Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Yoga Related Abstracts

11 Academic Performance and Therapeutic Breathing

Authors: Abha Gupta, Seema Maira, Smita Sinha


This paper explores using breathing techniques to boost the academic performance of students and describes how teachers can foster the technique in their classrooms. The innovative study examines the differential impact of therapeutic breathing exercises, called pranayama, on students’ academic performance. The paper introduces approaches to therapeutic breathing exercises as an alternative to improve school performance, as well as the self-regulatory behavior, which is known to correlate with academic performance. The study was conducted in a school-wide pranayama program with positive outcomes. The intervention consisted of two breathing exercises, (1) deep breathing, and (2) alternate nostril breathing. It is a quantitative study spanning over a year with about 100 third graders was conducted using daily breathing exercises to investigate the impact of pranayama on academic performance. Significant cumulative gain-scores were found for students who practiced the approach.

Keywords: Yoga, Academic Performance, pranayama, therapeutic breathing

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10 Effects of 8-Week of Yoga Training on Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Flexibility and Agility of Female Hockey Players

Authors: Tarsem Singh


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of yoga training on muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and agility of female hockey players. For this purpose, a sample of forty (N=40) female hockey players of age ranging from 18 to 25 years were selected from different colleges affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar. Further, the subjects were purposively divided in two groups. First group, designated as experimental group (N1=20) and the second one as control group (N2=20). All the participants were informed about the objectives and methodology of this study and they volunteered to participate in this experimental study. The study was restricted to the variables: muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and agility. The same were measured by using Flexed Arms Hang Test, Sit-Ups Test, Sit and Reach Test and Shuttle Run Test respectively. Experimental group have undergone yoga training for 8-week by following a sequence of selected yogic asanas i.e. Sarvangasana, Chakra-asana, Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana, Halasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Ustrasana, Gomukasana, Paschimotansana, Ardha-Matsyendrasana and Hanumanasan. Paired sample t-test was applied to study the effects of yoga training on female hockey players. The level of significance was set at 0.05. Results revealed significant differences between pre and post-tests of experimental group in respect to Muscular strength (t-6.946*), Muscular endurance (t-9.863*), Flexibility (t-11.052*) and Agility (t-14.068*). However, insignificant differences were observed between pre and post-tests of control group.

Keywords: Yoga, Flexibility, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, agility

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9 Single Stage Holistic Interventions: The Impact on Well-Being

Authors: L. Matthewman, J. Nowlan


Background: Holistic or Integrative Psychology emphasizes the interdependence of physiological, spiritual and psychological dynamics. Studying “wholeness and well-being” from a systems perspective combines innovative psychological science interventions with Eastern orientated healing wisdoms and therapies. The literature surrounding holistic/integrative psychology focuses on multi-stage interventions in attempts to enhance the mind-body experiences of well-being for participants. This study proposes a new single stage model as an intervention for UG/PG students, time-constrained workplace employees and managers/leaders for improved well-being and life enhancement. The main research objective was to investigate participants’ experiences of holistic and mindfulness interventions for impact on emotional well-being. The main research question asked was if single stage holistic interventions could impact on psychological well-being. This is of consequence because many people report that a reason for not taking part in mind-body or wellness programmes is that they believe that they do not have sufficient time to engage in such pursuits. Experimental Approach: The study employed a mixed methods pre-test/post-test research design. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and interpretative phenomenological analysis. Purposive sampling methods were employed. An adapted mindfulness measurement questionnaire (MAAS) was administered to 20 volunteer final year UG student participants prior to the single stage intervention and following the intervention. A further post-test longitudinal follow-up took place one week later. Intervention: The single stage model intervention consisted of a half hour session of mindfulness, yoga stretches and head and neck massage in the following sequence: Mindful awareness of the breath, yoga stretches 1, mindfulness of the body, head and neck massage, mindfulness of sounds, yoga stretches 2 and finished with pure awareness mindfulness. Results: The findings on the pre-test indicated key themes concerning: “being largely unaware of feelings”, “overwhelmed with final year exams”, “juggling other priorities” , “not feeling in control”, “stress” and “negative emotional display episodes”. Themes indicated on the post-test included: ‘more aware of self’, ‘in more control’, ‘immediately more alive’ and ‘just happier’ compared to the pre-test. Themes from post-test 2 indicated similar findings to post-test 1 in terms of themes. but on a lesser scale when scored for intensity. Interestingly, the majority of participants reported that they would now seek other similar interventions in the future and would be likely to engage with a multi-stage intervention type on a longer-term basis. Overall, participants reported increased psychological well-being after the single stage intervention. Conclusion: A single stage one-off intervention model can be effective to help towards the wellbeing of final year UG students. There is little indication to suggest that this would not be generalizable to others in different areas of life and business. However this study must be taken with caution due to low participant numbers. Implications: Single stage one-off interventions can be used to enhance peoples’ lives who might not otherwise sign up for a longer multi-stage intervention. In addition, single stage interventions can be utilized to help participants progress onto longer multiple stage interventions. Finally, further research into one stage well-being interventions is encouraged.

Keywords: Well-being, Yoga, Mindfulness, holistic/integrative psychology

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8 Holistic Approach Illustrating the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Pain and Stress Management for Spinal Cord Injury

Authors: Priyanka Kalra


Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) includes various practices like Ayurveda, Yoga & Meditation Acupressure Acupuncture and Reiki. These practices are frequently used by patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). They have shown effectiveness in the management of pain and stress consequently improving overall quality of life post injury. Objective: The goals of the present case series were to evaluate the feasibility of 1) Using of Ayurvedic herbal oil massages in shoulder pain management, 2) Using yoga & meditation on managing the stress in spinal cord injury. Methodology: 15 SCI cases with muscular pain around shoulder were treated with Ayurvedic herbal oil massage for 10 days in CAM Department. Each session consisted of 30 min oil massage followed by 10 min hot towel fomentation. The patients continued regular therapy medications along with CAM. Another 15 SCI cases were treated with yoga and meditation for 15 days 30 min yoga (20 min Asana+ 10 min Pranayam + 15 min Meditation) in isolated yoga room of CAM department. Results: On the VAS scale the patients reported a reduction in their pain score by 70 %. On the PSS scale, the patients reported a reduction in their stress score by 80 %. Conclusion: These case series may encourage more people to explore CAM therapies.

Keywords: Meditation, Ayurveda, Spinal Cord Injury, Yoga, Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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7 A Comprehensive Review of Yoga and Core Strength: Strengthening Core Muscles as Important Method for Injury Prevention (Lower Back Pain) and Performance Enhancement in Sports

Authors: Pintu Modak


The core strength is essential not only for athletes but also for everyone to perform everyday's household chores with ease and efficiency. Core strength means to strengthen the muscles deep within the abdomen which connect to the spine and pelvis which control the position and movement of the central portion of the body. Strengthening of core muscles is important for injury prevention (lower back pain) and performance enhancement in sports. The purpose of the study was to review the literature and findings on the effects of Yoga exercise as a part of sports training method and fitness programs. Fifteen papers were found to be relevant for this review. There are five simple yoga poses: Ardha Phalakasana (Low plank), Vasisthasana (side plank), Purvottanasana (inclined plane), Sarvangasana (shoulder stand), and Virabhadrasana (Warrior) are found to be very effective for strengthening core muscles. They are the most effective poses to build core strength and flexibility to the core muscles. The study suggests that sports and fitness trainers should include these yoga exercises in their programs to strengthen core muscles.

Keywords: Yoga, injuries, core strength, lower back

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6 Effect of Tai-Chi and Cyclic Meditation on Hemodynamic Responses of the Prefrontal Cortex: A Functional near Infrared Spectroscopy

Authors: Singh Deepeshwar, N. K. Manjunath, M. Avinash


Meditation is a self-regulated conscious process associated with improved awareness, perception, attention and overall performance. Different traditional origin of meditation technique may have different effects on autonomic activity and brain functions. Based on this quest, the present study evaluated the effect of Tai-Chi Chuan (TCC, a Chines movement based meditation technique) and Cyclic Meditation (CM, an Indian traditional based stimulation and relaxation meditation technique) on the hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and autonomic functions (such as R-R interval of heart rate variability and respiration). These two meditation practices were compared with simple walking. Employing 64 channel near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), we measured hemoglobin concentration change (i.e., Oxyhemoglobin [ΔHbO], Deoxyhemoglobin [ΔHbR] and Total hemoglobin change [ΔTHC]) in the bilateral PFC before and after TCC, CM and Walking in young college students (n=25; average mean age ± SD; 23.4 ± 3.1 years). We observed the left PFC activity predominantly modulates sympathetic activity effects during the Tai-Chi whereas CM showed changes on right PFC with vagal dominance. However, the changes in oxyhemoglobin and total blood volume change after Tai-Chi was significant higher (p < 0.05, spam t-maps) on the left hemisphere, whereas after CM, there was a significant increase in oxyhemoglobin (p < 0.01) with a decrease in deoxyhemoglobin (p < 0.05) on right PFC. The normal walking showed decrease in Oxyhemoglobin with an increase in deoxyhemoglobin on left PFC. The autonomic functions result showed a significant increase in RR- interval (p < 0.05) along with significant reductions in HR (p < 0.05) in CM, whereas Tai-chi session showed significant increase in HR (p < 0.05) when compared to walking session. Within a group analysis showed a significant reduction in RR-I and significant increase in HR both in Tai-chi and walking sessions. The CM showed there were a significant improvement in the RR - interval of HRV (p < 0.01) with the reduction of heart rate and breath rate (p < 0.05). The result suggested that Tai-Chi and CM both have a positive effect on left and right prefrontal cortex and increase sympathovagal balance (alertful rest) in autonomic nervous system activity.

Keywords: Brain, Walking, Meditation, Yoga, hemodynamic responses, Tai-Chi Chuan (TCC), heart rate variability (HRV)

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5 A Self-Directed Home Yoga Program for Women with Breast Cancer during Chemotherapy

Authors: Hiroko Komatsu, Kaori Yagasaki


Background: Cancer-related cognitive impairment is a common problem seen in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Physical activity may show beneficial effects on the cognitive function in such patients. Therefore, we have developed a self-directed home yoga program for cancer patients with cognitive symptoms during chemotherapy. This program involves a DVD presenting a combination of yoga courses based on patient preferences to be practiced at home. This study was performed to examine the feasibility of this program. In addition, we also examined changes in cognitive function and quality of life (QOL) in these patients participating in the program. Methods: This prospective feasibility study was conducted in a 500-bed general hospital in Tokyo, Japan. The study population consisted of breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy as the initial therapy. This feasibility study used a convenience sample with estimation of recruitment rate in a single facility with the availability of trained nurses and physicians to ensure safe yoga intervention. The aim of the intervention program was to improve cognitive function by means of both physical and mental activation via yoga, consisting of physical practice, breathing exercises, and meditation. Information on the yoga program was provided as a booklet, with an instructor-guided group yoga class during the orientation, and a self-directed home yoga program on DVD with yoga logs. Results: The recruitment rate was 44.7%, and the study population consisted of 18 women with a mean age of 43.9 years. This study showed high rates of retention, adherence, and acceptability of the yoga program. Improvements were only observed in the cognitive aspects of fatigue, and there were serious adverse events during the program. Conclusion: The self-directed home yoga program discussed here was both feasible and safe for breast cancer patients showing cognitive symptoms during chemotherapy. The patients also rated the program as useful, interesting, and satisfactory. Participation in the program was associated with improvements in cognitive fatigue but not cognitive function.

Keywords: Cognition, Chemotherapy, Breast Cancer, Quality of Life, Yoga

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4 An Alternative and Complementary Medicine Method in Vulnerable Pediatric Cancer Patients: Yoga

Authors: Ç. Erdoğan, T. Turan


Pediatric cancer patients experience multiple distressing, challenges, physical symptom such as fatigue, pain, sleep disturbance, and balance impairment that continue years after treatment completion. In recent years, yoga is often used in children with cancer to cope with these symptoms. Yoga practice is defined as a unique physical activity that combines physical practice, breath work and mindfulness/meditation. Yoga is an increasingly popular mind-body practice also characterized as a mindfulness mode of exercise. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of yoga intervention of children with cancer. This article planned searching the literature in this field. It has been determined that individualized yoga is feasible and provides benefits for inpatient children, improves health-related quality of life, physical activity levels, physical fitness. After yoga program, children anxiety score decreases significantly. Additionally, individualized yoga is feasible for inpatient children receiving intensive chemotherapy. As a result, yoga is an alternative and complementary medicine that can be safely used in children with cancer.

Keywords: Nursing, Cancer Treatment, Children, Yoga

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3 Yoga Offers Protection for Premenstrual Syndrome

Authors: Katalin Gocze, Vanda A Nemes, Charlotte Briest


Introduction: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a psychoneuroendocrinological disorder adversely affecting life-quality for over 80% of hormonally active women. PMS has a negative impact on women’s daily life in terms of work, interpersonal relationships and leisure time activities. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of a yoga intervention focusing on the female pelvic area. Materials and methods: 34 women (ages 18-40) with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome Screening Tool) and no previous experience in yoga were recruited and randomly assigned to either the yoga or the control group. The intervention consisted of 90’ yoga sessions twice a week and a daily 15’ self-practice module with carefully chosen yogic exercises addressing the reproductive organs by toning the pelvic floor and opening the hips as well as relieving stress and improving concentration. Severity of symptoms of PMS was assessed at the beginning and after the 8-week-long intervention. Pre- and post-program data collection included physical and psychological parameters and the evaluation of ACOQ PMS questionnaire and daily symptom diary. Results: Age and educational background were similar in the control and intervention group with an overall mean age of 29.11±4.78 years. PSST scores significantly improved in the yoga group (p=0.002), while difference in the control group’s pre and post-program values were non-significant (p=0.38). Perception and tolerance of anxiety and stress was significantly better after the intervention (p=0.008). As for changes in physical symptoms distinct improvement was registered for breast tenderness (p=0.028) and for meteorism (p=0.015). Discussion: Yoga’s success originates from the synergic positive effects of stress relief and regular physical activity. Benefits (both mental and physical) of strategically planned, focused yoga practice are apparent even after shorter time periods and can help women with PMS manage or eliminate symptoms in order to improve their life-quality.

Keywords: Yoga, Premenstrual Syndrome, psychological impact, life-quality, physical symptoms

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2 Management of Coronary Heart Disease through Yoga

Authors: Subramaniam Iyer


The most common disease that is pertaining to all human beings is heart-related. The reasons for coronary artery disease are due to lifestyle and eating habits. Due to this, many people mentally become sick, feeling that soon they will die due to their heart problems. This results in stress and anxiety, which has become common amongst all the Indians. Medicines are the commonest curative remedy in India, but it is proposed through this article some remedies through yoga. This article does not guarantee a 100% result, but it is a preventive remedy for coronary artery disease. Yoga is giving a new lease of life to many, so to tackle chronic diseases, it provides remedies that will be lifelong. It is brought to many people by Patanjali. Yoga will provide support to patients having coronary artery disease through its various relevant postures (asanas), which can be done very easily. Yoga does not send a message that if you do it regularly, you will be relieved from a particular disease. If it is performed every day, it will add vital energy for a smooth life, even if you are suffering from any chronic disease. In this article, we will be providing 6 postures (asanas), which can be performed at any time in the day, but the early morning will always be preferred (empty stomach) to get a good result. Secondly, these postures must be implemented after due consultation with your physician. If your physician disapproves, don’t do these postures as it will be harmful to your body.

Keywords: Medicine, Disease, Yoga, remedy, coronary artery

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1 The Effectiveness of a Six-Week Yoga Intervention on Body Awareness, Warnings of Relapse, and Emotion Regulation among Incarcerated Females

Authors: James Beauchemin


Introduction: The incarceration of people with mental illness and substance use disorders is a major public health issue, with social, clinical, and economic implications. Yoga participation has been associated with numerous psychological benefits; however, there is a paucity of research examining impacts of yoga with incarcerated populations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of a six-week yoga intervention on several mental health-related variables, including emotion regulation, body awareness, and warnings of substance relapse among incarcerated females. Methods: This study utilized a pre-post, three-arm design, with participants assigned to intervention, therapeutic community, or general population groups. A between-groups analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted across groups to assess intervention effectiveness using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), Scale of Body Connection (SBC), and Warnings of Relapse (AWARE) Questionnaire. Results: ANCOVA results for warnings of relapse (AWARE) revealed significant between-group differences F(2, 80) = 7.15, p = .001; np2 = .152), with significant pairwise comparisons between the intervention group and both the therapeutic community (p = .001) and the general population (p = .005) groups. Similarly, significant differences were found for emotional regulation (DERS) F(2, 83) = 10.521, p = .000; np2 = .278). Pairwise comparisons indicated a significant difference between the intervention and general population (p = .01). Finally, significant differences between the intervention and control groups were found for body awareness (SBC) F(2, 84) = 3.69, p = .029; np2 = .081). Between-group differences were clarified via pairwise comparisons, indicating significant differences between the intervention group and both the therapeutic community (p = .028) and general population groups (p = .020). Implications: Study results suggest that yoga may be an effective addition to integrative mental health and substance use treatment for incarcerated women, and contributes to increasing evidence that holistic interventions may be an important component for treatment with this population. Specifically, given the prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders, findings revealed that changes in body awareness and emotion regulation may be particularly beneficial for incarcerated populations with substance use challenges as a result of yoga participation. From a systemic perspective, this proactive approach may have long-term implications for both physical and psychological well-being for the incarcerated population as a whole, thereby decreasing the need for traditional treatment. By integrating a more holistic, salutogenic model that emphasizes prevention, interventions like yoga may work to improve the wellness of this population, while providing an alternative or complementary treatment option for those with current symptoms.

Keywords: Wellness, Mental Health, Yoga, Incarceration

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