‘Yoga an essential part of integrative medicine’

Experts say as an adjuvant therapy it can reduce pressure on healthcare resources

December 17, 2018 01:00 am | Updated 01:00 am IST - PUDUCHERRY

Teachers gather:  Participants at the symposium hosted by Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth.

Teachers gather: Participants at the symposium hosted by Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth.

The importance of adjuvant yoga therapy as an integral part of integrative medicine was stressed by practitioners during the recently-concluded 3rd International Yoga Therapy Symposium hosted by the Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV).

The event was organised in collaboration with Loyala Marymount University (California, USA), ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Vasishta Clinic (Salem, India), Gitananda Integrative Therapies Academy, Yoganjali Natyalayam and the Pondicherry Yogasana Association.

‘Promotes health’

Addressing the symposium, S.C. Parija, SBV Vice-Chancellor, said apart from promoting health, yoga played a significant role in reducing the pressure on resources of the modern healthcare system. The importance attached to the innovative integration of yoga in the modern medical setting at the institution was reflected in the fact that all students were now given exposure to yoga during professional training in the medical, dental and nursing sciences, he said.

Prof. Parija later released a book, ‘Notes on Anatomy and Physiology for Yoga Education’ compiled and edited by Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, the Director of CYTER.

About 75 participants from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Slovakia and Austria participated in the event. The sessions were led by a panel of international faculty that included Dr. Lori Rubenstein Fazzio and Shanna Hughes from the Loyola Marymount University, Sandra Eimers from the Balance Yoga Lounge, Iowa, US, Dr. Vetri Vendan from the Vashistha Clinic, Salem and Dr. J. Mohanakrishnan, physical therapist, from Jipmer.

A special session was conducted on clinical applications of yoga therapy by Dr. Meena Ramanathan, Deputy Director of CYTER with practice sessions by G. Dayandiy, and demonstration by Danushapnadeesh and Sarulatha Venkatesan. E-poster presentations were given by CYTER Research Scholars who detailed the work done by them at CYTER as well as the proposed projects to be taken up as part of their M.Phil and doctoral studies in Yoga therapy.

Stringent research

According to Prof. Bhavanani, CYTER has taken up the mandate of a nodal centre to train medical educators and administrators for setting up such integrative health centres across the country.

It has an integrated set up educating future Yoga therapists while simultaneously helping patients recover from illnesses and at the same time developing a scientific understanding of yogic phenomena through stringent research methods with high impact publications.

Individualised and group yoga therapy sessions are being conducted for various medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, hypertension, musculoskeletal and psychiatric disorders, he said.

Yoga therapy expert Larry Payne said, “This is the beginning of an integrative tradition between the East and the West that will have great ramifications for the international yoga community”. Joseph le Page, Integrative Yoga Therapy, US, said, “This centre is indeed a role-model that combines the best of the East with that of the West.”

Prof. N. Ananthakrishnan, Dean of Faculties, SBV, said it was encouraging that CYTER’s work on integrating yoga in modern medicine was attracting international interest.

Registrar of SBV Prof. AR Srinivasan, Prof C Adithan, Dean Research, Prof M Ravishankar, Dean MGMCRI, Prof BV Adkoli, Prof. Ambujam Sridevi and Dr AN Uma, SBV faculty, also participated.

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