International Journal of Yoga

: 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 166--167

Decoding the integrated approach to yoga therapy

Aarti Jagannathan, Yuman Bishenchandra 
 Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Aarti Jagannathan
Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana, 19, Gavipuuram, KG Nagar, Bengaluru 560 019, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Jagannathan A, Bishenchandra Y. Decoding the integrated approach to yoga therapy.Int J Yoga 2014;7:166-167

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Jagannathan A, Bishenchandra Y. Decoding the integrated approach to yoga therapy. Int J Yoga [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Mar 21 ];7:166-167
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In continuation to the article published in your esteemed journal titled, "Decoding the integrated approach to yoga therapy: Qualitative evidence based conceptual framework" by Villacres et al., [1] we would like to add supportive quantitative data to understand and explain the mechanism of the integrated approach to yoga therapy (IAYT) model developed by Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana (SVYASA), [2] based on the Pancha Kosa concept. As mentioned by Villacres et al., [1] the IAYT can be understood as a holistic model, which corrects the imbalances at physical, mental and emotional levels through application of multiple components such as asanas, diet, loosening exercise, breathing exercises, pranayama, cyclic medication, mind sound resonance technique, devotional sessions and yogic counselling (lectures). Rightly as the author put it, "no component singularly can claim to be the IAYT, nor could possibly have the same effects as the whole model," [1]

A look at retrospective quantitative data of 560 patients with diabetes (who presented to primary treatment center - Arogyadhama, Prashanti, SVYASA, Jigani between 2008 and 2010) who underwent the IAYT helps us further understand the workings of this model. The patients stayed for a minimum of 6 days to a maximum of 15 days (mean [standard deviation] duration of in-patient stay: 12.38 [6.10] days), during which the IAYT for diabetes was imparted to them. The four important factors that could affect their diabetes status: (1) Medication compliance, (2) diet, (3), stress and (4) adherence to yoga, were monitored and controlled. Medication compliance and adherence to yoga was controlled by the medical doctor and yoga therapist in-charge in the section; diet was controlled as standard saatvik food is usually provided at Prashanti, SVYASA to all patients admitted; the ambience of Prashanti campus (away from city life, silence and amidst nature) could be considered as a calming factor to combat stress. Assessment and analysis of diabetes related parameters in the above mentioned controlled environment showed that though the baseline values of all variables were not normally distributed (P < 0.01), nonparametric test analysis of pair wise time effect using the Wilcoxon signed ranks test showed a significant improvement in respiratory rate, pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, weight, breath holding rate, fasting blood sugar (FBS), and postprandial blood sugar (PPBS) from before yoga to after yoga practice [P < 0.001, [Table 1].{Table 1}

A number of studies conducted in India have shown that yoga practice improves weight, blood pressure, insulin, triglycerides, [3] blood pressure, [4],[5] FBS and PPBS levels, [6],[7] pulse rate. [5] In most of the above studies the period of yoga intervention was anywhere between 40 days to a maximum of 90 days to observe the desired effects. The yoga intervention also differed from Hatha yoga to Yoga nidra. The fact that in our study we have observed changes in all outcome variables after 2 weeks of in-patient stay shows that the IAYT is effective in the treatment of diabetes - where all the components of the IAYT model are integrated and provided to have a desired effect on each of the five levels of existence in a controlled and monitored environment - asanas and pranayama comprise only a minuscule part of the entire program. In this context, in most of the above research studies, yoga was possibly equivalent to "asana, pranayama and/or meditation practice." Hardly any studies mentioned controlling for extraneous factors which could have status played an integral role in the effectiveness of the program (diet, stress and medication compliance).

The challenge would be to replicate this holistic model of IAYT for diabetes actively in community and out-patient settings, as it would require controlling for medication compliance, adherence to yoga and stress in a nonresidential set-up. A three-arm randomized controlled study with: (1) In-patient IAYT model, (2) out-patient IAYT model and (3) control group could be an important and interesting step in understanding the factors determining effectiveness and replicability of the IAYT model in the Indian community setting, which in turn would help reduce the overall burden of diabetes in Indian community.


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