural, physiological, emotional and spiritual pain, suffering or limitations. Results from this study show that yogic practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.
  18,685 41 5
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Effect of yoga on academic performance in relation to stress
Amit Kauts, Neelam Sharma
January-June 2009, 2(1):39-43
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.53860  PMID:21234215
Background: Academic performance is concerned with the quantity and quality of learning attained in a subject or group of subjects after a long period of instruction. Excessive stress hampers students' performance. Improvement in academic performance and alertness has been reported in several yogic studies. Aims and Objectives: The main objective of the study was to assess the effect of yoga on academic performance in relation to stress. Materials and Methods: The study started with 800 adolescent students; 159 high-stress students and 142 low-stress students were selected on the basis of scores obtained through Stress Battery. Experimental group and control group were given pre test in three subjects, i.e., Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. A yoga module consisting of yoga asanas, pranayama, meditation, and a value orientation program was administered on experimental group for 7 weeks. The experimental and control groups were post-tested for their performance on the three subjects mentioned above. Results: The results show that the students, who practiced yoga performed better in academics. The study further shows that low-stress students performed better than high-stress students, meaning thereby that stress affects the students' performance.
  13,793 824 3
REVIEW ARTICLE
Modulation of immune responses in stress by Yoga
Sarika Arora, Jayashree Bhattacharjee
July-December 2008, 1(2):45-55
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.43541  PMID:21829284
Stress is a constant factor in today's fastpaced life that can jeopardize our health if left unchecked. It is only in the last half century that the role of stress in every ailment from the common cold to AIDS has been emphasized, and the mechanisms involved in this process have been studied. Stress influences the immune response presumably through the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis, hypothalamic pituitary-gonadal axis, and the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary system. Various neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, hormones, and cytokines mediate these complex bidirectional interactions between the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system. The effects of stress on the immune responses result in alterations in the number of immune cells and cytokine dysregulation. Various stress management strategies such as meditation, yoga, hypnosis, and muscle relaxation have been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological effects of stress in cancers and HIV infection. This review aims to discuss the effect of stress on the immune system and examine how relaxation techniques such as Yoga and meditation could regulate the cytokine levels and hence, the immune responses during stress.
  10,227 1,043 4
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Neurohemodynamic correlates of 'OM' chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study
Bangalore G Kalyani, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Rashmi Arasappa, Naren P Rao, Sunil V Kalmady, Rishikesh V Behere, Hariprasad Rao, Mandapati K Vasudev, Bangalore N Gangadhar
January-June 2011, 4(1):3-6
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.78171  PMID:21654968
Background: A sensation of vibration is experienced during audible 'OM' chanting. This has the potential for vagus nerve stimulation through its auricular branches and the effects on the brain thereof. The neurohemodynamic correlates of 'OM' chanting are yet to be explored. Materials and Methods: Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), the neurohemodynamic correlates of audible 'OM' chanting were examined in right-handed healthy volunteers (n=12; nine men). The 'OM' chanting condition was compared with pronunciation of "ssss" as well as a rest state. fMRI analysis was done using Statistical Parametric Mapping 5 (SPM5). Results: In this study, significant deactivation was observed bilaterally during 'OM' chanting in comparison to the resting brain state in bilateral orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate, parahippocampal gyri, thalami and hippocampi. The right amygdala too demonstrated significant deactivation. No significant activation was observed during 'OM' chanting. In contrast, neither activation nor deactivation occurred in these brain regions during the comparative task - namely the 'ssss' pronunciation condition. Conclusion: The neurohemodynamic correlates of 'OM' chanting indicate limbic deactivation. As similar observations have been recorded with vagus nerve stimulation treatment used in depression and epilepsy, the study findings argue for a potential role of this 'OM' chanting in clinical practice.
  10,813 36 6
A comparative study of slow and fast suryanamaskar on physiological function
Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Kaviraja Udupa, Madanmohan , PN Ravindra
July-December 2011, 4(2):71-76
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.85489  PMID:22022125
Background: Numerous scientific studies have reported beneficial physiological changes after short- and long-term yoga training. Suryanamaskar (SN) is an integral part of modern yoga training and may be performed either in a slow or rapid manner. As there are few studies on SN, we conducted this study to determine the differential effect of 6 months training in the fast and slow versions. Materials and Methods: 42 school children in the age group of 12-16 years were randomly divided into two groups of 21 each. Group I and Group II received 6 months training in performance of slow suryanamaskar (SSN) and fast suryanamaskar (FSN), respectively. Results: Training in SSN produced a significant decrease in diastolic pressure. In contrast, training in FSN produced a significant increase in systolic pressure. Although there was a highly significant increase in isometric hand grip (IHG) strength and hand grip endurance (HGE) in both the groups, the increase in HGE in FSN group was significantly more than in SSN group. Pulmonary function tests showed improvements in both the groups though intergroup comparison showed no significance difference. Maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximum expiratory pressure increased significantly in both the groups with increase of MIP in FSN group being more significant than in SSN. Conclusion: The present study reports that SN has positive physiological benefits as evidenced by improvement of pulmonary function, respiratory pressures, hand grip strength and endurance, and resting cardiovascular parameters. It also demonstrates the differences between SN training when performed in a slow and fast manner, concluding that the effects of FSN are similar to physical aerobic exercises, whereas the effects of SSN are similar to those of yoga training.
  10,053 24 1
Investigating paranormal phenomena: Functional brain imaging of telepathy
Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Peruvumba N Jayakumar, Hongasandra R Nagendra, Dindagur Nagaraja, R Deeptha, Bangalore N Gangadhar
July-December 2008, 1(2):66-71
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.43543  PMID:21829287
Aim: "Telepathy" is defined as "the communication of impressions of any kind from one mind to another, independently of the recognized channels of sense". Meta-analyses of "ganzfield" studies as well as "card-guessing task" studies provide compelling evidence for the existence of telepathic phenomena. The aim of this study was to elucidate the neural basis of telepathy by examining an individual with this special ability. Materials and Methods: Using functional MRI, we examined a famous "mentalist" while he was performing a telepathic task in a 1.5 T scanner. A matched control subject without this special ability was also examined under similar conditions. Results: The mentalist demonstrated significant activation of the right parahippocampal gyrus after successful performance of a telepathic task. The comparison subject, who did not show any telepathic ability, demonstrated significant activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus. Conclusions: The findings of this study are suggestive of a limbic basis for telepathy and warrant further systematic research.
  8,748 408 -
Here and now: Yoga in Israeli schools
Miron Ehud, Bar-Dov An, Strulov Avshalom
July-December 2010, 3(2):42-47
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.72629  PMID:21170229
Context: In the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War, a project was initiated and designed to reduce tension in the children living in the area under bombardment. Aims: To assess the impact of yoga intervention in a group of Israeli school children residing in the region affected by the Second Lebanon War. Settings and Design: The study population included 122 school children aged 8-12 years in two elementary schools in Safed (n=55 and n=67, respectively) and their teachers (n=6). The children attended the third grade (n=28), fourth grade (n=42) and sixth grade (n=52). Inclusion in the study was based on the school principal's consent to participate in the program. Materials and Methods: Assessment was conducted using three questionnaires that have been previously validated in international studies and translated to Hebrew. Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical analysis of the results included Wilcoxon Signed Ranked Tests for pre- and post-intervention comparisons and the Kruskall-Wallis test for teacher and child cross-comparisons. Results: Based on the questionnaires completed by the children and their teachers, we found that the teachers reported many statistically significant improvements in the children's concentration, mood and ability to function under pressure, although the children themselves were unaware of any change in their behavior. Enjoyment was reported by all participants, and almost all expressed an interest in continuing to practice yoga during school hours. We conclude that participation in yoga classes may be both enjoyable and beneficial to children living in stressful conditions. Conclusions: The study indicates that yoga may be beneficial as an intervention for children in postwar stress situations.
  8,914 53 4
Yoga in Australia: Results of a national survey
Stephen Penman, Marc Cohen, Philip Stevens, Sue Jackson
July-December 2012, 5(2):92-101
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.98217  PMID:22869991
Introduction: The therapeutic benefits of yoga and meditation are well documented, yet little is known about the practice of yoga in Australia or elsewhere, whether as a physical activity, a form of therapy, a spiritual path or a lifestyle. Materials and Methods: To investigate the practice of yoga in Australia, a national survey of yoga practitioners was conducted utilizing a comprehensive web-based questionnaire. Respondents were self-selecting to participate. A total of 3,892 respondents completed the survey. Sixty overseas respondents and 1265 yoga teachers (to be reported separately) were excluded, leaving 2,567 yoga practitioner respondents. Results: The typical yoga survey respondent was a 41-year-old, tertiary educated, employed, health-conscious female (85% women). Asana (postures) and vinyasa (sequences of postures) represented 61% of the time spent practicing, with the other 39% devoted to the gentler practices of relaxation, pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation and instruction. Respondents commonly started practicing yoga for health and fitness but often continued practicing for stress management. One in five respondents practiced yoga for a specific health or medical reason which was seen to be improved by yoga practice. Of these, more people used yoga for stress management and anxiety than back, neck or shoulder problems, suggesting that mental health may be the primary health-related motivation for practicing yoga. Healthy lifestyle choices were seen to be more prevalent in respondents with more years of practice. Yoga-related injuries occurring under supervision in the previous 12 months were low at 2.4% of respondents. Conclusions: Yoga practice was seen to assist in the management of specific health issues and medical conditions. Regular yoga practice may also exert a healthy lifestyle effect including vegetarianism, non-smoking, reduced alcohol consumption, increased exercise and reduced stress with resulting cost benefits to the community.
  8,862 22 3
Effect of yoga on quality of life of CLBP patients: A randomized control study
Padmini Tekur, Singphow Chametcha, Ramarao Nagendra Hongasandra, Nagarathna Raghuram
January-June 2010, 3(1):10-17
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.66773  PMID:20948896
Context: In two of the earlier Randomized Control Trials on yoga for chronic lower back pain (CLBP), 12 to 16 weeks of intervention were found effective in reducing pain and disability. Aim: To study the efficacy of a residential short term intensive yoga program on quality of life in CLBP. Materials and Methods: About 80 patients with CLBP (females 37) registered for a week long treatment at SVYASA Holistic Health Centre in Bengaluru, India. They were randomized into two groups (40 each). The yoga group practiced a specific module for CLBP comprising of asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breathing practices), meditation and lectures on yoga philosophy. The control group practiced physical therapy exercises for back pain. Perceived stress scale (PSS) was used to measure baseline stress levels. Outcome measures were WHOQOL Bref for quality of life and straight leg raising test (SLR) using a Goniometer. Results: There were significant negative correlations (Pearson's, P<0.005, r>0.30) between baseline PSS with all four domains and the total score of WHOQOLBref. All the four domains' WHOQOLBref improved in the yoga group (repeated measures ANOVA P=0.001) with significant group*time interaction (P<0.05) and differences between groups (P<0.01). SLR increased in both groups (P=0.001) with higher increase in yoga (31.1 % right, 28.4 % left) than control (18.7% right, 21.5 % left) group with significant group*time interaction (SLR right leg P=0.044). Conclusion: In CLBP, a negative correlation exists between stress and quality of life. Yoga increases quality of life and spinal flexibility better than physical therapy exercises.
  8,672 205 6
Brainstem auditory-evoked potentials in two meditative mental states
Sanjay Kumar, HR Nagendra, KV Naveen, NK Manjunath, Shirley Telles
July-December 2010, 3(2):37-41
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.72628  PMID:21170228
Context: Practicing mental repetition of "OM" has been shown to cause significant changes in the middle latency auditory-evoked potentials, which suggests that it facilitates the neural activity at the mesencephalic or diencephalic levels. Aims: The aim of the study was to study the brainstem auditory-evoked potentials (BAEP) in two meditation states based on consciousness, viz. dharana, and dhyana. Materials and Methods: Thirty subjects were selected, with ages ranging from 20 to 55 years (M=29.1; ±SD=6.5 years) who had a minimum of 6 months experience in meditating "OM". Each subject was assessed in four sessions, i.e. two meditation and two control sessions. The two control sessions were: (i) ekagrata, i.e. single-topic lecture on meditation and (ii) cancalata, i.e. non-targeted thinking. The two meditation sessions were: (i) dharana, i.e. focusing on the symbol "OM" and (ii) dhyana, i.e. effortless single-thought state "OM". All four sessions were recorded on four different days and consisted of three states, i.e. pre, during and post. Results: The present results showed that the wave V peak latency significantly increased in cancalata, ekagrata and dharana, but no change occurred during the dhyana session. Conclusions: These results suggested that information transmission along the auditory pathway is delayed during cancalata, ekagrata and dharana, but there is no change during dhyana. It may be said that auditory information transmission was delayed at the inferior collicular level as the wave V corresponds to the tectum.
  8,740 58 2
The effect of various breathing exercises (pranayama) in patients with bronchial asthma of mild to moderate severity
Tarun Saxena, Manjari Saxena
January-June 2009, 2(1):22-25
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.53838  PMID:21234211
Background/Aim: The incidence of bronchial asthma is on increase. Chemotherapy is helpful during early course of the disease, but later on morbidity and mortality increases. The efficacy of yoga therapy though appreciated is yet to be defined and modified. Aim: To study the effect of breathing exercises ( pranayama ) in patients with bronchial asthma of mild to moderate severity. Materials and Methods: Fifty cases of bronchial asthma (Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1) > 70%) were studied for 12 weeks. Patients were allocated to two groups: group A and group B (control group). Patients in group A were treated with breathing exercises (deep breathing, Brahmari , and Omkara , etc.) for 20 minutes twice daily for a period of 12 weeks. Patients were trained to perform Omkara at high pitch (forceful) with prolonged exhalation as compared to normal Omkara . Group B was treated with meditation for 20 minutes twice daily for a period of 12 weeks. Subjective assessment, FEV1%, and Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) were done in each case initially and after 12 weeks. Results: After 12 weeks, group A subjects had significant improvement in symptoms, FEV1, and PEFR as compared to group B subjects. Conclusion: Breathing exercises ( pranayama ), mainly expiratory exercises, improved lung function subjectively and objectively and should be regular part of therapy.
  7,866 898 5
Effect of yoga on mental health: Comparative study between young and senior subjects in Japan
Derebail Gururaja, Kaori Harano, Ikenaga Toyotake, Haruo Kobayashi
January-June 2011, 4(1):7-12
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.78173  PMID:21654969
Background : Japan has a large number of senior citizens. Yoga can be wisely applied in old age care. There is no any age restriction to practice yoga. The effect may differ by age. There is a need to study the mechanism of action of yoga with respect to age. Aim: This study was conducted in Japan to find the effect of yoga on mental health between young and senior people. Materials and Methods: Twenty-five normal healthy volunteers of both sexes were divided into two groups according to age. Fifteen participants of the age group between 65 to 75 years and 10 participants of the age group between 20 to 30 years were selected. This study was approved by the ethical committee of Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare. Selected individuals were subjected to 90 min of yoga classes once or twice a week for a month. Salivary amylase activity was assessed before and after yoga practice. State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was given before yoga on the first day and after one month of practice to assess the change in State anxiety and Trait anxiety. Results : Senior group - Salivary amylase activity decreased from 111.2±42.7 to 83.48±39.5 kU/L [average±standard deviation]. Younger group - Salivary amylase activity reduced from 60.74±31.8 to 42.39±24 kU/L. Senior group - State anxiety score decreased from 41.13 ±8.43 to 30.8±6.49, Trait anxiety score reduced from 45.66±7.5 to 40.73±8.3. Younger group - State anxiety score reduced from 38.7±4.8 to 30.8±4.1,Trait anxiety score reduced from 46.2±7.9 to 42.9±9.1. Changes were statistically significant with P<0.05. Conclusion: Decrease in Salivary amylase activity may be due to reduction in sympathetic response. Reduction in State and Trait anxiety score signifies that yoga has both immediate as well as long-term effect on anxiety reduction. Thus yoga helps to improve the mental health in both the groups.
  8,474 27 3
REVIEW ARTICLE
Sudarshan kriya yoga: Breathing for health
Sameer A Zope, Rakesh A Zope
January-June 2013, 6(1):4-10
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.105935  PMID:23440614
Breathing techniques are regularly recommended for relaxation, stress management, control of psychophysiological states, and to improve organ function. Yogic breathing, defined as a manipulation of breath movement, has been shown to positively affect immune function, autonomic nervous system imbalances, and psychological or stress-related disorders. The aim of this study was to assess and provide a comprehensive review of the physiological mechanisms, the mind-body connection, and the benefits of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) in a wide range of clinical conditions. Various online databases searched were Medline, Psychinfo, EMBASE, and Google Scholar. All the results were carefully screened and articles on SKY were selected. The references from these articles were checked to find any other potentially relevant articles. SKY, a unique yogic breathing practice, involves several types of cyclical breathing patterns, ranging from slow and calming to rapid and stimulating. There is mounting evidence to suggest that SKY can be a beneficial, low-risk, low-cost adjunct to the treatment of stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, stress-related medical illnesses, substance abuse, and rehabilitation of criminal offenders.
  8,465 27 2
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Effect of an integrated approach of yoga therapy on quality of life in osteoarthritis of the knee joint: A randomized control study
John Ebnezar, Raghuram Nagarathna, Yogitha Bali, Hongasandra Ramarao Nagendra
July-December 2011, 4(2):55-63
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.85486  PMID:22022123
Aim: This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of addition of integrated yoga therapy to therapeutic exercises in osteoarthritis (OA) of knee joints. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective randomized active control trial. A total of t participants with OA of knee joints between 35 and 80 years (yoga, 59.56 ± 9.54 and control, 59.42 ± 10.66) from the outpatient department of Dr. John's Orthopedic Center, Bengaluru, were randomly assigned to receive yoga or physiotherapy exercises after transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment of the affected knee joints. Both groups practiced supervised intervention (40 min per day) for 2 weeks (6 days per week) with followup for 3 months. The module of integrated yoga consisted of shithilikaranavyayama (loosening and strengthening), asanas, relaxation techniques, pranayama, meditation and didactic lectures on yama, niyama, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, and karma yoga for a healthy lifestyle change. The control group also had supervised physiotherapy exercises. A total of 118 (yoga) and 117 (control) were available for final analysis. Results: Significant differences were observed within (P < 0.001, Wilcoxon's) and between groups (P < 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test) on all domains of the Short Form-36 (P < 0.004), with better results in the yoga group than in the control group, both at 15 th day and 90 th day. Conclusion: An integrated approach of yoga therapy is better than therapeutic exercises as an adjunct to transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment in improving knee disability and quality of life in patients with OA knees.
  8,361 25 8
Effect of yoga relaxation techniques on performance of digit-letter substitution task by teenagers
Balaram Pradhan, HR Nagendra
January-June 2009, 2(1):30-34
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.43293  PMID:21234213
Background/Aims : Memory and selective attention are important skills for academic and professional performance. Techniques to improve these skills are not taught either in education or company training courses. Any system which can systematically improve these skills will be of value in schools, universities, and workplaces. Aims:To investigate possible improvements in memory and selective attention, as measured by the Digit-Letter Substitution Task (DLST), due to practice of Cyclic Meditation (CM), a yoga relaxation technique, as compared to Supine Rest (SR). Materials and Methods : Subjects consisted of 253 school students, 156 boys, 97 girls, in the age range 13-16 years, who were attending a 10-day yoga training course during summer vacation. The selected subjects had English as their medium of instruction in school and they acted as their own controls. They were allocated to two groups, and tested on the DLST, immediately before and after 22.5 minutes practice of CM on one day, and immediately before and after an equal period of SR on the other day. The first group performed CM on day 9 and SR on day 10. For the second group, the order was reversed. Results : Within each group pre-post test differences were significant for both the relaxation techniques. The magnitude of net score improvement was greater after SR (7.85%) compared to CM (3.95%). Significance levels were P < 0.4 x 10 -9 for SR and P < 0.1 x 10 -3 for CM. The number of wrong attempts also increased significantly on both interventions, even after removing two outlier data points on day 1 in the SR group. Conclusions: Both CM and SR lead to improvement in performance on the DLST. However, these relaxation techniques lead to more wrong cancellation errors.
  7,863 367 5
Effect of yoga therapy on reaction time, biochemical parameters and wellness score of peri and post-menopausal diabetic patients
Madanmohan , Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, G Dayanidy, Zeena Sanjay, Ishwar V Basavaraddi
January-June 2012, 5(1):10-15
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.91696  PMID:22346060
Background: Yogic practices may aid in the prevention and management of diabetes mellitus (DM) and reduce cardiovascular complications in the population. The present study has been undertaken to evaluate the effect of yoga therapy on reaction time, biochemical parameters and wellness score of peri and post-menopausal diabetic patients. Materials and Methods: 15 peri and post-menopausal patients receiving standard medical treatment for type 2 DM were recruited and reaction time and biochemical investigations were done before and after a comprehensive yoga therapy program comprising of three times a week sessions for six weeks. A post-intervention, retrospective wellness questionnaire compiled by ACYTER was used to evaluate the comparative feelings of the patients after the therapy program. Results: Yoga training reduced auditory reaction time (ART) from right as well as left hand, the decrease being statistically significant (P<0.05) for ART from the right hand. There was a significant (P<0.01) decrease in fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels as well as low density lipoprotein. The decrease in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and very low density lipoprotein and increase in high density lipoprotein was also statistically significant (P<0.05). All the lipid ratios showed desirable improvement with a decrease (P<0.01) of TC/HDL and LDL/HDL ratios and increase (P<0.05) in the HDL/LDL ratio. Discussion : Shortening of RT implies an improvement in the information processing and reflexes and is the first such report in diabetic patients. This has clinical significance and is worth further exploration with wider, well controlled, randomized studies in the diabetic population. Changes in blood glucose levels may be due to improved insulin sensitivity, decline in insulin resistance and increased sensitivity of the pancreatic b cells to glucose signals. Yoga improved the 'heart friendly' status of lipid profile in our subjects and as our participants were peri and post-menopausal, the decrease in cardiovascular risk profile is of greater significance. A comprehensive yoga therapy program has the potential to enhance the beneficial effects of standard medical management of diabetes mellitus and can be used as an effective complementary or integrative therapy program.
  8,025 12 2
EDITORIAL
Psychiatric disorders and holistic therapies
Thaiyar M Srinivasan
July-December 2010, 3(2):35-36
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.72627  PMID:21170227
  7,927 78 -
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
A randomized control trial of the effect of yoga on Gunas (personality) and Self esteem in normal healthy volunteers
Sudheer Deshpande, HR Nagendra, Nagarathna Raghuram
January-June 2009, 2(1):13-21
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.43287  PMID:21234210
Background/Aims: To study the efficacy of yoga on Gunas (personality) and self esteem in normal adults through a randomized comparative study. Materials and Methods: Of the 1228 persons who attended motivational lectures, 226 subjects aged 18-71 years, of both sexes, who satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and who consented to participate in the study were randomly allocated into two groups. The Yoga (Y) group practised an integrated yoga module that included asanas, pranayama, meditation, notional correction, and devotional sessions. The comparison group practised mild to moderate physical exercises (PE). Both groups had supervised practices for one hour daily, six days a week, for eight weeks. Guna (personality) was assessed before and after eight weeks using the self-administered "The 'Gita" Inventory of Personality" (GIN) to assess Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas . Self esteem in terms of competency (COM), global self esteem (GSE), moral and self esteem (MSE), social esteem (SET), family self esteem (FSE), body and physical appearance (BPA), and the lie scale (LIS) were assessed using the self esteem questionnaire (SEQ). Results: The baseline scores for all domains for both the groups did not differ significantly ( P > 0.05 independent samples t-test). There were significant pre-post improvements in all domains in both groups ( P < 0.001 paired t-test). The number of persons who showed improvement in Sattva and decrease in Tamas was significant in the Y but not in the PE group (McNemar test). The effect size for self esteem in the Y group is greater than for the PE group in three out of seven domains. Conclusions: This randomized controlled study has shown the influence of Yoga on Gunas and self esteem in comparison to physical exercise.
  7,363 543 2
REVIEW ARTICLE
Male reproductive health and yoga
Pallav Sengupta, Prasenjit Chaudhuri, Koushik Bhattacharya
July-December 2013, 6(2):87-95
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.113391  PMID:23930026
Now-a-days reproductive health problems along with infertility in male is very often observed. Various Assisted Reproductive Technologies have been introduced to solve the problem, but common people cannot afford the cost of such procedures. Various ayurvedic and other alternative medicines, along with regular yoga practice are proven to be not only effective to enhance the reproductive health in men to produce a successful pregnancy, but also to regulate sexual desire in men who practice celibacy. Yoga is reported to reduce stress and anxiety, improve autonomic functions by triggering neurohormonal mechanisms by the suppression of sympathetic activity, and even, today, several reports suggested regular yoga practice from childhood is beneficial for reproductive health. In this regard the present review is aimed to provide all the necessary information regarding the effectiveness of yoga practice to have a better reproductive health and to prevent infertility.
  7,852 28 1
Meditation on OM: Relevance from ancient texts and contemporary science
Sanjay Kumar, HR Nagendra, NK Manjunath, KV Naveen, Shirley Telles
January-June 2010, 3(1):2-5
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.66771  PMID:20948894
Background: In Indian scriptures the sacred syllable Om is the primordial sound from which all other sounds and creation emerge which signifies the Supreme Power. Aims: To explore the significance of the syllable OM from ancient texts and effects of OM meditation in contemporary science. Descriptions from ancient texts: The descriptions of Om have been taken from four Upanisads (Mundaka, Mandukya, Svetasvatara, and Katha), the Bhagvad Gita, and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Scientific studies on Om: Autonomic and respiratory studies suggest that there is a combination of mental alertness with physiological rest during the practice of Om meditation. Evoked potentials studies suggest a decrease in sensory transmission time at the level of the auditory association cortices, along with recruitment of more neurons at mesencephalic-diencephalic levels. Conclusion: It is considered that a person who realizes Om, merges with the Absolute. Scientific studies on Om suggest that the mental repetition of Om results in physiological alertness, and increased sensitivity to sensory transmission.
  7,514 345 4
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Cardiovascular and metabolic effects of intensive Hatha Yoga training in middle-aged and older women from northern Mexico
Arnulfo Ramos-Jimenez, Rosa P Hernandez-Torres, Abraham Wall-Medrano, Maria DJ Munoz-Daw, Patricia V Torres-Duran, Marco A Juarez-Oropeza
July-December 2009, 2(2):49-54
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.60044  PMID:20842264
Background: Hatha Yoga (HY) can be an alternative to improve physical activity in middle- aged and older women. However, conventional HY (CHY) exercising may not result in enough training stimulus to improve cardiovascular fitness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of an intensive HY intervention (IHY) on cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged and older women from Northern Mexico. Materials and Methods: In this prospective quasiexperimental design, four middle-aged and nine older CHY practicing females (yoginis) were enrolled into an 11-week IHY program consisting of 5 sessions/week for 90 min (55 sessions). The program adherence, asana performance, and work intensity were assessed along the intervention. Anthropometric [body mass index (BMI), % body fat and ∑ skin folds], cardiovascular fitness [maximal expired air volume (VE max ), maximal O 2 consumption (VO 2max ), maximal heart rate (HR max ), systolic (BPs) and diastolic blood pressure (BPd)], biochemical [glucose, triacylglycerols (TAG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)], and dietary parameters were evaluated before and after IHY. Results: Daily caloric intake (~1,916 kcal/day), program adherence (~85%), and exercising skills (asana performance) were similar in both middle-aged and older women. The IHY program did not modify any anthropometric measurements. However, it increased VO 2max and VE max and HDL-C while TAG and LDL-C remained stable in both middle-aged and older groups (P < 0.01). Conclusions: The proposed IHY program improves different cardiovascular risk factors (namely VO 2max and HDL-C) in middle-aged and older women.
  7,196 265 3
Measures of heart rate variability in women following a meditation technique
Hyorim An, Ravi Kulkarni, R Nagarathna, HR Nagendra
January-June 2010, 3(1):6-9
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.66772  PMID:20948895
Certain time domain, frequency domain and a nonlinear measure of heart rate variability are studied in women following a meditative practice called cyclic meditation. The nonlinear measure studied is the sampling entropy. We show that there is an increase in the sampling entropy in the meditative group as compared to the control group. The time domain measure called pNNx is shown to be useful in distinguishing between the meditative state and a normal resting state.
  6,966 235 4
A multicomponent yoga-based, breath intervention program as an adjunctive treatment in patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder with or without comorbidities
Martin A Katzman, Monica Vermani, Patricia L Gerbarg, Richard P Brown, Christina Iorio, Michele Davis, Catherine Cameron, Dina Tsirgielis
January-June 2012, 5(1):57-65
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.91716  PMID:22346068
Objectives: The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) course in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) outpatients, who after eight weeks of an appropriate dose of traditional therapy had not yet achieved remission. Subjects: The adult participants (18-65 years) were outpatients with a primary diagnosis of GAD with or without comorbidities on the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Participants had a minimum of eight weeks standard treatment with an appropriate dose of a standard prescription anxiolytic, a clinician global impression-severity (CGI-S) score of 5-7, a Hamilton anxiety scale (HAM-A) total score ≥20 including a score of >2 on the anxious mood and tension items. Materials and Methods: Forty-one patients were enrolled in an open-label trial of the SKY course as an adjunct to standard treatment of GAD at the START Clinic for Mood and Anxiety Disorders, a tertiary care mood and anxiety disorder clinic in Toronto. The SKY course was administered over five days (22 h total). Subjects were encouraged to practice the yoga breathing techniques at home for 20 min per day after the course and were offered group practice sessions for 2 h once a week led by certified yoga instructors. The primary outcome measure was the mean change from pre-treatment on the HAM-A scale. Psychological measures were obtained at baseline and four weeks after completing the intervention. Results:Thirty-one patients completed the program (mean age 42.6 ± 13.3 years). Among completers, significant reductions occurred in the pre- and post-intervention mean HAM-A total score (t=4.59; P<0.01) and psychic subscale (t=5.00; P≤0.01). The response rate was 73% and the remission rate 41% as measured on the HAM-A. Conclusion: The results of this small pilot trial suggest that the SKY course represents a potentially valuable adjunct to standard pharmacotherapy in patients with GAD or treatment-resistant GAD, and warrants further investigation. In particular, changes in worry and body symptoms showed significant improvements that may further our understanding of the mechanism of change in the tolerance of anxiety and worry.
  7,110 29 4
REVIEW ARTICLE
Yoga therapy for Schizophrenia
N Gangadhar Bangalore, Shivarama Varambally
July-December 2012, 5(2):85-91
DOI:10.4103/0973-6131.98212  PMID:22869990
Schizophrenia is one of the most severe mental disorders. Despite significant advances in pharmacotherapy, treatment remains sub-optimal, with many patients having persisting deficits, especially in cognitive and social functioning. Yoga as a therapy has proven to be effective as a sole or additional intervention in psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. Recently, there has been significant interest in the application of yoga therapy in psychosis and schizophrenia. To review a) the evidence for the use of yoga therapy in patients with schizophrenia b) studies which have been done in this area, c) the barriers for reaching yoga to patients, and d) future directions, an English language literature search of PubMed/MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and EBSCO as well as grey literature was done. Research reports have demonstrated the feasibility and efficacy of yoga as an add-on therapy in schizophrenia, particularly in improving negative symptomatology and social cognition. However, the biological underpinnings of this effect remain unclear, although there are some indications that hormones like oxytocin may contribute to the changes in social cognition.
  6,764 26 2
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