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   Table of Contents - Current issue
July-December 2020
Volume 52 | Issue 2
Page Nos. 53-102

Online since Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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Meeting challenges of interpreting directions and effects of yoga practices p. 53
Ranjeet S Bhogal
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Yoga training enhances auditory and visual reaction time in elderly woman inmates of a hospice: A pilot randomized controlled trial p. 56
Meena Ramanathan, Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
Introduction: There is a generalized impairment of mind–body functioning due to old age, resulting in disintegration, leading to diseases, and yoga is a boon to the elderly as it has preventive, curative, as well as rehabilitative potential. Reaction time (RT) is a simple, noninvasive index of processing ability of the central nervous system. Aim: This study planned to investigate changes in auditory RT (ART) and visual RT (VRT), respectively, before and after 12 weeks of yoga training in elderly woman inmates of a hospice in Puducherry. Subjects and Methods: Forty woman inmates were randomized to two groups of twenty each. Group A (yoga group) received training in integrated Silver Yoga program, while Group B (wait-listed control group) did not. ART and VRT were measured before and after study period using RT apparatus. Data passed normality testing, and parametric statistical methods were applied for intra and inter-group comparisons using Student's paired and unpaired t-test, respectively. A p < 0.05 was considered to indicate significance. Results: Baseline values were comparable between both groups. Intra-group comparison of pre-post data showed statistically significant (p < 0.001) differences in Group A, for both ART and VRT. Actual p values have been given for unpaired t-test and the intergroup comparison of ART and VRT showed significant differences (p = 0.001 and p = 0.018, respectively). Discussion: The influence of yoga in the reduction of ART and VRT in elderly females is evident as has been reported in earlier studies and may be attributed to enhanced central processing ability resulting from improved alertness and awareness. Significant shortening in ART and VRT signifies faster reactivity and enhanced sensory motor function in the elderly. Limitations: It is limited by smaller sample size and single center. Further multi-centric studies with larger populations can deepen understanding. Conclusion: Yoga training can enhance RT in senior citizens, increasing their agility and alertness, which is dulled with aging. Results of this study give preliminary evidence that incorporation of yoga as part of senior's lifestyle can help in promoting health modifying age-related disorders. We suggest that yoga should be part of health-care facilities for the elderly as it can enhance quality of life and improve overall health status.
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Do Hindu tradition and Jewish–Christian tradition speak the same language? p. 61
Tommaso Bianchi
Introduction: The globalization in progress brings cultures and religions, that were once distant, ever more close, sometimes in a conflictual way. Often, the discussion has a superficial character because knowledge of the roots of one's own culture is being lost. Therefore, it is difficult to study other cultures in depth. In particular, in studying yoga, it seems appropriate to refer to the texts that are at the basis of both Western and Indian civilizations. The comparison of texts could add a little more understanding of a practice that has recently become an intangible heritage of humanity. Material and Methods: In this article, texts in hand, we intend to offer an example of how two cultures, the Hindu one, with particular reference to yoga, and the Jewish–Christian one, present common contents. For reasons of space, the Jewish and Christian traditions have come together in that they, although present very different characters, share a good part of the same sacred book, the Holy Bible, as their foundation. For Hinduism, yoga and Vedānta have come together in that aimed, in different ways and languages, to the same purpose: the realization of the identity between ātman and Brahman. The texts taken as an example in this case were the Bṛhad-Āraṇyaka-Upaniṣad and Yoga Yājñavalkya. Results: We found textual evidence of commonality between the concepts of vital breath and speech, present in both traditions. In addition, the functions attributed by the texts to both these concepts – that is, to give life, remove demons and blot out sins – appear to be common. Discussion: Yoga has been defined by Sri Krishnamacharya as the “India's biggest gift to the world.” However, in the West, it is increasingly becoming “simply” a sporting practice. The comparison between the two traditions therefore appears necessary to recover the knowledge of both, the common traits and, ultimately, to deepen all that yoga has to offer regarding the understanding of life itself. The short comparison of texts we made in the present article reveals similar conceptions regarding fundamental concepts, such as vital breath and speech, and suggests the possibility of finding broader commonalities.
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Knowledge retention through Arham meditation p. 65
Aditi Jain
In the age of science and technology, the availability of different types of media has accelerated the rate of knowledge explosion. This growing knowledge needs to be gained and retained to attain success in life. Some techniques need to be employed to improve retention of knowledge as human mind also has certain limitations and cannot absorb all the information poured over. Meditation is one of such techniques. Numerous forms of meditation practices are popular around the world. Here, the researcher is taking into consideration the practice of Arham meditation to improve knowledge retention. Arham meditation is the process of changing the state of mind. It transforms the unstable and fickle mind to a calm, peaceful, compassionate, happy, and healthy mind. Arham meditation follows a sequence of some activities – sitting or standing in proper posture at a peaceful place and then relaxation of mind by Arham pranayama, which is then followed by the act of healing oneself internally with Arham chanting. The next task is to become aware of our own selves. Here, the practitioner tries to focus his/her attention on whatever is going on in the body, just as an observer.At last, the excessive energy produced in the body is released and spread in surroundings by reciting Arham Prayers. This Is done with a view to spread health and happiness throughout the Universe. Thus, it benefits the practitioner on the one hand and the whole population on the other hand. In short, Arham meditation brings the mind to a calm state and this calm mind accepts the knowledge faster and absorbs it quickly for further use.
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Integrated approach of yoga and naturopathy alongside conventional care: A need of the hour healthcare strategy in the management of COVID-19 in India – An overview p. 70
Pradeep M. K Nair
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) disease has shaken the health-care system globally. It has become a global public health emergency for which scientists and physicians are trying to find an answer. This pandemic at present has no answer, as conventional medicine is trying to put their best foot forward by using hydrochloroquinone. Clinical trials are underway to find the efficacy of hydrochloroquinone or to develop any other possible immunization in COVID-19, which leaves us in an uncertain situation. Treating the existing condition remains a challenge in one side whilst containing the spread of this disease remains another challenge. Though nations across the globe have declared lock-downs to prevent community transmission, this is insufficient, looking at the magnitude of the disease. Host friendly interventions from traditional medicine focused on improving immunity and offering mental strength to cope with this pandemic are the need of the hour. Yoga and Naturopathy, a holistic system of medicine under the ministry of AYUSH operates by adapting the principle of salutogenesis can be easily integrated into the existing standard of care in prevention and management. This paper discusses about the possibility and necessity of integrating yoga and naturopathy interventions like fasting, diet therapy, hydrotherapy, sunbath, and yoga therapy based on its evidence in the management of COVID-19.
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History, philosophy/concept, techniques of yoga and its effects on various systems of the body p. 76
A Mooventhan, L Nivethitha
Yoga is the science of right living and can be incorporated into daily life. It is known to originate in India and practiced to attain samathi in the ancient days and now being used to promote health and wellbeing. Although currently Yoga is being practiced for the promotion of health and prevention of various diseases by the people, the information deals with its origin, evolution, philosophy/concepts, and types/techniques are less known. Previous reviews deal mainly with Yoga and its effects separately. Hence, this particular review provides a summary of the information related to history, philosophy/concepts, types/techniques and physiological/therapeutic effects in various systems of the body with possible side effects of Yoga based on the available traditional and scientific literature. This literature suggests that the ancient Indian science (i.e., yoga) has its own philosophy/concepts, different techniques that spread almost worldwide and the scientific evidence for its health benefits in various systems is increasing and encouraging its use in the system of medicine.
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Advaita Vedanta answer to the hard problem of consciousness: A philosophical review p. 84
Ravi Kumar Reddy Juturi
For thousands of years, human beings have been exploring the fundamental nature of the world and the self. In this process, modern science and Vedanta philosophy do not differ in conceiving the physical body as a material and mind also as a material. But now and then, the question is asked that so-called matter is not sentient, it cannot be aware or conscious, and how does matter suddenly become conscious/aware/sentient being? For this reason, consciousness studies have become very important in the last two to three decades and it has opened up. These studies are now turn out to be multidisciplinary by the interest of brain scientists, neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers of mind, language, physicists, computer scientists, Artificial Intelligence. A lot of work has been done in this field of science to address what is this subjective conscious experience which a human being has internally. Consciousness studies are not new in the east, about two to three thousand years ago texts called Upanishads which are originated from Vedas are clearly stated about consciousness and its nature. In this article, the nature of consciousness is discussed and demonstrated according to Advaita Vedanta Philosophy. The article also encompasses the standpoint of modern science on consciousness. Finally, an attempt is made to answer the so-called hard problem of consciousness from the Advaita Vedanta perspective.
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Review study of kumbh mela as a pilgrimage site p. 88
BR Divya, Keshavamurthy
Pilgrimage site is a testimony to the sacred emergence and integration of space and time with the human spirit. The Kumbh Mela is one of the world's largest Hindu gathering known for bringing auspiciousness and contentment to its believers. The study is an attempt to bring out the significances of Kumbh as an important Hindu pilgrimage site and enumerating its healing dynamics.
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Case study: Reversal of pelvic floor prolapse symptoms with Ashtanga Yoga of Mysore p. 96
Hetal Nayak, Smita Mehta, Shreekumar Vinekar
The incidence of pelvic organ prolapse is 18%–56% 3–6 months postpartum in women of childbearing age. In spite of this common condition being more than just a nuisance, it also leads to hysterectomy in 20% of women, and other surgical interventions may be preventable with a course of pelvic floor physical therapy and elaborate training in yogic techniques, to improve the tone and strength of the pelvic floor muscles, after allowing time for tissue healing postpartum. This article outlines the details of such training, with the underlying scientific principles and physiological underpinnings. The article also describes these techniques in detail for novices, emphasizing the importance of experienced yogic therapists and physical therapists working closely with patients, physicians, and obstetrician-gynecologist specialists. The article illustrates the positive outcome of such techniques in a case study presented in detail. The article goes a little beyond its scope to elaborate the Ashtanga Yoga of Mysore to place the techniques in a holistic context to emphasize their integration in medical, gynecological, and physical therapy treatment modalities. Surgery needs to be the last resort for this reversible condition.
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