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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-43

Conceptual framework for yoga-based counseling: A systematic review of literature

1 Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Division of Yoga and Humanities, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Atmika Y M Ramsahaye
Division of Yoga and Humanities, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jacs.jacs_4_22

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Yoga has been acclaimed for its therapeutic benefits which are usually associated with the practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation. The counseling part of yoga therapy, cough not as explored as the practical aspect, dates back to ancient texts where the Guru acted as a counselor and the Shishya the counselee. This review explores yoga as a form of counselling and the means of incorporating it in conventional counseling. The aim of this study is to review the literature related to the application of yoga in psychological counseling, to assess the techniques and theories of Yoga-based Counselling (YBC) as well as to propose key aspects of YBC. Based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and SCOPUS were searched from the date of conception till August 2021. The MeSH terms and keywords “counselling,” “psychotherapy,” “yoga,” “yogic,” “bhagavad gita,”patanjali,” and “ramayana” were used to search the databases as appropriate. The exclusion criteria for the search included yogic practices which do not explore counseling techniques or focus only on asana, pranayama, meditation, and relaxation. Out of the forty-nine articles, twenty-four articles were reviewed based on the study requirement. The articles were coded and qualitatively analyzed using the inductive thematic approach. The preliminary open coding of the articles was carried out by the first author. Themes and additional sub-themes were assigned and reviewed by the co-authors. The findings of the final list of studies have helped in evolving themes relevant to the application of YBC. The emerging themes are the theoretical foundation of YBC, integrating yogic counseling in psychotherapy, stages of counseling, ethical consideration, and precautions to be followed during sessions. These can act as guidelines for therapists willing to adopt YBC. This review delineates the ways in which YBC can be adapted in conventional counseling settings. The theoretical foundations and stages of applying YBC may give a consolidated understanding of yogic counseling. Likewise, the ethical considerations and precautions required during YBC for the smooth flow of sessions are highlighted.

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