WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is a supreme harmonisation of
physical, vital, mental, psychological
and spiritual aspects of an
• Yoga – “YUJ” means to Join
– Yoga means to join individual (“Jivatma”) with
– PATANJALI - “Father of Yoga”
HISTORY OF YOGA
• Evidence that yoga was practiced as early as
5,000 years ago.
• Primal drawings on walls of caves in the Indus
Valley in Northern India.
AIM OF YOGA
• The aim of Yoga is to bring balance into the
body physically, mentally and emotionally.
• By connecting to ourselves through the breath,
we can bring our bodies from a state of
turbulence to a place of health.
YOGA - IMPORTANCE
• Yoga shows the pathway to self realization
• Yoga is practical approach to achieving
ultimate goal of life.
• Yoga alleviates man’s sufferings
• Yoga is a science of personality development
FORMS OF YOGA
• Four basic forms of yoga:-
• Karma yoga (right attitude towards work)
• Jnana yoga (pursuing knowledge)
• Bhakti yoga (devotion)
• Raja yoga (mastering the mind)
BASIC ELEMENTS OF YOGA
• Yama – disciplinary or moral restrains
• Niyama- spiritual observances
• Asana - movement and posture of the body
for promotion of perfect health. To bring
harmony in the body.
• Pranayama- rhythmic breathing or regulation
of breathing process (control of prana)
• Pratyahara- withdrawal of mind from external
• Dharna- concentration of mind on one object
for a brief period (mental control)
• Dhyana- meditation or concentration of mind
on one object for a long period
• Samadhi- attainment of supreme harmony
between mind and body.
• These 8 elements are called ASTANGAS, which
are the basic components of complete yoga
are divided into two major stages:
1. External yoga or Bahiranga
2. Internal yoga or Antaranga
• Bahiranga or external yoga includes first five
• Yama, niyama, asana and pranaya are needed
to attain the fifth element of Pratyahara.
• Pratyahara is a phase of acquiring highest
control of senses.
• Antaranga or internal yoga:-
Also known as Raja yoga, it leads towards the
achievement of the remaining three elements,
namely, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.
Samadhi is the final stage of supreme harmony,
where the individual remains unmoved or still
by any sort of physical and mental afflictions.
• Asana assist in acquiring physical control.
• Each asana is a series of scientifically
developed slow, rhythmic and graceful
movements of various joints and muscles of
the body aimed at attaining a definite posture
as related to that particular asana.
• Asana aims to acquire optimal physical
conditioning with minimal efforts.
• This smooth and rythmic movement
is not possible without perfect
ordination and control.
• This is based on the methodology of breathing
to achieve respiratory control.
• A single yogic breath has 4 units:-
• PURAKA- related to inhalation of oxygen to
the fullest capacity of lungs.
• KUMBHAKA- refers to the steady state of
holding air with full distension of lungs.
• RECHAKA- refers to total exhalation of air
emptying both lungs to the maximum.
• SHUNYAKA- holding the state of void or
vaccuum when air from the lungs is totally
• Yogic breathing carried out by this method
tones up the intra-thoracic and intra-
abdominal viscera and the total respiratory
• Promotion of external functions:
For optimal physical functioning, the flexibility
of joints, muscular strength and endurance
and neuro-muscular co-ordination are
• Toning up of these body systems through yoga
asanas and pranayama improves the
physiological functioning of all the systems
and organs of the body.
• Promotion of internal functions:-
yoga provides efficiency in the functioning of
central nervous system and peripheral
• Improves the functioning of endocrine system.
• Asanas and pranayama have a significant role
to play in the prevention of disease and
promotion of positive health.
THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF YOGA
1. HYPERTENSION- reduction of 10mm Hg of
systolic blood pressure and reduction of
diastolic blood pressure of 10-15mm Hg.
The practice of shavasana also resulted in
a significant reduction of hypertension.
2. EXERCISE TOLERANCE- patients of
coronary artery disease (CAD) with stable
angina showed improvement in exercise
3. BRONCHIAL ASTHMA- spontaneous
reduction in the rate of breathing and
reduction in the airway resistance was
4. DIABETES – adult-onset type diabetes,
of less than 10 years duration
5. LOW BACKACHE- yoga showed
favorable response in patients suffering
from low back pain with improved
6. Tachycardia, palpitation, nervousness,
insomnia- Asana are very helpful in
reducing these symptoms.
THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF
• Improve strength, endurance and flexibility of
• Facilitate neuro-muscular co-ordination.
• Restore function or to provide maximum
• Build up vicarious movements or trick
movements to compensate for the permanent
loss of movements.
• Facilitate neuro-muscular re-education.
• Achieve cardio-pulmonary conditioning.
• Improve body balance and gait.
• Promote performance by improving physical
• Prevent sports injuries by conditioning of an
• Prepare for and facilitate child birth.
• Relieve pain and inflammation and promote
• Provide ergonomic advice.
• Prevent post-surgical complications.
• Promote physical fitness for overall positive
RATIONALE OF YOGA AND
• Physiotherapy has its origin in yoga.
• The basic postures of body known as
fundamental or starting positions for initiating
therapeutic exercises are same as starting
postures or asanas in yoga.
• For eg. Tadasana corresponding to standing,
shavasana corresponding to supine lying,
bhujangasana similar to hyper-extension stretch
• Paschimottasana corresponds to spinal stretch in
flexion along with hamstrings stretch.
• Pawan muktasana is similar to low back stretch
or knee chest position.
• Ardha halasana is similar to SLR.
• Vriskshasana is similar to whole body stretch.
• Gomukhasana is similar to shoulder stretch.
• Naukasana is similar to stretching of the whole
spine and legs in hyperextension.
YOGA AS APPLIED TO PHYSIOTHERAPY
• Shavasana is ideal for total relaxation of the
body after continuous exercise sessions.
• Intermittent practice of meditation is ideal for
better concentration of mind.
• Integration of certain yoga postures facilitate
movement control by reducing selective
• Pranayama and other kriyas can be added to
• Modified asana postures can be effective in
common musculoskeletal disorders.