|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 20-23
Effect of Yoga–Preksha meditation on management of obesity in sportspersons
Raj Bala, Ramesh Chander, J. P. N. Mishra
Department of Science of Living, Preksha Meditation and Yoga, Jain Vishva Bharti, Institute, Ladnun, Rajasthan, India
|Date of Web Publication||16-Jun-2017|
Jain Vishva Bharati University, Ladnun - 341 306, Rajasthan
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Overweight is a big problem for sportspersons. Excess body weight affects sportsperson's skills and performances. Excess body fat in sportspersons also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, arthritis, and allied problems.
Objectives: This study was designed to assess the impact of yoga–Preksha meditation on obesity in sportspersons.
Materials and Method: The participants were selected randomly from the Physical Education Department of Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa. Totally seventy students were incorporated in the study. They were divided into two groups of 35 each. Group I was termed as “experimental” and Group II was considered as “control” group. The experimental group was progressively introduced to the selected yogic exercises and Preksha meditation. The practice session was conducted for 60 min on all weekdays except Sundays for a period of 4 months. Control group was not given any such training. Pre data (0 day) and Post data (after 4 months) of both groups i.e. height, weight and body mass index (BMI) was taken. The difference in the percentage of participants improving in the experimental group and the corresponding control group was tested for significance of difference by computing Student's t-test.
Results: The results showed that there was a significant reduction in body weight and BMI in experimental group which may be attributed to the dominance of parasympathetic component of autonomic nervous system and simultaneous balance in the stimulatory activity of sympathetic components too. This might have caused alteration in fat mobilization which resulted in reduction in body weight and BMI.
Conclusion: The regular practice of yoga–Preksha meditation is helpful in managing the problem of obesity in sportspersons and improves their performance.
Keywords: Obesity, preksha meditation, yoga
|How to cite this article:|
Bala R, Chander R, Mishra J. Effect of Yoga–Preksha meditation on management of obesity in sportspersons. Yoga Mimamsa 2017;49:20-3
| Introduction|| |
Today, overweight is a major problem for sportspersons. Excess body weight affects sportsperson's skills and performances. Excess body fat in sportspersons also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, arthritis, and allied problems. The condition occurs when the amount of calories consumed exceeds the amount of calories expended over a long period of time. Excess calories are stored as fat in the body, and with long-term caloric excess, an individual eventually becomes obese. Practicing yoga regularly and eating a healthy diet are ways to combat obesity. Yoga is an ancient scientific system that, in fact, brings harmony in body and mind. It is a very rational and scientific method by which a state of equilibrium in mind and body is achieved. Yoga also seems to be a means for developing good health and vigor.
Regular yogic exercise can help sportspersons to reduce body fat as well as protect against chronic diseases associated with obesity. Various yoga techniques can be practiced effectively to reduce the weight and achieve normal healthy condition of body and mind. To achieve this and to keep fit and manage their body weight, most of the sportspersons practiced certain asanas, pranayamas, shuddhi kriyas, and mudras. Chander, Bala, Singh, & Kumar (2011) demonstrated that forty obese persons who practiced a regular 20 min Kapalabhati for 60 days significantly reduced weight. The regular practice of Kapalabhati reduced their body weight. They also reported that the waist size of obese persons was also significantly reduced as described by results of Kapalabhati. Yogic practices not only protect the sportspersons from the consequences of aforesaid problems but also increase their stamina, strength, muscle tone, flexibility, and endurance. Yoga practices such as forward bending, twisting, and backward bending asanas help reduce the fats near abdomen, hips, and other areas (Tracy & Hart, 2012). In addition, the practice of asanas improves functioning of internal organs, strengthening heart, lungs, kidneys, and excretory and reproductive organs. Yoga activity decreases stress and improves mobility and general health of sportspersons (Bera & Rajapurkar, 1993). Few other studies were conducted to observe the effect of yoga on body weight and body composition in normal and obese people. In normal healthy controls, it was found that there was a decrease in weight and increase in lean body mass (LBM) after yoga training (Madhavi et al .,1985). Gharote (1997) found that, with yoga intervention, there was a decrease in fat-fold thickness in obese people and similar result was evident in the case of schoolchildren (Bera, Rajapurkar, & Ganguly, 1990). Khare & Kawathekar (2002), in a recent study, found that, with yoga and controlled diet, there was a significant reduction in fat-fold thickness and increase in LBM. Preksha meditation has been reported to modulate the stimulatory effects of autonomic nervous system and thereby bringing significant changes in metabolic rate (Zaveri, 1993).
Although the efficacy of Yoga–Preksha meditation combination on health and fitness has been well proved on various populations (Mishra, 2007), yet its role on the management of body weight of sportspersons is not well understood. The objective of the present study was to assess the efficacy of Yoga–Preksha meditation combination in managing the problem of obesity in sportspersons.
| Materials and Method|| |
In the present study, seventy male students of C.P. Ed, B.P. Ed, and M.P. Ed of Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa (Haryana), under the age group of 18–26 years, were randomly selected as sample. The criteria for inclusion was the absence of any chronic disease except obesity in them. There was no control on the daily diet of students. All the students were divided into two groups of 35 students each. Group I was termed as experimental group and Group II was termed as control group. The body weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) for both the groups were recorded at the onset of the study. Yoga-Preksha Meditation intervention was given to experimental group students for 60 min. daily in all weeks except Sunday for 4 months. The components of experimental intervention were as follows:
- Selected asana - Virabhadrasana, Utkatasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Halasana, Paschimottanasana, Bakasana, Hridyastumbhasana, and Sarvangasana (15 min)
- Pranayama (Ujjayi) - (10 min)
- Preksha meditation comprising Mahaprana Dhvani, Kayotsarga, Antrayatra, and Swaspreksha (35 min).
The participants of control group were not given any such kind of practice and they continued their daily routine without any specific instruction. To assess and compare the impact of experimental intervention, the following parameters were applied:
- Body weight (in kg) with the help of an digital weighing machine
- Height (in cm) with the help of a portable stadiometer
- BMI was calculated by using the following formula (Mei et al., 2002):
All the parameters were recorded at the onset of the study in both the groups and similar parameters were again applied in both the groups after 4 months (120 days) of experimental intervention.
The data obtained were analyzed to get statistical significance using Student's t-test.
| Results|| |
The intragroup comparison of body weight for participants in control and experimental groups showed that the mean values of body weight in participants of both control and experimental groups were 64.61 ± 7.096 kg and 62.66 ± 7.211 kg, respectively. After 120 days of experimental intervention, mean body weight of experimental group participants reduced to 59.90 ± 5.353 kg. This difference was statistically significant. However, no such change was noticed in control group participants. When comparison of body weight of participants of both groups at day 0 was made, no significant differences were observed which showed that participants of both groups were in the state of homogeneity. The significant reduction in experimental group exhibits the impact of experimental intervention [Table 1].
|Table 1: Comparison of body weight of control and experimental group participants|
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The results of intergroup comparison in body weight showed significant reduction in body weight of experimental group participants; however, there was no significant difference in body weight of control group participants after 120 days of intervention [Table 2] and [Figure 1].
|Table 2: Intergroup comparison of body weight of participants of control and experimental groups at 0 day and 120 days|
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|Figure 1: Mean body weight of control and experimental group participants at pre- and post-experimental phases|
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A significant improvement in BMI of experimental group participants was observed after 120 days, and the value was reduced to 23.27 ± 1.337 from 24.20 ± 1.082. However, in control group, no such significant improvement was observed during follow-up [Table 3].
A statistically significantly increasing trend was visible in mean values of BMI when the mean values of experimental group were compared with that of control group at day 0 and after 120 days of follow-up phase as shown in [Table 4] and [Figure 2].
|Figure 2: Comparative values of body mass index in participants of both control and experimental groups at different stages|
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| Discussion|| |
The findings of the present study indicated beneficial effects of the therapeutic module, i.e., Yoga–Preksha meditation combination practice in reducing obesity in sportspersons. These findings are on the similar line as reported by Bera & Rajapurkar (1993). The author of this study concluded that a selected practice of yoga was found useful in reducing body weight and consolidating body composition in obese people, thereby achieving physical and mental fitness. Another study carried out by Joseph, Nicolass, Dennis, Stephanie, & John (1991) has reported that combination of moderate energy restriction and aerobic exercise has been found useful in substantial reduction in subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue and also moderate-level body weight loss along with BMI. The author has calculated percentage body fat, total body fat, and LBM. Nearly 33% reduction in body fat and 29% decrease in total body fat along with 7% improvement in LBM after 12 weeks of yogic asana practices were the basis for arriving at a conclusion regarding beneficial effect of such practices. The study conducted by Jimenez et al. (2009) also supported our finding. The author had evaluated metabolic cost of Hatha Yoga practice as 2.4 kcal/min. Mishra & Sekhavat (2007) have also reported that short-term (4 months) practice of Preksha meditation–yogasana combination has resulted in significant decrease in body weight and BMI. Decrease in BMI and body weight may be attributed to the inhibition of sympathetic activity which resulted in reduced caloric requirement and reduced metabolic rate in muscular tissue. Preksha meditation has been reported to strengthen parasympathetic dominance (Mishra & Sekhavat, 2007) and that may be probably the reason for reduction in fat tissue associated with caloric input in sportspersons.
| Conclusion|| |
Although there are several claims regarding the management of body weight of sportspersons using various yogic practices, the effect of Preksha meditation associated with supplementary yogasanas was not well documented. The findings of this study had led to the conclusion that Yoga–Preksha meditation combination practice module was a successful and effective tool for reducing body weight and maintaining BMI in sportspersons within standard limits. Preksha meditation has been found to reduce the state of stress through parasympathetic dominance. Its practice in association with yogic asana might have further altered the metabolic rate and fat requirement of sportspersons, thereby reducing the excess body weight and modulating the BMI. This may culminate in good psycho-physiological health and performance in sportspersons.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2]
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]