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   Table of Contents - Current issue
January-June 2020
Volume 52 | Issue 1
Page Nos. 1-51

Online since Thursday, June 11, 2020

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Positioning yoga in the COVID-19 pandemic Highly accessed article p. 1
Shirley Telles
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Immediate effects of eye yogic exercises on morphoscopic visual acuity p. 5
Tommaso Bianchi, Raffaella Bellen
Background: Various studies have been carried out on what yoga can do for eyesight improvement and for eye health. Numerous of them tested both subjective and objective parameters in different optical fields (myopia, presbyopia, resistance to optical illusions, etc.). The majority of them have tested long-term yoga training. In literature, we found no evidence of the immediate effects of yoga exercises on visual abilities. Aims: In this study, we tested some yoga exercises directly involving eyes in the improvement of morphoscopic visual acuity. Methods: Twenty participants have been examined for morphoscopic visual acuity on Snellen chart. After this, they have been invited to perform some yoga eyes exercise for 6 min overall. The exercises included ocular motility, focusing, concentration/purification (trātaka), and relaxation (palming). Finally, they have been subjected again to the Snellen chart examination. Each eye has been examined separately. Results: The results of the first and the second Snellen chart examination were compared, resulting in a visual acuity medium improvement of 2.28%. The differences between second and first examination ranged from −22.22% to +24.44%. Conclusions: In literature, we found some critical analyses of the effects of eye yoga exercises on eyesight. Some studies deny every form of improvement in this field. However, the results of our study and the evidence found in literature testify the effectiveness of improvements. Some more studies would be useful to determine the efficacy of yoga training – both short- and long-term – on visual abilities, on refractive errors, on presbyopia, and on most serious eye pathologies.
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Mulabandha yoga therapy and its utility in cases of urinary incontinence in females: A randomized clinical trial p. 12
Km Sweta, Amrit Godbole, HH Awasthi, Uma Pandey
Background: Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common condition in women, with prevalence ranging from 8.5% to 38% depending on age, parity, and definition. This problem is more common in Asian countries, where women usually do not seek treatment for their reproductive health problems and do not vocalize their symptoms. Mulabandha yoga therapy (MYT) is said to be effective for the management of UI. Hence, it was tried to see the effects of this method in females. Aims and Objective: The aim and objective was to study the effect of yoga therapy in female patients for 3 months suffering from UI. Methods: An intervention of Mulabandha yoga therapy (Contraction of pelvic group muscles) for the period of three months has been done by interventional group. Design: Participants were allocated into two groups by generating random allocation sequence. Participants: Fifty female participants were divided into two groups, i.e., interventional and noninterventional (control) groups. The interventional group (n = 25) received an intensive supervised MYT protocol along with medication and the control group (n = 25) received only oral medicines. Outcome Measures: Improvement in UI symptoms was assessed using the Questionnaire for Urinary Incontinence Diagnosis (QUID). Both groups were evaluated at the beginning of the study and after 12 weeks. Results: At the completion of study, data received from all the fifty women were included in the analysis. Percentage improvement in the QUID mean change was 58.72 in the intervention group and 21.54 in the control group. Intergroup comparison (Mann–Whitney test) was found to be statistically significant in the intervention group (p < 0.00), whereas it was nonsignificant in the control group (p = 0.14). Conclusion: MYT plays a significant role in the improvement of UI symptoms.
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Analysis of immediate effect of nadishodhana pranayama in the ratio of 1:3:2 on autonomic and respiratory variables in healthy individuals p. 20
K Saisupriya, Shashikiran H Chandrappa, Shivaprasad K Shetty, Prashanth Shetty, Thittamaranahalli Muguregowda Honnegowda, Leena Hiremath
Background: Nadishodhana pranayama (NS) has been used extensively for relaxation as well as therapeutics by many practitioners; the physiological effects of NS in this specific ratio have not been studied yet. Hence, the present study aims to evaluate the immediate effect of NS pranayama in the ratio of 1:3:2 with a time line of 6:18:12 s and its role in clinical application. Materials and Methods: Sixty healthy volunteers were recruited for the study. Individuals were randomly allocated into two groups, NS pranayama with antarkumbhaka (Group 1) and breathe awareness (Group 2). For case group, intervention was given for 12 rounds and for the control group, breath awareness was given for 12 rounds and assessed immediately after the practice. Results: In the study group, a significant decrease in mean heart rate (HR) (p < 0.0001) and a significant increase in mean respiratory rate (RR), NN50 (p < 0.0001), RMSSD, and pNN50 (p < 0.0001) after the intervention compared to their prevalues and with that of the control group were noted. Frequency domain analysis of HR variability showed a significant decrease in the pre- and post-values of low-frequency (LF) power (p < 0.0001), very LF, and LF/high-frequency (HF) power (p < 0.0075) and a significant increase in the pre- and post-values of HF power (p < 0.001) after the intervention in the study group. Conclusions: The result concludes that the immediate effect of NS pranayama in the ratio of 1:3:2 brings parasympathetic activity in the study group by decreasing RR and HR. Hence, the NS pranayama with kumbhaka is a better method to increase parasympathetic activity.
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Concept of mind in Indian philosophy, Western philosophy, and psychology p. 25
Durga Tanisandra Krishnappa, Melukote Krishnamurthy Sridhar, HR Nagendra
This article makes an explorative journey into the concepts of mind as explained in the Indian philosophical traditions and Western psychology. The article explains about knowledge domains in the traditions and their distinctive features, different connotations and denotations of mind, and the different methods being used in explaining mind. Yet, they may not appear to be opposed or conflicting in nature. The article elaborates on the concepts such as mind (manas) and mind apparatus (citta) in Indian philosophical traditions and compares with the traditional Western psychology where the primary emphasis is given to the mind. The article indicates that in the Indian philosophical tradition, mind helps in knowing consciousness, whereas in the Western paradigm, mind becomes the subject as well as the object of knowing. Knowing gives an understanding of the truth and could lead to realization. In the Eastern tradition, knowing becomes a being and becoming. This knowledge of the self (ātman) helps the individual in attaining happiness (sukha) and welfare (abhyudaya) in this world and realization of the supreme reality (Brahman) leading to liberation (mokṣa). Thus, knowing and understanding about consciousness become complementary in both the traditions.
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Anxiety and depression related to yog nidra among professional students p. 29
Rupali Joshi
Background: Anxiety is one's response to stress. Its symptoms can be psychological, physical, or environmental challenges. Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feeling of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. Yog nidra is probably the best known technique to induce complete physical and emotional relaxation. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the effectiveness of yog nidra for reducing anxiety and depression among first-year professional students. Materials and Methods: The level of anxiety was measured by using State, Trait, and Free-Floating Anxiety Scale developed by Tripathi and Rastogi (1986). The Hindi version of Beck Depression Inventory by Arora and Prashant (1988) was used to assess the depression level of participants. The study was conducted in three phases. In Phase-1 (preintervention), data were obtained from 201 students. In the Phase-2 (intervention phase), the participants were selected on the basis of high scores on the measures of anxiety and depression and divided into intervention (28 students) and non-intervention groups (30 students). The intervention group was given yog nidra training regularly for 5 weeks. Posttest was conducted after 5 weeks of the intervention. Results: The results showed a reduction in mean scores on the measures of anxiety and depression within the intervention group but not in the nonintervention group, which indicated the effectiveness of practicing yog nidra for reducing anxiety and depression and its positive effects among professional students. Conclusion: A dramatic effect of practicing yog nidra was observed among students for reducing anxiety and depression.
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Evidence-based comparative study of group and individual consciousness on life satisfaction among adults p. 34
Sudhanshu Verma, Kamakhya Kumar
Background: Life satisfaction (LS) is the method during which people show their emotions, feelings (moods), and the way they feel concerning their directions and choices for the longer term. It is a measure of well-being assessed in terms of mood, satisfaction with relationships, achieved goals, self-concepts, and self-perceived ability to address one's lifestyle. LS involves a good angle toward one's life instead of an assessment of the current feelings. LS has been measured in relation to economic standing, degree of education, experiences, residence, and many other topics. Objective: The objective of the present study was to see the effect of group yoga and individual yoga training on LS among adults. Materials and Methods: In the present study, 100 college students and employees aged 18–45 years with dissatisfaction were randomized into two groups, that is, group yoga practice (GYP, n = 50) and individual yoga practice (n = 50). All the participants were assessed for LS using standard questionnaire at the baseline and after completion of 45 days of training intervention. Data analysis was done using statistical software SPSS Version 23.0. Data were analyzed using paired t-tests. Results: The results showed that LS in GYP improved statistically significantly (t = 3.20, p < 0.01) after 45 days of yoga intervention. Further, in case of individual yoga practice group, the results showed that there was no statistically significant increase (t = 1.94, p > 0.05) in LS of the participants. Conclusion: Group yoga intervention is effective in increasing LS among adults as compared to individual yoga intervention.
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Jala-Bhramari, OM chanting, and Kaivalya: A neuroscience perspective p. 38
Vinod D Deshmukh
Bhramari is an ancient technique of the yogic pranayama practice. It has been described in the Vedic-Upanishadic literature. Currently, it is being actively practiced and taught in the yoga classes all over the world. Jala-Bhramari is a new term that I am proposing for doing the classical Bhramari while floating in water on one's back, swimming back-stroke, and while standing or sitting in water with both ears under water, while the face is in the air to breathe and vocalize. With this technique, one can hear the humming sound of Bhramari loud and clear through the water and feel the transmitted biomechanical vibrations in the head, face, chest, spine, and the whole body. It is a unique variation of the Bhramari technique with calming and energizing effects. The OM chanting is another very ancient yogic meditation practice from the Vedic-Upanishadic period. Mandukya Upanishad described this valuable meditative practice in detail and gave its rationale as well as the benefits. With this practice, one can achieve a state of profound stillness, silence, and serenity. One can become Atma-tushta, self-satieted, and Atma-shanta, at peace with self. One can also feel liberated from the stressful burdens of one's body, mind, and ego. Such a state was described as Turiya, the fourth state of consciousness. It is also called Kaivalya or the absolute self-freedom and a feeling of unity with the natural existence. Kaivalya is defined as the holistic state of absolute unity, self-liberation, and timeless serenity. Very few people can achieve such an advanced spiritual state and live a blessed life in nature. However, there have been many examples of sages and enlightened visionaries from India as well as other parts of the world. Most of us live with a limited outlook and an isolated individual perspective in this busy and challenging human world. Yogic meditation is a disciplined and purposeful process of self-discovery, which may lead to great insights and a blissful nondual self-awareness.
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An integrative approach (Vedic and Western) to Yoga Sādhanā in our times p. 45
Shrinivas Tilak
A survey of available literature on Yoga Sādhanā (philosophy and practice of yoga) in our times suggests that it has been built up using conceptual frameworks and categories developed in modern (mostly Western) intellectual tradition. Traditional advocates and practitioners of yoga on their part feel (justifiably so) that contemporary Yoga Sādhanā is a product of appropriation of whatever the moderns deemed useful in yoga after detaching it from its Vedic and Indic context while at the same time retaining exegetical control over its interpretation and dissemination. That human beings think, judge, feel, and act differently is incontestable. Such “differently” posited difference, however, cannot be total or exclusive. Because otherwise, no difference could be identified, articulated, and claimed. This suggests the existence of a deeper similarity that makes understanding and communication among cultures and philosophies possible. In light of the preceding, it is argued here that Yoga Sādhanā, and the metaphysics undergirding it, should be approached in a collaborative, i.e., modern Western (“Etic” or outsider) as well as traditional Vedic (”Emic” or insider) scholarly perspectives. Such an integrative framework accordingly is proposed here incorporating (by way of illustration) insights discernible in the works of two Western (Ian Whicher and Soraya Franco) and two Vedic (Swami Kuvalayananda and T. Krishnamacharya) advocates of Yoga Sādhanā.
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