|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 23-29
Efficacy of yoga modules given by Swami Kuvalayananda for the undergraduate physical education curriculum
Department of Physical Education and Sports, Y.D.P.G. College, Lakhimpur-Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Date of Web Publication||19-Jan-2017|
Department of Physical Education and Sports, Y.D.P.G. College, Lakhimpur-Kheri, Uttar Pradesh
Background: In Uttar Pradesh, yoga is included in the undergraduate (UG) curriculum either as an optional topic of physical education practical or as a compulsory paper of foundation course in any 1 year of UG, by most of the state universities for the students. However, there is no uniformity in the yoga syllabus adopted by various universities. Swami Kuvalayananda, in his book“Āsanas,” has prescribed three yoga modules, namely, easy course, short course, and full course.
Aim: The aim of this study was to survey whether the three courses as described in the book can be used as a part of the model curriculum for the 3-year UG studies in physical education.
Method: Along with a specifically prepared questionnaire, a photocopy of Appendixes I, II, and III of book“Āsanas” was sent to the participants to elicit their opinions regarding the yoga modules.
Results: The results of the survey showed that three courses prescribed by Swami Kuvalayananda are scientifically and systematically arranged and are according to the laws of physical education training. The study showed that 84.60% of the survey participants agreed on introducing the three yoga modules prescribed by Swami Kuvalayananda as model yoga syllabus in the 3 successive years of the UG physical education curriculum.
Conclusions: The results of the survey of academicians in higher education gave the conclusion that inclusion of yoga modules described in the book would increase the efficacy of the learning of UG students of physical education.
Keywords: Āsana, higher education, physical education curriculum, yoga syllabus
|How to cite this article:|
Kumar Y. Efficacy of yoga modules given by Swami Kuvalayananda for the undergraduate physical education curriculum. Yoga Mimamsa 2016;48:23-9
|How to cite this URL:|
Kumar Y. Efficacy of yoga modules given by Swami Kuvalayananda for the undergraduate physical education curriculum. Yoga Mimamsa [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Jun 17];48:23-9. Available from: http://www.ym-kdham.in/text.asp?2016/48/1/23/198707
| Introduction|| |
After getting independence, India started to reform its education system, and the Indian government founded the University Education Commission in 1948. The University Education Commission (1948) stated that“Since education is both a training of minds and souls, it should give both knowledge and wisdom. No amount of factual information would take ordinary men into educated men unless something is awakened in them.” It means that education is not meant merely to give factual information but it involves a comprehensive and holistic development of the whole personality including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual facets. Whereas the elementary and secondary education is focused on training the children so that they acquire the general abilities needed for survival and existence, it is the function of universities to hone special talents and create experts in the field.
To achieve the above-stated aims of education, time to time, education policies were formulated, amended, and revised so that a well-groomed and mature youth can come out to face the challenges of the modern time and play his/her role efficiently toward the global society. These policies have devised the frameworks which are used to select the subjects as well as to design the curriculum for these subjects. The National Policy on Education (NPE), 1992, had clearly emphasized the importance of physical education and sports in higher education. It stated that sports and physical education are an integral part of the learning process and will be included in the evaluation of performance (Sodhi, 2010).
Studies have shown that yoga contributes to flexibility, muscular fitness, postural defects, stress reduction as well as coping with the concerns related to the process of growing up in schoolchildren (Bansal, Gupta, Agarwal, & Sharma, 2013; Bhavanani, Udupa, Madanmohan, & Ravindra, 2011; Crow, Jeannot, & Trehela, 2015; Gururaja, Harano, Toyotake, & Kobayashi, 2011; Woodyard, 2011).
Swami Kuvalayananda (1932), who was the pioneer in the field of physical education and scientific research in yoga, wrote – if physical education is to play its parts in evolving world citizenship, yoga must have a definite and important place in the syllabus of physical education and the yogic exercises must be properly taught and practiced (Gharote & Gharote, 1999). Keeping all these in consideration, the National Curriculum Framework, 2005, adopted a holistic definition of health, in which yoga is an integral part. Thus, both yoga and physical education contribute to the physical development and also to the psychosocial and mental development of the children.
Several studies show the uniqueness of yoga practices for better health, mindfulness, and for achieving aims of education, in general, and of higher education, in particular (Cho, Moon, & Kim, 2015; Menon, Doddoli, Singh, & Bhogal, 2014; Ni, Mooney, Harriell, Balachandran, & Signorile, 2014; Ross, Friedmann, Bevans, & Thomas, 2013). Nijhawan, Kullar, & Sandhu (2010) revealed in their study that the curriculum of physical education at postgraduate level comprises outdated and obsolete contents and has no mention of latest trends and concepts of global relevance.
In Uttar Pradesh, there are 4 central, 25 state, 16 private, and 10 deemed universities. Considering the importance of physical education, health education, yoga, sports and games, and the suggestions of experts, commissions, and the National Curriculum Framework, 2005, most of the universities in Uttar Pradesh have introduced physical education as an optional subject for undergraduate (UG) students, whereas in some universities, physical education is taught as a foundation course for UG students. It is noteworthy that in the universities, in which physical education is an optional subject, yoga is an optional topic of practical in any 1 year of graduation; on the other hand, in the universities in which physical education is taught as a foundation course, yoga is taught as a theory paper. Furthermore, there is no uniformity in the yoga syllabus adopted by various universities.
It is a consensus view among the academicians in higher education that the design of curriculum and the choice of the textbook are the deciding factors for making students learn the subject and appreciate it.
The investigator found that there are two types of books on yoga which are prevalent in the market. One group of books include the books written by educationists who were not practitioners of yoga and hence the content of the book was more mechanical without elaborating the real essence behind the practices. The other group of the books were usually written by great yoga practitioners and amateur yoga enthusiasts. These books were quite rich in content and figures but lacked the necessary preciseness of a textbook and these books were also not in consonance with the prescribed syllabus.
These problems have led to the work presented in this paper which investigates the present status of yoga as a discipline of study in UGs, the quality and content of the curriculum prescribed for yoga, and also the textbooks available and their suitability as a textbook for UGs. The aim of this study was to survey whether the three courses as described in the book“Āsanas,” written by Swami Kuvalayananda, can be used as a part of the model curriculum for the 3-year UG studies in physical education. To achieve this purpose, four books (Kuvalayananda, 1933; Iyengar, 1966; Iyengar, 1997; Satyananda, 1981) were scrutinized for their efficacy as a textbook for UGs.
After a thorough study of the literature as well as scrutiny of the syllabus of physical education adopted by various state universities of Uttar Pradesh, it was hypothesized that:
- Hypothesis 1: Universities and college-going generation want to do only some asanas, pranayama, and kriya for the sake of physical fitness, mental fitness as well as emotional development
- Hypothesis 2: Curriculum of yoga generally has been scientifically outlined up to date and universally accepted by the academic institutions for the betterment of physical education as well as for the benefit of students of higher education in Uttar Pradesh
- Hypothesis 3: Small size book is preferred as a textbook
- Hypothesis 4: Three courses, as described in the book of“Āsanas” Appendixes I, II, and III, are suitable to be used as a part of the model curriculum of practical for the 3-year UG studies in physical education in universities of Uttar Pradesh.
| Method|| |
A total of 65 physical educationists (54 males and 11 females) working at various degree colleges representing seven state universities of Uttar Pradesh were randomly selected for the survey.
The survey instrument was a questionnaire, developed in consultation with yoga and physical education experts as well as academicians. Along with the questionnaire, a photocopy of Appendixes I, II, and III of the book“Āsanas” was sent to the participants to get their opinions regarding the yoga modules. The questionnaire contained both close-ended questions as well as open-ended questions. An oral interview of the participants was taken wherever possible.
| Results|| |
[Table 1] presents the analysis of the answers to the question,“Do you agree that physical education is ultimately helpful, even necessary, to achieve the aims of education in higher education system?” [Table 2] gives the opinion of the participants of survey regarding whether yoga practical has to be compulsory, as the part of physical education curriculum in all the 3 years at UG level in universities of Uttar Pradesh. [Table 3] displays the data analysis of the survey regarding the response to the question whether yoga is helpful to achieve ultimate aims of education and physical education, for the college- and university-going generation. [Table 4] reveals the response about the ultimate aim of yoga practices for modern college-going youth generation. The data analysis of [Table 5] divulges that most of the physical education teachers were in dilemma regarding the syllabus of yoga practical, which is an optional/compulsory topic of physical education for the UG students in most of the state universities of Uttar Pradesh. [Table 6] shows the response of the participants regarding the question,“Do you agree that the syllabus of yoga practical has to be universally outlined and adopted by all universities?” Interestingly, all the physical educationists were of the opinion that the curriculum of yoga must be clearly designed and has to be universally adopted by all the universities. [Table 7] analyzes the opinion regarding what activities have to be included in yoga curriculum of higher education for the students, particularly in college-going generation.
|Table 1: Do you agree that physical education is ultimately helpful, even necessary, to achieve the aims of education in higher education system?|
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|Table 2: Whether yoga practical has to be compulsory as the part of physical education curriculum in all the 3 years at undergraduate level?|
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|Table 3: Whether yoga is helpful to achieve the ultimate aims of physical education and education for the college- and university-going generation?|
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|Table 4: Response about the ultimate aim of yoga practices for modern college-going youth generation?|
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|Table 5: As yoga is an optional/compulsory topic of practical for the undergraduate students of physical education in most of the state universities in Uttar Pradesh, do you have a clear idea what to teach in yoga practical?|
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|Table 6: Do you agree that syllabus of yoga practical has to be universally outlined and adopted by all universities?|
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|Table 7: According to you what activities have to be included in yoga curriculum of higher education for the students, particularly college-going generation?|
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[Table 8] shows the view of the participants about the physical attributes of a textbook which they would prefer as a textbook for UG students. The data presented in [Table 9] reveal the response to the question,“Have you ever read the book“Āsanas” and“Prānāyāma” written by Swami Kuvalayananda?“
|Table 8: What type of book would you prefer to recommend as a textbook for undergraduate students?|
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|Table 9: Have you ever read the book “Āsanas” and “Prānāyāma” written by Swami Kuvalayananda?|
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The data analysis presented in [Table 10] reveals that out of the 65 academicians, 46 were having same answer to the question,“whether the three yoga modules, viz., easy course, short course, and full course prescribed by Swami Kuvalayananda, in his book Āsanas, can be introduced as a model curriculum in the 3-year curriculum of UG college students of physical education?” Nine were in favor of introducing the prescribed module with some changes. Five neither agreed nor disagreed while five disagreed to introduce it. [Table 11] verifies how the interest of the respondents toward Swami Kuvalayananda changed drastically after going through the Appendixes I, II, and III. Out of the 65 participants, 46 strongly agreed to read the book“Āsanas” written by Swami Kuvalayananda and 11 agreed, in general, to read the same book. Among the entire group, two neither agreed nor disagreed to read the book whereas six stated that it depends on their mood and need.
|Table 10: Whether the three yoga modules, viz., easy course, short course, and full course prescribed by Swami Kuvalayananda, in his book of Āsanas, can be introduced as a model curriculum in the 3-year curriculum of undergraduate college students of physical education?|
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|Table 11: Would you like to read this book of Āsanas written by Swami Kuvalayananda after going through the attachment of Appendixes I, II, and III?|
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The response of the participants of question numbers three, four, and six indicates that most of the participants have the same opinion about the importance of physical education and yoga in achieving the ultimate aims of education for the youth. But unfortunately, most of the participants were unsatisfied with the present curriculum of physical education theory or practical. Most of the participants showed their dissatisfaction with the curriculum structure of yoga which constitutes a part of the physical education as a discipline. Surprisingly, most of the physical education teachers are dependent on local publishers to provide the reference books for the students to the study. Most of the participants were familiar about the great Indian yoga gurus just like Maharishi Patanjali, Swami Kuvalayananda, and B. K. S. Iyengar.
| Discussion|| |
Choice of textbooks
There were four books which were scrutinized for the present study. Their physical attributes are given in [Table 12].
|Table 12: Physical attributes of the four books which were scrutinized for the present study|
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It is interesting to note that the first book“Āsanas” by Swami Kuvalayananda is written specially for physical culturists. After studying all the four books [Table 11], it is inferred that the book written by Swami Kuvalayananda might be suitable for college-going students who want to keep fit and cannot devote long hours to practice many asanas due to lack of time. As it is the responsibility of physical education teachers to teach yoga to the students, the textbook should be small and curriculum should be precisely defined so that even the teachers who have no special training in yoga may find it easy to teach. Other three books are very good but mainly cater to the needs of yogis and yoga professionals and not of the general students.
Efficacy of the modules prescribed by Swami Kuvalayananda
Swami Kuvalayananda was an expert in Sanskrit as well as in physical education, having a deep knowledge in ancient history, particularly in religious development, and with no doubt, he is a master in yoga. As Swamiji is having a formal training in physical education, the contents of his book reflect a rare synthesis of expertise in three fields, namely, physical education, Sanskrit, and yoga. As author felt that these three modules prescribed by Swami Kuvalayananda carry the potential of being progressively utilized in the 3-year curriculum of UG college students of physical education, a questionnaire-based survey among the physical education professionals was conducted by the author.
Results presented in [Table 2] reveal that 87.69% of the respondents were in favor of including yoga practical in physical education curriculum in all the 3 years at UG level. Results presented in [Table 3] confirm and validate the UEC and NPE statements and support (53.84% strongly agreed and 40.07% agreed generally) that yoga has to be a compulsory part of physical education curriculum in all the universities of Uttar Pradesh at UG level in all the 3 years.
It was hypothesized in Hypothesis 1 that university- and college-going generation wants to do only few asanas, pranayama, and kriya for the sake of physical and mental fitness as well as for emotional development. Results of [Table 4] supported the Hypothesis 1 as 60% of the respondents have the same opinion that youths like to practice various yogic exercises for the sake of overall fitness only. There are plenty of studies which support the findings of the present study. Yoga provides a complete fitness regimen (Bauman, 2007). In another study, it was found that the regular practice of Hatha Yoga significantly improved the students' flexibility, muscular strength, endurance, and balance (Boehde & Porcari, 2005). The present study revealed that most of the physical education teachers were in dilemma about the content of yoga curriculum, even if it is a compulsory paper in four state universities of Uttar Pradesh selected for this survey and is an optional topic of physical education practical in UG level in any 1 year of their graduation in five state universities analyzed in the present study. The results of [Table 5] give the understandable image of the present problem regarding the content of yoga. Nearly 43.07% of the participants had no idea at all about what to teach in the name of yoga, whereas 33.84% had a little idea. [Table 6] illustrates that 92.3% of the physical education teachers working at various colleges and universities of Uttar Pradesh wish for the clear universal curriculum of yoga. It was hypothesized that the curriculum of yoga requires to be scientifically outlined, up to date, and universally accepted for the betterment of physical education as well as for other students of higher education in Uttar Pradesh. Hence, on the basis of the present study, Hypothesis 2 is also accepted.
The aim of the survey was to get the opinion of experts regarding what activities have to be included in yoga curriculum of higher education for the students of physical education, in particular, and for the students of others subjects, in general. [Table 7] reveals that 44.61% of the participants are in support of including all the yogic exercises and cleansing process; this includes asanas, pranayama, meditation, and suddhi kriya. However, only 41.53% of the participants required only asanas and pranayama in the yoga curriculum. Nearly 12.3% of the participants were in favor of only asanas and 3.07% needed only pranayama. Therefore, it is clear that yoga curriculum has to include asanas, pranayama, along with some meditative exercises, and some suddhi kriyas for the youths.
The results of [Table 8] indicate that most of the academicians (60% of the sample, to be precise) like to refer small books for the purpose of teaching whereas 33.84% like to refer medium-sized books. Therefore, Hypothesis 3 is accepted. The results of [Table 9] showed that few participants (21.53%) had studied the book“Asanas” and“Pranayama,” written by Swami Kuvalayananda, 12.3% had read only“Asanas,” whereas most of them (58.46%) did not read or hear about the book written by Swami Kuvalayananda.
The results presented in [Table 10] supported the Hypothesis 4, as 70.76% of the physical education teachers working in various universities and colleges of Uttar Pradesh strongly agreed to use the three yoga modules, namely, easy course, short course, and full course prescribed by Swami Kuvalayananda, in his book“Āsanas,” as a model curriculum in the 3-year curriculum of UG college students of physical education. Moreover, the close perusal of the answers to the questionnaire shows that few (13.84%) are in favor of introducing these courses with little change.
[Table 11] gives some interesting results about the efficacy of the book. Out of the 65 participants, 46 (70.76%) were strongly eager to study this book after going through the Appendixes I, II, and III. Only 11 participants (16.92%) showed moderate interest and accepted that they would like to study this book only if they get the book. Six participants (9.23%) stated that they would follow their mood to study this book“Āsanas.“
Swami Kuvalayananda has clearly mentioned many essential instructions about these yogic exercises and asanas in the book. Swami Kuvalayananda explained about bath and yogic exercises, food, drink, smoke, and yogic exercise for females too. Thus, the book can be used for both male as well as female students. That is why 87.68% (70.76% strongly and 16.92% were agreeing normally) of the participants recommended to use the book“Āsanas” by Swami Kuvalayananda as a textbook in the UG classes of physical education.
As education revolves around students, it is the limitation of this study that the data were collected only from teachers and not from students.
| Conclusions|| |
Hypotheses established in the beginning were found to be corroborated by the survey.
On the basis
of the findings of this study, it can be concluded that yoga should be a compulsory part of physical education curriculum for the UG students in higher education in Uttar Pradesh.
Participants also indicated that a universally designed and applied syllabus, which is clearly defined, would add to the efficacy of the yoga teaching and fulfill the objectives of the real education.
It was also concluded that the modules as prescribed in the book“Āsanas” by Swami Kuvalayananda can be used as a model curriculum of yoga, as prescribed in various state universities in Uttar Pradesh.
I would like to express my heartiest thanks to Dr. Isht Vibhu for his invaluable help throughout this study. I also express my gratitude to Swami Maheshanada Ji for his constant motivation and valuable advice throughout this effort.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9], [Table 10], [Table 11], [Table 12]