International Journal of Yoga
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   2020| May-August  | Volume 13 | Issue 2  
    Online since May 1, 2020

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Exploring the therapeutic benefits of Pranayama (yogic breathing): A systematic review
Ranil Jayawardena, Priyanga Ranasinghe, Himansa Ranawaka, Nishadi Gamage, Dilshani Dissanayake, Anoop Misra
May-August 2020, 13(2):99-110
Background: Pranayama (yogic breathing) has demonstrated numerous beneficial health effects. At present, there are no systematic reviews evaluating the beneficial health effects of pranayama alone as a practice. Aim: The aim of this study is to perform a systematic review about the beneficial health effects of pranayama. Methods: Data were obtained using a stepwise search process by searching the online PubMed, Web of Science, and SciVerse Scopus databases using keywords. Controlled clinical trials in humans, using “Pranayama” as an intervention with an appropriate control group and evaluating health-related outcomes were selected for inclusion. Results: Initial database searching indicated 669 potentially eligible articles, of which 18 studies satisfying the inclusion/exclusion criteria were selected. All were controlled trials, of which 13 were randomized and 1 was a crossover study. Number of participants ranged from 16 to 160, and the duration of pranayama practice varied from 4 days to 6 months. Studies demonstrated a significant effect on cardiorespiratory functions, in patients with bronchial asthma, with the improvement of pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, and respiratory function measurements. Furthermore, reduction in the frequency of attacks, severity, and medication requirement was also observed, with improved quality of life (QOL). In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, symptom, activity, and impact scores were improved. QOL improvement was also noted in cancer patients. Conclusions: Available evidence on pranayama indicates physiological and psychological benefits. Beneficial effects were mostly observed in patients with respiratory diseases such as bronchial asthma. It also helped those with cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, further high-quality randomized trials are required to provide definitive evidence.
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A perspective on yoga as a preventive strategy for coronavirus disease 2019
R Nagarathna, HR Nagendra, Vijaya Majumdar
May-August 2020, 13(2):89-98
The pandemic outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 has led to profound public health crisis. In particular, individuals with preexisting conditions of heart disease, diabetes, cerebrovascular diseases and the elderly are most vulnerable to succumb to this infection. The current COVID-19 emergency calls for rapid development of potential prevention and management strategies against this virus-mediated disease. There is a plethora of evidence that supports the add-on benefits of yoga in stress management, as well as prevention and management of chronic noncommunicable diseases. There are some studies on the effect of yoga in communicable diseases as well but very few for acute conditions and almost none for the rapidly spreading infections resulting in pandemics. Based on the available scientific evidences on yoga in improving respiratory and immune functions, we have formulated very simple doable integrated yoga modules in the form of videos to be practiced for prevention of the disease by children, adults, and the elderly.
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Yoga for COVID-19
HR Nagendra
May-August 2020, 13(2):87-88
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High-frequency cerebral activation and interhemispheric synchronization following sudarshan kriya yoga as global brain rhythms: The state effects
Lakshmi Bhaskar, Vaibhav Tripathi, Chhaya Kharya, Vijayalakshmi Kotabagi, Manvir Bhatia, Vinod Kochupillai
May-August 2020, 13(2):130-136
Context: Respiration is known to modulate neuronal oscillations in the brain and is measured by electroencephalogram (EEG). Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) is a popular breathing process and is established for its significant effects on the various aspects of physiology and psychology. Aims: This study aimed to observe neuronal oscillations in multifrequency bands and interhemispheric synchronization following SKY. Settings and Design: This study employed before- and after-study design. Subjects and Methods: Forty healthy volunteers (average age 25.45 ± 5.75, 23 males and 17 females) participated in the study. Nineteen-channel EEG was recorded and analyzed for 5 min each: before and after SKY. Spectral power for delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma frequency band was calculated using Multi-taper Fast Fourier Transform (Chronux toolbox). The Asymmetry Index was calculated by subtracting the natural log of powers of left (L) hemisphere from the right® to show interhemispheric synchronization. Statistical Analysis: Paired t-test was used for statistical analysis. Results: Spectral power increased significantly in all frequency bands bilaterally in frontal, central, parietal, temporal, and occipital regions of the brain after long SKY. Electrical activity shifted from lower to higher frequency range with a significant rise in the gamma and beta powers following SKY. Asymmetry Index values tended toward 0 following SKY. Conclusions: A single session of SKY generates global brain rhythm dominantly with high-frequency cerebral activation and initiates appropriate interhemispheric synchronization in brain rhythms as state effects. This suggests that SKY leads to better attention, memory, and emotional and autonomic control along with enhanced cognitive functions, which finally improves physical and mental well-being.
  7,358 216 2
Effect of yoga on psychological distress among women receiving treatment for infertility
Sowjanya Dumbala, Hemant Bhargav, Veena Satyanarayana, Rashmi Arasappa, Shivarama Varambally, Geetha Desai, Gangadhar N Bangalore
May-August 2020, 13(2):115-119
Background: Infertility among women has been associated with significant psychological distress, anxiety, and depression. yoga therapy has been found to be useful in the management of anxiety, depression and psychological distress. Aim: To review studies on the effectiveness of yoga in reducing psychological distress and improving clinical outcomes among women receiving treatment for infertility. Methodology: PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar databases were searched for studies using the following inclusion criteria: studies published in English, those published between 2000 and 2018, published in peer-reviewed journals, and those with Yoga as an intervention. Review articles, studies without any yoga interventions for infertility, and male infertility were excluded. The keywords included for the literature search were: Yoga, Mindfulness, Relaxation technique, Stress, Distress, Anxiety, Infertility, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Results: Three studies satisfied the selection criteria. Two studies involved Hatha yoga intervention and one study used structured yoga program. The variables assessed in these studies were: (1) anxiety, (2) depression, (3) emotional distress, and (4) fertility-related quality of life. All the studies reported an improvement in the anxiety scores after yoga intervention. Conclusion: Yoga therapy may be potentially useful in improving anxiety scores among women suffering from infertility. More studies are needed in this area to establish role of yoga as an adjuvant during the treatment of infertility.
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Mitigating the antecedents of sports-related injury through yoga
Gregory D Arbo, Christiane Brems, Tamara E Tasker
May-August 2020, 13(2):120-129
Context: Injury risk among athletes is an epidemic. The psychological and physical loads imposed on athletes through psychosocial stressors and training regimens significantly increase athletes' injury risk. Aims: This feasibility study assessed whether a 10-week yoga intervention could be implemented successfully and mitigated antecedents of sports injury. Methods: Using a prospective, nonexperimental design, 31 male soccer players attending a college in the Pacific Northwest enrolled in the yoga intervention. The Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-Sport) was completed at three time-points before and after the yoga intervention. The RESTQ-Sport scales, identified as strongest predictors for injury, were hypothesized to be mitigated through yoga. Results: Two stress-related scales were significant in the hypothesized direction: injury and fatigue. The general recovery scale, General Well-Being, was significant at one time-point, but in the opposite direction as hypothesized. Conclusions: Positive findings are discussed and explanations for unexpected changes are explored, along with study limitations. Results suggest that yoga can be successfully integrated into the athletic program of soccer players and provisionally support the potential of a yoga intervention to mitigate two significant antecedents of injury, namely, perception of propensity to sustain injury and generalized fatigue.
  5,367 328 1
Changes in heart rate variability after yoga are dependent on heart rate variability at baseline and during yoga: a study showing autonomic normalization effect in yoga-naïve and experienced subjects
Toshikazu Shinba, Tomoko Inoue, Takemi Matsui, Kazuo Keishin Kimura, Masanari Itokawa, Makoto Arai
May-August 2020, 13(2):160-167
Background: Yoga therapy is widely applied to the maintenance of health and to treatment of various illnesses. Previous researches indicate the involvement of autonomic control in its effects, although the general agreement has not been reached regarding the acute modulation of autonomic function. Aim: The present study aimed at revealing the acute effect of yoga on the autonomic activity using heart rate variability (HRV) measurement. Methods: Twenty-seven healthy controls participated in the present study. Fifteen of them (39.5 ± 8.5 years old) were naïve and 12 (45.1 ± 7.0 years old) were experienced in yoga. Yoga skills included breath awareness, two types of asana, and two types of pranayama. HRV was measured at the baseline, during yoga, and at the resting state after yoga. Results: In both yoga-naïve and experienced participants, the changes in low-frequency (LF) component of HRV and its ratio to high-frequency (HF) component (LF/HF) after yoga were found to be correlated negatively with the baseline data. The changes in LF after yoga were also correlated with LF during yoga. The changes in HF as well as the raw HRV data after yoga were not related to the baseline HRV or the HRV during yoga. Conclusion: The results indicate that yoga leads to an increase in LF when LF is low and leads to a decrease in LF when it is high at the baseline. This normalization of LF is dependent on the autonomic modulation during yoga and may underlie the clinical effectiveness of yoga therapy both in yoga-naïve and experienced subjects.
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Exploration of muscle activity using surface electromyography while performing surya namaskar
Rajani P Mullerpatan, Bela M Agarwal, Triveni V Shetty
May-August 2020, 13(2):137-143
Background: Limited information is available to understand the muscular demands of composite yogasanas such as Surya Namaskar, which is essential to guide prescription of Surya Namaskar in management of commonly prevalent musculoskeletal disorders such as back and knee pain. Aim: Therefore, muscle activation pattern in prime accessible muscles of the trunk and lower extremity, namely lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, rectus abdominis, gluteus maximus, vastus lateralis, and gastrocnemius, was explored during the traditional 12-pose sequence of Surya Namaskar. Methodology: Muscle activity of 8 healthy trained yoga practitioners (5 females and 3 males) was recorded using wireless, eight-channel surface electromyography (sEMG) system at a sampling rate of 2000 Hz and bandwidth of 20–450 Hz. Data were processed using EMGworks analysis software, and root mean square values were normalized against muscle activity during maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). Results: The 12-pose sequence of Surya Namaskar activated muscles of the trunk, upper and lower extremities to a varying extent, in each pose. During sustenance, erector spinae demonstrated the highest muscle activation in Hastapadasana (64.7% MVC in Pose 3and 64.3% MVC in Pose 11), lower trapezius during Hastapadasana (41.9% MVC in Pose 3and 39.2% in Pose 11); latissimus dorsi during Bhujangasana (37.4% MVC), Ashtangasana (34.9% MVC), and Parvatasana (34.6% MVC in Pose 8,); gluteus maximus in Ashwa Sanchalanasana (38.5% MVC in Poses 9 and 4); and vastus lateralis in Ashwa Sanchalanasana (34.9% MVC). Rectus abdominis demonstrated low activation throughout Surya Namaskar, presenting the highest activation during Parvatasana (22.8% MVC). All recorded muscles demonstrated greater activation during transition compared to sustenance of pose. Conclusion: Surya Namaskar elicited high-to-moderate muscle activation of major postural muscles of the trunk and lower extremity during alternating flexion-extension movements of the spine, supporting its prescription in prevention and management of mechanical low back pain among vulnerable groups of people.
  4,459 363 1
Body temperature in practitioners of a yoga breathing technique considered to be heat generating
Shirley Telles, Kumar Gandharva, Ram Kumar Gupta, Sachin Kumar Sharma, Acharya Balkrishna
May-August 2020, 13(2):168-172
Context: Suryabheda pranayama is traditionally described as “increasing the inner fire” and is believed to be heat generating. Aims: The present study aimed at determining whether the surface body temperature would increase after Suryabheda pranayama practice compared with sitting quietly for the same duration as a control. Materials and Methods: Nineteen participants with experience of Suryabheda pranayama practice (group mean experience ± standard deviation, 30.2 ± 22.8 months) were assessed in 3 sessions on separate days. The sessions were (i) Suryabheda pranayama with physiological locks or breath retention, (ii) Suryabheda pranayama without physiological locks or breath retention, and (iii) quiet sitting (control session). The axillary surface body temperature was monitored in all three sessions before (5 min), during (15 min), and after (5 min) the intervention. Ambient temperature and humidity in the recording cabin used for testing were noted. From the ambient temperature and humidity, the heat index was derived Statistical Analysis: Repeated measures analyses of variance were performed to compare values before, during, and after the 3 sessions, using SPSS version 24.0. Results: The surface body temperature increased during and after Suryabheda pranayama with physiological locks (P < 0.001;P < 0.001), Suryabheda pranayama without physiological locks (P < 0.01;P < 0.001), and quiet sitting (P < 0.001;P < 0.001) compared to the respective before values. Conclusion: The control (i.e., quiet sitting) and experimental sessions (i.e., suryabheda with locks and suryabheda without locks) showed a comparable increase in the surface body temperature. Hence, the increase in surface body temperature during and after experimental sessions does not appear to be related to the pranayama techniques. The possible factors which may have contributed to increased surface body temperature in the control and experimental sessions have been discussed.
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Yoga for functional fitness in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Anita M Reina, Em V Adams, Claire K Allison, Kaitlin E Mueller, Brandi M Crowe, Marieke van Puymbroeck, Arlene A Schmid
May-August 2020, 13(2):156-159
Background: Yoga is an effective intervention to improve functional fitness in adults with and without disabilities, but little research exists regarding yoga's impact on functional fitness for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine the benefits of a group yoga intervention on the functional fitness of adults with IDDs. Methods and Materials: This yoga intervention included 12 sessions of yoga over 7 weeks (60-min sessions twice a week) at a special population recreation and leisure program. The functional fitness test was used to examine physical functioning before and after the yoga intervention. Results and Conclusions: Eight adults completed the baseline and posttest measures (age mean = 31; standard deviation = 6.55; 50% male). There were significant improvements in lower-body strength (9.00 ± 4.63 vs. 11.50 ± 3.16, P = 0.04, 28% improvement), upper-body strength (11.25 ± 3.54 vs. 14.25 ± 3.37, P = 0.018, 27% improvement), and agility and balance (9.29 ± 4.1 vs. 6.60 ± 1.54, P = 0.036, 29% improvement). Functional fitness often declines for people with IDD at a faster rate than the general population; thus, these significant changes indicate that a yoga intervention may enhance functional fitness for people with IDD. Clinicians or other healthcare providers might consider yoga as a means to improve functional fitness in adults with IDDs.
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Effect of yoga and exercise on glycemic control and psychosocial parameters in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized controlled study
Vijay Pratap Singh, Bidita Khandelwal
May-August 2020, 13(2):144-151
Context (Background): Type 2 diabetes has been strongly associated with psychosocial factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, and quality of life (QOL). There is not much evidence whether yoga can improve these factors and motivate individuals to engage in active lifestyle. Aims: This study aims to evaluate the effect of yoga and exercise over glycemic control, anxiety, depression, exercise self-efficacy (ESE), and QOL after 3-month program. Methods: Two hundred and twenty-seven individuals were randomly allocated to yoga group (YG) and exercise group. YG practiced yoga for 2 weeks under supervision and then carried out practice at home for 3 months. The exercise group practiced 30 min of brisk walking for 5 days a week. Results: On comparison among the groups, in YG, there was a mean change of 0.47 in glycated hemoglobin which was greater than mean reduction of 0.28 in the exercise group withP < 0.05. State anxiety reduced by 7.8 and trait anxiety reduced by 4.4 in YG (P < 0.05) in 3 months as compared to nonsignificant reductions of 3 and 1 in mean of state and trait anxiety scores in the exercise group (P > 0.05). There was a statistically significant reduction in depression score in both the groups, 8.6 in yoga and 4.0 in exercise, which was greater in YG. ESE improved by 19.2 in YG (P < 0.05), whereas it improved only 2.2 in the exercise group (P > 0.05). QOL improved by 23.7 in YG and 3.0 in the exercise group which was nonsignificant in the exercise group as compared to YG. Conclusions: Yoga is superior to exercise alone as a lifestyle modification program in improving glycemic control, anxiety, depression, and QOL as well as ESE.
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Content, structure, and delivery characteristics of yoga interventions for managing hypertension: A systematic review protocol
Gamze Nalbant, Sarah Lewis, Kaushik Chattopadhyay
May-August 2020, 13(2):111-114
Aims: This systematic review aims to summarize the content, structure, and delivery characteristics of yoga interventions used for managing hypertension. Introduction: Globally, hypertension-related morbidity and mortality are high. Yoga might be a potential solution for managing hypertension. Several systematic reviews have evaluated the effectiveness of yoga interventions for managing hypertension. There is a need to summarize the content, structure, and delivery characteristics of yoga interventions used for managing hypertension. Inclusion Criteria: Randomized controlled trials assessing the effectiveness of yoga interventions for managing hypertension in adults and reporting either the content, structure, or delivery characteristics will be included in this systematic review. Methods: The Joanna Briggs Institute systematic review methodology will be followed to conduct the review. We aim to search for a wide range of sources to find both published and unpublished studies. The following databases will be searched: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Allied and Complementary Medicine (AMED), Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Turning Research Into Practice (TRIP), AYUSH Research Portal, A Bibliography of Indian Medicine (ABIM), Digital Helpline for Ayurveda Research Articles (DHARA), CAM-QUEST, and Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The search for unpublished studies will include OpenGrey, EThOS, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Databases will be searched from their inception dates, and no language restrictions will be applied. A narrative description of the findings will be written, structured around the aims of this systematic review. Systematic review registration number: CRD42019139404
  3,503 350 2
A comparative study between vedic and contemporary education systems using bio-energy markers
Rajesha Halekote Karisetty, Sushrutha Shivanna, Balaram Pradhan, TM Srinivasan, Ramachandra G Bhat
May-August 2020, 13(2):152-155
Background/Aim: “The destiny of the whole world depends on the children. If you want to see the silver lining on the horizon it is not you and me, but the children who have to be spiritualized” says Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Sri Aurobindo states “Education to be complete must have five principal aspects corresponding to the five principal activities of the human being: the physical, the vital, the mental, the psychic and the spiritual.” Vedic education system (VES) focuses on inculcating all facets for overall development of personality. This study is an attempt to understand the lore of Vedic education followed by yoga as a way of lifestyle for physiological well-being and for successful unfoldment of children's personality. Materials and Methods: The sample size was 378 (108 VES and 270 contemporary education system [CES]). We have excluded volunteers who had minor health problems from the study. The ethical clearance was taken from SVYASA University Ethics Committee, and informed consent was obtained for each individual undergoing the study. As it was aimed to collect one-time data, the yoga as a lifestyle in VES itself considered as an intervention. Thus, the two systems of educations are compared. The variables are measured using the Electro-photonic Image Bio-Well instrument. Results: Bio-Well variables for VES and CES were compared. There was a significant difference in VES and CES energy level scores, left–right symmetry scores, organ balance, and entropy coefficient scores. Conclusions: Results suggest that Vedic Education System to be better in the measured parameters compared to Contemporary Education System.
  3,008 175 1
Comment on “moving from models to mechanisms in yoga research”
Sushrutha Shivanna
May-August 2020, 13(2):173-173
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