Year : 2018 | Volume
: 50 | Issue : 1 | Page : 1--2
Hopes sore even as yoga finds itself in a crisis of its evolution
Ranjeet Singh Bhogal
Scientific Research Department, Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla, Maharashtra, India
Ranjeet Singh Bhogal
Scientific Research Department, Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla, Maharashtra
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Bhogal RS. Hopes sore even as yoga finds itself in a crisis of its evolution.Yoga Mimamsa 2018;50:1-2
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Bhogal RS. Hopes sore even as yoga finds itself in a crisis of its evolution. Yoga Mimamsa [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Jan 21 ];50:1-2
Available from: http://www.ym-kdham.in/text.asp?2018/50/1/1/234057
A discerning mind can easily perceive where the yoga worldwide is proceeding in recent times in view of a compromise galore evident as regards a dissonance between its native nature and the corresponding practice modes seen. Awareness about yoga has reached a phenomenal level as its utility as a drugless and holistic intervention for existential disorders has been accepted all over the globe. The world is even ready to accept its message not only as a mind–body medicine, but also as a practical means for one's emotional and spiritual well-being! Now, the real challenge before us is to meet tolerably the high expectations of the world populace to this end! Is it possible for yoga to live up to these expectations given no unified approach seen on the part of the institutions of eminence and proven historical standing? Practically speaking, meeting such expectations is clearly a distant dream at the moment due, in part, to the vacuum being felt at the top think tanks' level, as most legendary figures, of top yoga institutions, have left their mortal coils and the new generations is yet to connect with the broken threads. History tells us that legendary figures are not always successful in communicating the core of their spiritual message even to their most beloved disciples! Does it mean there are no ways in preserving the yoga heritage by any means?
Time is both ripe and favorable to authentic yoga research as Indian governments have woken to realities way back in 1986 when some concrete steps were taken to integrate yoga into the National Mainstream Education Policy. The present government has shown its sense of purpose in getting the International Day of Yoga recognized at the U.N. recently. The formation of AYUSH ministry is yet another laudable step in preserving and developing our heritage disciplines. One expects some consistent efforts on the part of State and Central Government Agencies to take timely steps so as to protect, promote, and preserve basic research in yoga. Encouragingly, modern budding yoga researchers in India are keen to contribute wholeheartedly to any such endeavors that evidently would make the government job much expedited! It would be in order if basic researches are conducted on important yoga techniques such as select practices such as Shuddhi Kriyas,Pranayama variants, Bandhas, Mudras, Shavasana, and Omkar. Research in Dhyana techniques (yoga meditations) and Samadhi can be undertaken later.
To start with, the CCRYN can take this new responsibility with expertise of all institutions of repute and a good track record. Our basic research should be based on (i) ancient source treatises of yoga, Sanskrit, and Ayurveda, (ii) living traditions having living masters of respective traditions, (iii) Already available research evidences concerning the living traditions, and (iv) current research evidences pertaining to yoga techniques of the ancient source treatises. The CCRYN may either start its own research journal of yoga to publish the research findings or can authorize indexed research journals such as Yoga Mimamsa (Kaivalyadhama) and IJOY (S-VYASA). Research Advisory Committees (RACs), Review Committees (RCs), and Monitory Committees (MCs) can be formed to maintain strict research standards in research. Review papers, concept papers, and group discussions on literary aspects of the yoga techniques can, justifiably, be given due place in the publications. Series of basic understanding of yoga and its constituents should be authored by an expert panel of writers who will be jointly responsible for the authenticity of their writings. A sufficient time should be given to them so that they can approve/modify the contents, if needed, with the consent of other authors. It should be incumbent on research scholars to go through these books. This textual understanding, on their part, should be included in the process of the approval/disapproval of their research projects.
For a better credibility of the research problems in basic research, firstly clinical/ applied/therapeutic/review research on the various yoga techniques should be mandatory and qualifying criteria for aspiring research workers, as the findings in such studies would give an insight into formulating problems in the basic research. This strategy was followed fruitfully by Swami Kuvalayanandaji in his basic research endeavors in yoga. RACs may have a final word on giving its consent to such proposals.
A sufficiently authentic knowledge base would, thus, be created which may deter/discourage vested interests into compromising with the basic tenets of yoga in the name of novelty and originality.
In the backdrop of our discussion, it is appropriate here to mention that Shri O.P. Tiwari ji, Secretary, Kaivalyadhama, has been bestowed with A LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for his outstanding, unprecedented, and unparalleled contribution to the China-Indian Cultural Relations, at a function on May 12, 2018, in Beijing, hosted by the leading yoga institute YOGI YOGA, CHINA. It is a proud moment for proponents of authentic yoga indeed!
This issue of Yoga Mimamsa, coincidently, reflects the very spirit of the editorial. The conceptual article by Laura Tolbanos Roche, “Yoga a Self Regulation Process” advocates, convincingly, that from a psychotherapeutic point of view, the cessation of suffering could be explained as the result of a process of self-regulation based on the development of self-awareness. It proposes that yoga practice promotes an embodiment process, providing the integration of the organism's systemic unit: brain, body, and environment. This integration process could be the culmination of the self-regulation.
The article by Abhishek Anand, “Effect of Pranayama on Mental and Physical fitness in healthy University students” shows a significant improvement in most of the mental and physical fitness parameters as a result of 12 weeks of Pranayama Practice, a small yet a welcome step in taking healthy volunteers as the subjects of the study showing an ample scope for documenting basic nature of Pranayama.
In her article, “Relevance of Yoga in Dental Regulation,” Dr. Anjali Deshpande highlights the benefits of yoga in preventive dentistry and oral medicine as an add-on therapy complementary to standard dental procedures. She further asserts that yoga offers a promising, cost-effective, complementary, preventive, and therapeutic modality. The author deserves congratulation in exploring a new area for yogic investigation, indicating the holistic nature of yoga in dentistry.
The article, “Stress and Coping strategies: The impact on health” by Ram Kumar et al., showed that (i) the higher the stressful life event scores, the greater was the chance of using unhealthy coping strategies and (ii) high stressful life events correlated positively with physical and behavioral stress indicators; as well as, (iii) healthy coping strategies (e.g., problem solving) resulted in lower behavioral indicators of stress. The Single Group Cross sectional Design used by the authors makes the study not-so-sound yet it does gives a fair indication that effective problem solving strategies would be an antidote to stressful life events. As emotional make-up is influenced in a favorable direction through yoga practices the implication of yoga for stress management is fairly indicative in the study.
The article, “World Brotherhood Colonies: A Preview of Pramahansa Yogananda's Understudied Vision for Communities Founded upon the Principles of yoga” by Christopher Miller, shows how Yogananda's colonies today continue to provide a space for members of the growing global middle class to live a simpler life grounded in yogic principles. The article clearly indicates the yogic lifestyle model for modern times.