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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3

Exploring interventional authenticity in yoga research

Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute, Swami Kuvalayananda Marg, Lonavala - 410 403, Dist. Pune, India

Date of Web Publication19-Jan-2017

Correspondence Address:
Ranjeet Singh Bhogal
Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute, Swami Kuvalayananda Marg, Lonavala - 410 403, Dist. Pune
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DOI: 10.4103/0044-0507.198700

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How to cite this article:
Bhogal RS. Exploring interventional authenticity in yoga research. Yoga Mimamsa 2016;48:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Bhogal RS. Exploring interventional authenticity in yoga research. Yoga Mimamsa [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Sep 24];48:1-3. Available from:

Dear readers, patrons, and well-wishers,

Swami Kuvalayananda, the inarguable pioneer doyen of scientific research in yoga, had laid out a road map of scientific research in yoga, even way back in twenties of the last century. He had, then, declared that he was pursuing psycho-physiological research in yoga firstly, the scientific research in subtler experiential phenomena such as Dhyana and Samadhi, however, would be taken up later, once an appropriate knowledge base, for research problems and hypotheses for deeper experiential/spiritual phenomenon of yoga, i.e., Antaranga Yoga, is tolerably clearer through philosophico-literary research, as well as through scientific research in Bahiranga Yoga. A couple of articles, penned down by Swamiji, are still our bacon light for research into experiential aspects of yoga. Swamiji was always insistent of a perfect coordination of research endeavors between scientific and philosophico-literary aspects of yoga. Kaivalyadhama management too has maintained this policy, in letter and spirit, to this date.

Philosophico-literary research, with its objective corroboration through living traditions, would alone extend an authentic a priori informational content to yogic interventions, as regards both fundamental and applied areas of yoga research. Research in yoga, today, seems to suffer from a stalemate in respect of insufficient amount, degree and quality of replication, and verifiability of yoga effects on various psycho-physiological, neuro-physiological, bio-chemical, and other such parameters. Exploring, analyzing, and documenting directionsand effectsof yogic techniques/practices, as mentioned in authoritative yogic and Sanskrit tests, would strike a fair amount of unanimity regarding the acceptable yoga interventions in yoga research, among experts and institutions of long-standing track records. Therefore, it is desirable that long-term inter-institutional research projects, toward this end, are conceived and executed with advantage to all.

Kaivalyadhama appeals all institutions to come together for the cause of yoga research. There has to be a common platform in this regard if we wish to achieve desirable replication and verifiability of research findings in yoga. This may give a much-awaited credence and acceptance, by the hard core scientific fraternity, to the effects of yoga interventions on scientific parameters, for the possible application of yoga for many a health malady of the modern era. Although many eminent medical professionals and scientists are engaged in yoga research, commendably, with all their earnestness, however, joint efforts toward interventional authenticity are yet a far cry. Let us put joint efforts together, toward taking a step forward, in forging unanimity in this direction, irrespective of the traditions we belong to, institutional allegiance and the like, for the greater cause of yoga for the humanity!

Our readership has, all along, been very considerate of our efforts to revive the biannual status of Yoga Mimamsa. We are happy to share that the current issue of 2016 is the last of clubbed issues. From the next issue, due in July 2017, we are geared fully to bring out Yoga Mimamsa in the regular interval of 6 months. We will make all possible efforts to enhance the quality of contents further, as per the aspirations of its founder editor Swami Kuvalayananda.

In their experimental study entitled,“Differential impact of Shavasana and Meditation on memory scores in healthy college students: A randomized controlled study,” Prof. Ranjeet Singh Bhogal, Dr. Ghanshyam Singh Thakur, and Mr. Sanjay Uddhav Shete have shown a statistically significant impact of supine meditation, as well as that of Shavasana on memory scores, assessed through a standardized tool, in case of college students. The meditation group, however, showed a marginally better impact on verbal, spatial, and associate memory, suggesting a superiority of supine meditation toward a better cognitive ability through an enhanced psycho-physiological relaxation. It can be conjectured that a greater passive vigilance, leading to a better cathartic effect and a better receptivity, might have led to a better registration and retrieval of the contents of memory. The study is indicative of a great implication of meditation for cognitive enhancement in underachievers, in educational institutions. Future studies, with a bigger sample size and with various memory assessment procedures, might give us some conclusive outcomes of the usage of supine meditation for scholastic memory of these students.

The conceptual study,“Bio-electrical activity, as a valid variable, in yoga research,” by Mr. Dattatreya Devarao Kulkarni, Prof. Ranjeet Singh Bhogal, Ms. Anita Verma, and Mr. Sanjay Uddhav Shete, proposes the validity of bio-electrical activity as a valid variable in yoga research, for assessing the phenomenon of awareness at cellular and whole body levels. The study ventures to propose a novel dimension of bio-electrical activity, in assessing the effectiveness of yoga practices on the cellular level of brain behavior. The study extends a promise toward a better understanding of energy dynamics of the human body. It may also lead to a better assessment of psycho-physiological effects of yoga practices with its possible implications in yoga education for an objective quantification of one's progress in yoga. Assessing the extent of a daily life reality perception in yoga practitioners, through bio-phase angle, might prove to be a promising implication of this study.

Dr. Sarita Vivek Bapat, in her analytical survey study,“Psycho-physiological analysis of Kriya Yoga as per Patanjala Yoga Sutra,” reviews various commentaries of Patanjala Yoga Sutra (P.Y.S.) to find that while commentators have emphasized only the first two components, namely, Tapas and Svadhyaya, Patanjali seems to put forth a wider perspective of all the three components of Kriya Yoga, so as to roll out an entire road map toward kaivalya. The author asserts that the practice of tapas results into removal of impurities of citta leading to an expansion of awareness which is further strengthened through Svadhyaya, thus culminating into Iswara Pranidhana that, in turn, results into superior tapas and Svadhyaya, due to decreased ego projections. Thus, Kriya Yoga is equipped to turn a common person into a yogi.

Through his survey article,“Efficacy of yoga module given by Swami Kuvalayananda for the undergraduate physical education curriculum,” Dr. Yogesh Kumar discovered a consensus among a large majority of physical educationists, from seven State Universities of UP (India), regarding the validity of three yoga modules, designed by Swami Kuvalayananda, as model yoga syllabi for the three successive years at the undergraduate level. Results of the survey also showed the consensus that these three courses are scientifically and systematically designed and are in accordance with the laws of physical education. The article extends a timely appeal for striking uniformity in yoga syllabi, adopted by various universities of Uttar Pradesh. One hopes that the recommendations of the survey find a favor by the government agencies toward the implementation of the syllabi, after a due deliberation among the policymakers of the State Government.

Dr. Jayaraman Mahadevan, in his conceptual article entitled,“New light on Klista and Aklista Vrttis in the context of traditional Sanskrit commentaries of Yoga Sutras” has revisited the concept of Klista and Aklista, through a review of many Sanskrit commentaries ofthe Yoga Sutra in the context of the queries such as What is the nature of association of klesa with citta vrttis and Should both Klista and Aklista citta vrttis be transcended? The author concludes, through an in-depth discussion, that varying procedures as mentioned in P.Y.S. seem to aim at achieving and transcending different levels of Aklista citta vrttis before transcending even Aklista citta vrttis, toward evidencing ultimately the state of citta-vrtti-nirodh, i.e., a complete transcendence of citta vrttis. The article has a practical implication for serious yoga practitioners, wishing to evidence the real import of P.Y.S.

The philosophico-literary article,“Karma Yoga: A traditional perspective” by Dr. Rajeshwar Mukherjee, deals with the concept of Karma Yoga, in all its essential features, and asserts that Karma Yoga alone would lead us to the much coveted goal of absolute freedom, as delineated by Lord Krsna, Sankaracarya, and Swami Vivekananda. It also emphasizes that bondage, experienced in our material world, is due to Avidya, i.e., our false identification with the body–mind complex. The article advocates that Karma Yoga, practiced either in the spirit of Bhakti, i.e., devotion or in the spirit of Viveka, i.e., knowledge of discrimination, purifies the citta and culminates into action performed with desire-less-ness and nonattachment. To the author, Kriya Yoga of Patanjali is also a form of Karma Yoga. The article brings forth the due importance of Karma Yoga both for our positive life and for the ultimate liberation, thus unfolding a message for a practical yogic life style for the modern human.

In their conceptual article,“Concept of manas in Mimamsa Darsana,” Drs. Hetal Amin and Rohit Sharma highlight the concept of manas in Mimamsa Darsana and bring the fact to the fore that despite several kinds of differences of opinions, all darsanas whether astika or nastika accept the significance of manas for the process of human perception. Authors assert, since Mimamsa helps unravel the complexities of Vedic texts, it can be useful in throwing more light on the nature of manas, as the Vedas have an in-depth enunciation of the concept of manas. Authors deal with this concept, convincingly, in the context of Vedanta Darsana. As well, even though Mimamsakara has not discussed manas explicitly, the main theme of Mimamsa is solely dependent on the same. To Mimamsa, Dharma and Tattvajnana are closely related to each other and together take the jivatma beyond life and death, through their objective relationship with manas.

Dr. Bandita Satpathy, in her literary survey research entitled,“Ahimsa: An analytical study on the basis of commentaries of Yoga Sutra,” has surveyed multiple commentaries on P.Y.S.andcompared, analytically, the profligate views on the concept of Ahimsa with an attempt to find the most evolved concept of Ahimsa, in the process. The author states that as per Patanjali, Ahimsa is abstinence of oppression in every way and at all times, as well as is unconditioned and universally applicable vow of the yogi. Ahimsa is unqualified by caste, place, or urgent necessity. So also, the article reflects the message that Ahimsa enables us to get beyond societal, racial, and religious dogmas and helps us move toward self-development. In conclusion, a remarkable harmony is reflected in all commentaries, selected in this study, as regards the concept of Ahimsa.


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