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Applications of integrated approach of Yoga - A review

H. R. Nagendra, R. Nagarathna

Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India


Abstract : The review paper presents the overall results of the investigations undertaken to examine the efficacy of Yoga Therapy in the treatment and rehabilitation of various stress induced psychosomatic ailments in the psychiatric problems The work covers a period about 5 years. The region investigations encompassed some selected cities of Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar and West Bengal. But Bangalore has been selected as the main work base for study and research.

The ailments and the number of patients treated include bronchial asthma, allergic bronchitis and nasal allergy (4230), diabetes mellitus (553) and obesity (7); ophthalmic disorders (395) ; hypertension (151) ; and 1. H. D, (30). gastritis, Ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome (140), anxiety neurosis, phobias, obsessive illness (109); tension, headache and migraine (83); epilepsy (25); cervical spondylitis (31); rheumatoid arthritis (10) and low backache (123); and other miscellaneous problems like leg pain (15), osteoarthrosis (50), hemorrhoids (piles) (6), chest pain (23), general malaise (35) and mental retardation (20), The clinical investigations and case notes before and after give integrated approach of Yogic training have been recorded. The patients arc also followed up. Statistical analysis of these data is carried out systematically. The results show qualitative and subjective improvements strengthened by & significant beneficial chance & indicated by statistical analysis of the various related clinical and objective parameter.

SECTION I

The new challenge

The past few decades have revolutionized the pattern of life of human beings in the whole world. The growth of civilization has not only solved the basic necessities of life but also brought affluence and comfort to man. However, this age of speed and competition has increased the stresses and strains which man is subjected to. The result-increased ailments of the psychosomatic type posing a new challenge to the modern medical world. To meet the new challenge, the medical researchers have started experimenting with and including in the treatment, the principles and techniques available in various other systems prevalent in different parts of the world. Yoga is prominent amongst these new principles and techniques (G7).

Although Yoga has been used in India over centuries for treating diseases, it has started gaining recognition in the modern medical field as a special line of treatment only over the last decade, Now, there is scientific evidence for the beneficial effects of Yogic practices in some diseases. The common ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma, peptic ulcer, obesity etc., are treatable by Yoga practices. In many such common ailments, stress plays a major role in their causation and / or maintenance.

Meaning of Yoga

The word Yoga in Sanskrit language in derived from the root 'YUJ: Yujyate anena iti yogah'-yoga is union of two things, yoking of one with the other, merger of one with an other entity. What are these two things? In the technical terminology of Yoga it is a process of merging of 'JIVATMAN' with 'PARAMATMAN' In common parlance, it simply means that yoga is a process of expansion of an individual personality to cosmic dimensions, making an ordinary man divine.

Sri Aurobindo emphasizes on the all-round personality development of man at the physical, mental, intellectual, emotional and spiritual levels. He means by YOGA a methodical effort towards self-perfection. It is a process by which the limitations and imperfections in man will be washed away, transforming him as a super-man (G59). Thus yoga is a systematic process for accelerating the growth of a man at animal level to the level of a normal man, a genius, superman, a divine man and ultimately raising him to the level of Divinity.

Maharshi Patanjali, a great seer (about 800 B. C.) defines Yoga in his second aphorism 'Yogah Citta Vrtti Nirodhah'. Yoga is a (G 82) process of eliminating all the thoughts in the mind. It is a science for mastering the mind. In Yogavasistha, one of the best texts on Yoga, the essence of yoga is portrayed beautifully thus; "MANAH /(G 30): PRASAMANOPAYAH YOGA ITYABHIDHIYATE": Yoga is considered as a skillful process to calm down the mind. It is an "Upayah", a skillful subtle process and not a brutal mechanical, gross effort to stop the thoughts in the mind. Yoga consists in allowing the mind to settle down to silence, effortlessness is the key. While working, relaxed action is the trick as portrayed in Gita 'YOGAH KARMASU KAUSALAM'.

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