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   Table of Contents - Current issue
January-June 2023
Volume 11 | Issue 1
Page Nos. 1-76

Online since Friday, February 3, 2023

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Meditation research: Issues and limitations p. 1
Sisir Roy
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Effect of yoga and mindfulness meditation on quality of life in computer users with chronic low back pain: A prospective randomized active control trial p. 3
Chametcha Singphow, Satya Prakash Purohit, Padmini Tekur, Suman Bista, Surya Narayan Panigrahy, Balaram Pradhan, Nagarathna Raghuram
Background: Computer professionals are more prone to chronic low back pain (CLBP) as compared to the normal population. It has been reported that the 1-year prevalence of low back pain (LBP) was 23%38% in the normally active population, while it was 31%54% in computer users. Objective: To investigate the effect of yoga and mindfulness meditation on the quality of life (QOL) of computer users with CLBP. Materials and Methods: Eighty computer users (42.6 ± 8.45 years of age; suffering from CLBP since 5.20 ± 3.01 years; 51 males and 29 females) were recruited from Bengaluru, India. Participants were randomized into two groups: Yoga and mindfulness meditation/YM group (n = 40) and physical exercise/PE group (n = 40). The YM group practiced an integrated module comprising yoga postures and mindfulness meditation, and the PE group practiced PE designed for LBP. Both groups practiced 1 hour daily, 3 days a week for 16 weeks. WHO QOL-BREF and spinal flexibility (Straight Leg Raising [SLR]) were assessed at baseline and after 8 and 16 weeks. Results: Results of repeated measures-analysis of variance test showed that the scores on QOL physical health (diff = 12.43%, P < 0.001), psychological health (diff = 11.9%, P < 0.001), social relationships (diff = 15.66% P < 0.001), and environment (diff = 17.37% P < 0.001) were significantly higher in YM group as compared to PE group at the end of 16 weeks. Similarly, the scores on the SLR right leg (diff = 12.97%, P < 0.001) and SLR left leg score (diff = 11.71%, P < 0.001) were significantly higher in the YM group as compared to the PE group at the end of 16 weeks. Conclusion: Yoga with mindfulness meditation is significantly more effective in improving QOL and spinal flexibility in computer users with CLBP as compared to PE designed for LBP.
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Effect of Prana vidya practices on cognitive abilities of adolescents: A randomized control trial p. 12
Prem Prabhu, Paran Gowda, Girish Chandra
Context: Prana vidya practices (PVPs) have been found to be effective in improving intelligence quotient and performance quotient previously. This article is the sequel to previous research and investigates the effect of PVPs on the selected cognitive abilities of adolescents. Aim: To study the effect of the PVPs (Prana Vidya Practices for Consciousness Enrichment [PVPCE]), a prana visualization-based technique, on the cognitive abilities associated with (i) Six-letter cancellation task (SLCT) and (ii) Corsi block-tapping task (CBTT). Subjects and Methods: The present study was a randomized control trial carried out to examine the effect of a 5-week Prana vidya intervention on the cognitive abilities of adolescents. As an intervention, the practices of the PVPCE technique were given every day for 35 min. A sample size of 36 adolescent participants (14 boys and 22 girls) was obtained for this study. Statistical Analysis: The descriptive statistics (average value, standard deviation, and standard error of the mean) were obtained. The paired t-test for performance comparison along with Cohen's d test and repeated-measure analysis of variance between pre- and post-situations were also performed. Results: The results of the study show that in the experimental group, total attempts (TA) and net attempts (NA) of SLCT were significantly increased (P < 0.05); however, there was no significant change in the wrong attempts. In the CBTT, total scores and Corsi span also significantly increased (P < 0.05) in both the forward and backward directions. The PVPCE practices are most effective for SLCT-TA, SLCT-NA, and forward total score. Conclusion: The results suggest that PVPs (PVPCE technique) improve cognitive abilities associated with letter cancelation and block tapping tasks.
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Money, psychology, and neuroeconomics p. 22
Hitesh Chandrakant Sheth
Money is one of the principal forces acting on human beings that dictate conscious and unconscious actions. However, because of its tendency to bring the evil propensities in human beings to the fore, it is also one of the most maligned forces in human history. This study aims to know the real nature of money and the number of factors that determine a man's attitude towards money. A study of various kinds of literature like; journals, books, magazines, internet materials, and articles on neuropsychology, were done to compare the good and bad effects, money exerts on human lives. Results showed that there are many factors such as greed, insecurity, and inner poverty, as well as genetic and neuropsychological causes that impel men to chase power, position, and outer prosperity. However, such wealth, when earned through unfair means, often breeds insecurity and misery for a man as well as for society at large, while the same wealth, when acquired through fair means helps man to fulfill the ultimate goals of human life, namely enjoyment, and self-actualization. The study concludes by stating that money, by its nature, is neither a good nor an evil force. In fact, wealth creation without violating the moral codes is holy labor and a duty that helps humans, materially, psychologically, spiritually, and neuropsychologically, to achieve lofty aims in their life and also benefits humanity in general.
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Happiness analysis: Need for cross-cultural interventions across religions p. 27
VN Rao, Aarti Jagannathan, KV Vani
Happiness being a state-of-mind, it can be achieved by different paths as laid out by various world religions. Since the ultimate goal of all religions is inner peace, cross-referencing of factors to achieve happiness throws up an interesting mix of feasibility and barriers across global societies. The integration of thoughts from a Hindu culture to a European Christian culture or an Arabic Muslim could lead a mosaic without being religion specific. Since yoga is not affiliated to any religion in particular, it has the direction to lead the aspirant on well-laid path to happiness that includes the best principles integrated from world religions. This study reviews the concept of happiness and pathways to happiness from the perspective of different religions. It also provides a comparative statement on happiness analysis and a conceptual framework based on the results of the review.
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Conceptual framework for yoga-based counseling: A systematic review of literature p. 34
Atmika Y M Ramsahaye, K Rajesh Sasidharan, Arun Thulasi, Vikas Rawat
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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Medicalization of yoga: A sociological understanding p. 44
Ruby Bhardwaj
This paper analyses sociological underpinnings of yoga as complementary therapy in contemporary India. It traces the trajectory of medicalization of yoga through an analysis of the socio-cultural currents that prevailed at different historical epochs. The paper focuses on modern postural yoga as a therapy for physical ailments and fitness. Yoga, as it is experienced today, ensues from the impact of a series of social and cultural forces, both global and national. Gurus such as Vivekananda, Madhavdasji, Krishnmacharya, Kuvalayananda, and Iyengar responded to the pervasive temper of scientific rationality by underplaying the esoteric and mystical elements associated with yoga and accentuating its postural attributes that were scientifically validated to be therapeutic. As a symbol of indigenous cultural heritage, yoga has also been the narrative of protest and resistance against colonial rule and western medicine. With State patronage, yoga is elevated to the position of a recognized medical system under AYUSH, amenable to integration with naturopathy, ayurveda, biomedicine, and other systems of medicine resulting in the proliferation of medical pluralism. Modern postural yoga is secularized, professionalized, democratized, and adaptive. The digitization of yogasanas as cultural heritage and practice of yoga through apps is yet another illustration of its capacity to respond to technological changes and societal demands.
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The need for Yamā and Niyamā in promoting adolescents' physical and mental well-being p. 51
Sachi Sharma, Vikas Rawat
Children in today's global world deal with the pressure of competition because of new standards and opportunities and tend to suffer from stress and mental disorders. A stressful life can lead to a variety of health issues if left untreated. It is necessary to show them how to cope with their tension and anxiety. In this context, yoga, an art and science of healthy living as well as a spiritual discipline emphasizes bringing mind and body into balance. The first two limbs of yoga according to Aṣṭāṅga yoga are restraints known as “yamās” and observances known as “niyamās.” These are a set of guidelines for practicing moderation in life and gradually fostering a sense of self-discipline, contentment, and detachment as you go. They are powerful tools for developing the personality of children, thereby improving their physical and mental well-being. Thus, it should be promoted at all stages of life, from pregnancy to old age. Early in life, children who learn these codes and remind themselves of what is right will not go astray when they grow up and will remain strong mentally and morally. Hence, there can be no integrated personality without the application of yogic ethical principles. Therefore, in this study, an attempt has been made to highlight the importance of yamā and niyamā in nurturing mental and physical health among adolescents.
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Exploring the deeper insights of Vrikshasana p. 60
D Mohan Kishore, BR Divya, Nandi Krishnamurthy Manjunath
Vrikshasana is also known as a penance posture as it infuses a deep contemplative meditation effect and self discipline in its practitioner. This classical yoga pose is explored to gain a deeper insight into its origin, practice methods, biomechanics, and artificial intelligence (AI)-based learning in this study. Information related to Vrikshasana from classical yoga texts was considered to understand the symbolical interpretation and method of practice. To obtain the information about biomechanics and AI based learning of Vrikshasana scientific research studies from conference proceedings, published research papers, technical reports, and journals were explored. The practice of Vrikshasana infuses a strong sense of balance and postural stability while improving the strength and endurance in the lower extremity muscles. It helps in preventing the fear of fall that usually occurs as an aging problem. The anatomical and biomechanical insights provided in this study give a wide range of scope to the physiotherapists, yoga therapists, and fitness trainers in their approach to training this pose. The study also highlights the importance of the AI-based approach which promotes self-training to experience the positive benefits of pose practice and equally prevents any injury or the fear of falls.
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Exploring the bioenergy pathways affecting the low back pain – A review p. 67
Keshava murthy, Amit Kumar Singh, Vitsarut Buttagat, BR Divya
Low back pain (LBP) is the most common health problem affecting the daily activity of a person. The subtle energy pathways with the imbalance of the wind element/Vata dosha are the cause of back pain, as per ancient texts. Releasing these energy blockages through different approaches from the traditional healing system is found to be effective in treating LBP conditions. To explore and compile the different subtle energy pathways of the human body and identifying the energy lines affecting back pain and possible remedial approach. Relevant information was obtained and compiled using different sources such as Classical texts of Yoga, Upanishads, Ayurveda, and Traditional Thai Massage. Scientific Research papers were explored using different key words-low back pain, marmas, meridians, nadis, sen lines for understanding the energy pathways and its approach in treating LBP. The paper identifies and compiles the subtle energy pathways from a different system with respect to its location, function and emphasizes in compiling information related to LBP and the treatment approach.
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