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Souvenir of the CME on Sleep, Consciousness and Meditation.

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Souvenir of the CME on SLEEP, CONSCIOUSNESS & MEDITATION: NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES organized by Department of Physiology and CYTER on 27th November 2014 at MGMCRI, Puducherry.

For more details on CYTER: http://sbvu.ac.in/cyter-center-for-yoga-therapy-education-and-research/

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Souvenir of the CME on Sleep, Consciousness and Meditation.

  1. 1. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 3 Chief Patron Shri MK Rajagoplan Chairman, Sri Balaji Educational and Charitable Public Trust Prof. Rajaram Pagadala Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth Prof. N Ananthakrishnan Prof. KA Narayan Dr. S Ravichandran Organizing Secretary Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani Prof. Arun Chandra Singh Prof. K Henri Balraj Dr. T Jeneth Berlin Raj Prof. K Henri Balraj Dr. Selvakumar Dr. B Prem Prof. KR Sethuraman Patrons Vice Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth Prof. S Krishnan Prof. Nirmal Coumare Prof. AR Srinivasan Treasurer Mr. S Vasanthan Prof. Sudha Rao Mrs. AN Uma Dr. K Ramya Mr. S Vasanthan Dr. H Vishnupriya Mrs. M.Latha Advisory Panel Organizing Chairman Prof. Madanmohan Core Team Prof. Ramesh Prof. K Jaiganesh Mrs. Meena Ramanathan Members Dr. R Sobana Dr. Richa Gupta Mr. Uthiravelu Mr. Danushapnadesh
  2. 2. 4 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry INDEX CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014 Page No Messages 5 From the desk of the Organizing Chairman 14 From the desk of the Organizing Secretary 15 Programme schedule of CME 16 Prof. K R Sethuraman - Spiritual Factor in Healing 17 Prof. Madanmohan - Neurophysiological Basic of Conscious Behavior 20 Prof. Harsha N.Halahall - Neural Correlates of Consciousness 22 Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani - Therapeutic Potential of Meditation 24 Prof. P.N.Ravindra - Neurophysiological Correlates of Sleep and Meditation 26 Dr. Ambarish V - Meditation and Immunomodulation 27 Yoga Chemmal Meena Ramanathan - Meditation : The Inner Yoga 29 Mayo Clinic Staff - Meditation : A Simple, Fast way to Reduce Stress 35 Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani - Learning the Art of Relaxation 39 Prof. T.M.Srinivasan - Healing and Consciousness : From Relativity to Reality 51 Prof. T.M.Srinivasan - From Meditation to Dhyana 67 Cme-Cum-Workshop On Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 - A Brief Report 69 Photo Gallery 75
  3. 3. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 5 MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN CME on “Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates’” by the department of Physiology and centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research (CYTER) will be an eye opener not only to the Medical fraternity but also to the common man. The topic needs to be understood by us all to solve the mysteries about sleep. I am sure the programme will be well appreciated by the participants. I wish the organizers, all success in their efforts. Shri M.K. Rajagopalan, Chairman SBECT
  4. 4. 6 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry MESSAGE FROM THE CHANCELLOR I am extremely delighted to note that Department of Physiology, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute and Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research (CYTER) is organizing a CME on “Sleep, consciousness and Meditation Neurophysiological correlates’ on 27th November 2014. State of consciousness are a subjective perceptual experience and therefore difficult to define. The topic chosen namely Sleep, consciousness and meditation is complex and needs to be understood by us all. I am sure the CME programme is going to be beneficial to all of us. At this juncture, I appreciate the Department of Physiology and CYTER for taking up a challenging topic and wish them success in their academic journey. Prof PAGADALA RAJARAM. Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth. CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  5. 5. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 7 MESSAGE FROM THE VICE-CHANCELLOR “New ideas in science are induced by new discoveries and at the present time it seems to me that the most potent factor in promoting new discoveries has been the introduction of some new technique, some new tool, that could be used for exploring natural phenomena.” - Lord Adrian, a biologist. To an uninformed person, “Conscious Sleep” seems to be a funny oxymoron. However, “Yoga Nidra” or “Yogic Sleep” is a state of deep relaxation in which one leaves the waking state, go past the dreaming state, and en-ter into the deep sleep state, while remaining fully awake and alert. This state of awareness is extremely beneficial, both for releasing stress, and for the joy of spiritual experiences. Developments in electronics and bio-medical engineering since the ‘60s have made it possible for us to document and study yogic sleep. These studies, first recorded at the Menninger Foundation in USA in 1971 pro-vided scientific evidence of the existence of a fourth state of unified, transcendental consciousness, which lies at the transition between sensory and sleep consciousness (wakefulness, dream-state and deep-sleep are the well-known three states). The importance of learning voluntary control of internal states can hardly be overstated. Such voluntary control of bodily functions may have significant outcomes: the elimination of warts through hypnosis is now a well-established fact and is possibly due to diminution of regional blood flow. Similarly, voluntary diminution of blood flow supplying cancerous growth might be feasible. This would be a challenging area for research and might lead to an understanding of some of the presently unknown factors responsible for spontaneous remission of ma-lignancies in some individuals. CYTER has been doing commendable work in teaching of yoga-therapy, in patient services and in re-search in yoga therapy. Along with the department of Physiology, the group avidly conduct regular professional updates in this field. The CME on Sleep, Consciousness and Mediation adds another feather on their cap. I wish the CME, its participants and the resource persons a productive time of networking and sharing of knowledge in this exciting field that is based on cutting-edge research in to yogic practices based on ancient wisdom. Prof K.R. SETHURAMAN. Vice-Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth.
  6. 6. 8 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN ( PG ) It is gratifying to know that the department of Yoga therapy (CYTER) is organizing a CME on “Sleep, consciousness and meditation: neurophysiological correlates”. This is one of the foremost priority areas for con-temporary research. Research on Complimentary Medicine such as Yoga is an issue of highest priority for Gov-ernment of India and any activity in this field would further the national goal. I am sure that the deliberations of the CME would go a long way in disseminating knowledge of this field which to a large extent has remained unexplored. I wish the CME program all success. Prof. N Ananthankrishnan DEAN (Research and PG Studies ) MGMC&RI, Puducherry CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  7. 7. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 9 MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN I am extremely happy that the Department of Physiology and Center for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research are organising a one day seminar on “Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates’ I am sure that the proceedings will go a long way in creating awareness about the benefits of yoga based on scientific evidence. I wish the seminar success. Thanking You, Prof .S.Krishnan, DEAN (Admn) MGMC&RI, Puducherry
  8. 8. 10 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry MESSAGE FROM VICE PRINCIPAL Society is changing rapidly. These changes are affecting the health of people in many ways. A less un-derstood problem is that of sleep and sleep disorders. Another area poorly understood by professionals is that of consciousness. Health professionals need to be aware of the health issues in relation to sleep and consciousness. They also need to broaden their armamentarium for treatment by looking at other systems of medicine such as yoga and meditation, The CYTER has taken up this challenge to spread awareness among health professionals on these important issues by organising a one day seminar. I congratulate them on the effort and wish them the very best for success of the programme. Prof K A Narayan Vice Principal, MGMCRI CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  9. 9. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 11 MESSAGE FROM THE MEDICAL SUPERINTENDENT Its pleasure and pride to witness CYTER grow in all length and breadth by exploring its strength to contribute towards patient care, academics and research. “Sleep, consciousness and meditation: neurophysiological correlates” is an innovative program tailored by CYTER towards research. I wish the CME a great success and appreciate the team CYTER for their restless efforts in conducting this event. Prof.NirmalCoumare.V Medical Superintendent MGMC&RI, Puducherry
  10. 10. 12 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry MESSAGE FROM DEPUTY DIRECTOR Across the globe the Yoga teams are doing incredible work bringing the health benefits of yoga, mindful-ness, and meditation into our communities. People are learning how to de-stress, focus their minds, and develop greater self-awareness. Educators, mental health professionals, parents, and yoga teachers are seeing the benefits of social emotional learning, physical movement, and wellness programs taught at all ages. This Conference will unify this work through an inspiring, collaborative, professional conference, which will propel our movement forward and deepen our impact. I am so excited to know the incredible work of our yoga consultants and for their time and dedication. I must congratulate all of you for your dedicated work towards the society and health care. Dr. S RAVICHANDRAN DEPUTY DIRECTOR, MGMCRI CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  11. 11. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 13 MESSAGE FROM THE REGISTRAR “Sleep disorder” have been assuming menacing proportions since the last decade. While modern medicine is geared up fully to confront and manage this catastrophe, the adjuvant role of complementary and alternative medicine cannot be undermined. Yoga therapy is one such alternate modality which is vibrant in our University. It is a matter of great pride that the Department of Physiology and CYTER, MGMCRI have planned to organize a CME cum Workshop on 27.11.2014. CYTER under the able and eminent guidance of Prof. Madanmohan and Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani is sure to make rapid strides in patient care, academics and research. May success be associated with all the endeavors of CYTER . Prof. A.R. SRINIVASAN (Registrar, SBV)
  12. 12. 14 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry FROM THE DESK OF THE ORGANIZING CHAIRMAN It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this day-long CME on “Sleep, consciousness and meditation: neurophysiological correlates” organized jointly by the Department of Physiology & Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research (CYTER), Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute. At the outset, I wish to express my heart-felt gratitude to our hon’ble Chairman Shri MK Rajagoplan for his encouragement and support for organizing this CME. I am grateful to our hon’ble Chancellor, Prof. Pagadala Rajaram for his inspiring encouragement. Guidance and support of our respected Vice-chancellor, Prof. KR Sethuraman made planning of the programme a smooth affair. Dean Research and PG studies, Professor N Anathakrishnan has been a source of inspiration and motivation. I am grateful for the support of Prof. S Krishnan, Dean and Prof. KA Narayan, Vice-Principal for their support. Logistic support by the management of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University is gratefully acknowledged. I am grateful for the support extended by the Departments of Anatomy and Biochemistry. I thank my colleagues from the Department of Physiology for their unconditional support. I am sure that the academic programme will be enlightening and enjoyable experience for you. I wish you all the best for the day-long CME. Dr. MADANMOHAN ORGANIZING CHAIRMAN MGMCRI CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  13. 13. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 15 FROM THE DESK OF THE ORGANIZING SECRETARY Welcome to this CME on “Sleep, consciousness and meditation: neurophysiological correlates” organized jointly by Department of Physiology and CYTER of MGMC&RI, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University. Yoga is the art and science that deals with all aspects of consciousness and views the human incarnation as an opportunity for conscious self effort towards the ultimate state of universal liberation (Kaivalya). Yoga is both the state of higher consciousness (Samadhi) as well as the perfect tool to help humankind evolve efficiently out of its animal tendencies into human qualities and then, to obtain transcendence into Divine realms of being. Our Guru, Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri taught the concept of Four-Fold Awareness. “One must”, he said, “first become aware of the body. The Second Awareness is awareness of emotions, senses and energy. The Third Awareness is awareness of mind. And the Fourth Awareness is of awareness itself.” Ammaji, Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, the living Siddha of Pondicherry says, “The Three R’s of Yoga Education are Reason, Rationalization and Realization. Another way to see the 3 R’s of Yoga is Repetition, Regularity and Rhythm. One must establish a Yogic life style based on these three “R”’s and then one can obtain a state of realization, reason and rationality. This is true education – these are the three 3 R’s – not the reading, writing and arithmetic taught in school. Unless you can use this mind-cum-brain system reasonably, you will be unreasonable; unless you understand that there is some reality, beyond animal emotions and sensation, you will be irrational. Realization is Athma Jnana. This is the Yogic concept of realization.” Dhyana, the seventh limb of Maharishi Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga is a state of meditative awareness attained through the process of deep contemplation and concentration. It path of uniting with our supreme nature has many applications in the field of healthcare as it brings about better neuro-effector communication, enhancing optimum functioning of all organ-systems while increasing resistance against stress. This CME aims to give participants an overview of the neurophysiological correlates of sleep, consciousness and mediation and will be beneficial for medical and paramedical professionals and students as well as Yoga practitioners and enthusiasts. It has been carefully planned by our team while keeping in mind the diverse needs of the delegates from medical, paramedical disciplines as well as Yoga teachers and enthusiasts. We wish that this endeavor of ours will provide you an insight into human consciousness that is our birthright. Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani Deputy Director, CYTER, MGMC&RI
  14. 14. 16 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry Department of Physiology & CYTER Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute ( Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, Puducherry ) CME ON “SLEEP, CONSCIOUSNESS AND MEDITATION: NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES” Programme Date: 27 Nov 2014 Venue: Ground Floor Lecture Hall, College Block 8.00 – 9.00 AM Registration 9.00 – 9.30 AM Pretest 9.30 – 10.30 AM Practice session on meditation. Meena Ramanathan. MSc, PhD. Coordinator- cum - yoga therapist, CYTER 10.30 – 11.00 AM Inaugural function 11.00 – 11.30 AM High tea 11.30 – 12.15 PM Neural correlates of consciousness. Harsha Halahalli. MD, PhD. Prof. of Physiology, K.S. Hegde Med. Academy 12.15 – 1.00 PM Neurophysiological correlates of sleep and meditation. Ravindra PN. MD, PhD. Professor of Physiology, Gadag Institute of Medical Sciences, Gadag, Karnataka. 1.00 – 1.30 PM Lunch 1.30 – 2.30 PM Poster Session 2.30 – 3.00 PM Neurophysiological basis of conscious behavior. Madanmohan. MD, DSc. Professor & Head, Dept. of Physiology, MGMC & RI 3.00 – 3.30 PM Therapeutic potential of meditation. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani. MBBS, MD (AM) Deputy Director, CYTER, 3.30 – 3.45 PM High Tea 3.45 – 4.15 PM Meditation and immunomodulation. Ambarish V. MD, PhD. Assoc. Prof. of Physiology, M S Ramaiah Med. Col-lege 4.15 – 4.30 PM Post test 4.30 – 5.30 PM Open forum, feedback from participants & valedictory CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  15. 15. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 17 Prof. KR Sethuraman, MD. Vice Chancellor Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, Pondicherry. Professor K.R. Sethuraman is currently Vice Chancellor of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry. He is a well known clinician and popular medical educationist who served with distinction as Dean and Senior Professor of Faculty of Medicine and Deputy VC – Academic and International Affairs in the AIMST University, Malaysia from 2006 to 2013. He retired as Director-Professor (Internal) Medicine at JIPMER where he worked in various capacities from 1981 to 2006. During this period he was the prime force behind the National Teacher Training Centre (NTTC) that he headed as a Department of Medical Education & NTTC during 1996-2006. He was also lecturer in Cardiology at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum from 1978 to 1981. He has been consultant in Taskforce of JPT (MOHE) Panel on Medical Education in Malaysia, Training consultant for Training of Trainers: World Bank aided Health Systems Project: Andhra Pradesh (APVVP), Karnataka State (KHSDP) and Orissa State and Temporary advisor to WHO – HRH meet at Cape town, South Africa (2004), Psycho-social Issues meet at Bangkok (2005) and First South Asian Conference on PG medical education, Colombo (2005). He has authored more than 30 Pubmed Referenced papers, 40 invited papers, and 60 presentations in conferences/ workshops in India, South Africa, Srilanka & Thailand. He has authored nine books including “Beyond Rational Therapy”, “Practical Echography”,” Medical Education: Principles & Practice”, “Implementing Innovations in Clinical Skill Training” and the well known “Trick or Treat – a survival guide to healthcare”, ”Doctor-Patient Communication and “Post Mortem”- a Book serialised as 65 Tamil articles in “Junior Vikatan”. His video / computer-based educational units are very popular amongst clinicians and students as they include “Push, Promote or Educate.” - a WHO aided video, “Doctor-Patient Dyads.” - a video on common communication problems, “Patient Personality Types.” - a video on how to handle different patients, “Oral Examination” - part 4 of a video on National Board Examination, “Album of Clinical Cases.” - a collection of interesting & unique cases and five Computer based educational programmes
  16. 16. 18 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry SPIRITUAL FACTOR IN HEALING “It is undoubtedly time that the ‘powerful placebo’ be examined in all its myriad facets; otherwise medicine will always have a limited perception of healing.” (Kaptchuk, 1998) Healing in a holistic sense has faded from medical attention and is rarely discussed in modern (“Western”) medicine especially in therapeutics. However, other disciplines like medical anthropology, sociology, alternate systems of medicine, and medical philosophy have continued an active contemplation of holistic healing. To heal is to achieve or acquire wholeness as a person. The wholeness of personhood involves physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual aspects of human experience (Egnew, 2005). It is perhaps difficult to quantify the relative importance of the various factors that contribute to healing. It may vary depending on the kind of illness that is being studied. Of the various factors that contribute to healing of illnesses in a community, only 20% could be ascribed to rational treatment using medicines or surgery. The remaining 80% is divided among three faith-based factors (White, 1988). i. Placebo effect (faith in drugs or procedural interventions) ii. Hawthorne effect (faith in a health care system, a facility or a professional) iii. Factor-X or “spiritual factor” (faith in oneself or in the supernatural) The relative importance of these faith-based factors in holistic healing may be debatable. However, there is no denying that these factors play an important part in the recovery from illnesses. In 1984, the 37th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution which made the spiritual dimension an integral part of the WHO Member States’ strategies for health. The definition of health has been revised as follows: “Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (Khayat, 1998). The definition of spirituality adopted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC, 1999) is broad and secular: “Spirituality is expressed in an individual’s search for the ultimate meaning through participation in religion and/or belief in God, family, naturalism, rationalism, humanism, and the arts. The concept of spirituality is found in all cultures and societies. All of these factors can influence how patients and health care professionals perceive health and illness and how they interact with one another.” The “World Health Organization-Quality of Life – Spirituality, Religion and Personal Beliefs Group” (WHO-QOL SRPB) conducted a study in 18 countries (n = 5087) that showed that spirituality, religion, and personal beliefs (SRPB) correlated highly with all of the WHO-QOL domains (p<0.01). Women reported greater feelings of spiritual connection and faith than men. Those with less education reported greater faith but were less hopeful. It is suggested that SRPB should be more routinely addressed in the assessment of quality of life (WHO-QOL SRPB Group, 2006). The role of spirituality to explain why people with epilepsy of comparable severity differ widely in quality of life (QOL) assessment was explored. The results revealed a significant contribution of spirituality to QOL in epilepsy (Anna, et al., 2006). A review by Rippentrop, et al, (2005) of spirituality in people with chronic pain concluded that: yy many people with chronic pain use religious and spiritual beliefs and activities to cope with pain; yy a relationship between religion/spirituality and various health outcomes has been documented; CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  17. 17. 19 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry yy there is a lack of research on potential mediators of the relation between religion/spirituality and health in chronic-pain populations; yy well-designed spiritual or religious behavioural interventions for patients with chronic pain are sparse. Even life span seems to be influenced by a traditional belief system: a landmark study reported in The Lancet examined the deaths of 28,169 adult Chinese-Americans and 412,632 randomly selected matched controls from other ethnic groups. Only the Chinese-Americans died significantly earlier, by 1.3 to 4.9 years, if they had a combination of disease and birth-year which the Chinese consider “ill-fated”. The more orthodox the study group, the more years of life were lost. This seems to result at least partly from psychosomatic processes driven by their traditional values and beliefs (Phillips, et al., 1993). However, recent randomized trials and a meta-analysis on intercessory prayers have shown no consistent results in favour of intercessory prayers (Aviles, et al., 2001; Benson, et al., 2005; Masters, et al., 2006). In the clinical context, prayer should not be specifically prescribed or seen as a substitute for rational medical treatment, but should be recognized as an important element in the way patients face chronic illness, suffering, and loss. Physicians need to address and be attentive to all suffering of their patients – physical, emotional, and spiritual. Doing so is part of the delivery of compassionate care (Jantos & Kiat, 2007; Puchalski, 2001) BARRIERS TO THE INTEGRATION OF MIND BODY MEDICINE The following factors have been suggested by Astin, et al. (2005) as major barriers to the integration of mind body principles and modern clinical practices 1. Lack of knowledge of scientific evidence regarding efficacy of mind body/psychosocial approaches; 2. Dehumanizing aspects of medical education and a lack of competence to utilize mind body approaches; 3. Dichotomy created between conditions that are perceived as purely biological in aetiology (the “organic lesions”) and those that are psychological in nature, a tendency that may put blinders on the complex interplay of bio psychosocial factors underlying many conditions; 4. Perceived lack of time to address psychosocial/mind body issues; 5. Lack of third party reimbursement for mind body issues in the medical encounter; 6. Concern that more serious, life threatening biological aspects of patients might be underemphasized if the psychosocial domain is given too much weight or attention; 7. Perceived lack of interest on the part of patients to address psychosocial issues as they seem to prefer the “quick fix” of symptom relief; 8. 8. Fear that some patients might feel stigmatized if physicians suggest that psychosocial/mind body factors may be playing some causal role in their symptoms. CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  18. 18. 20 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry Prof MADANMOHAN MBBS, MD (Physiology), PG Diploma in Yoga, MSc Yoga, DSc (Yoga), FIAY Prof. & Head, Department of Physiology & Director CYTER Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute Dr. Madanmohan is Professor & Head, Department of Physiology at the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute and Director CYTER. He has teaching & research experience of more than 44 years and his fields of research are yoga, yoga therapy, cardiovascular & respiratory physiology. He has delivered more than 50 invited talks on yoga in conferences, academic forums and organizations and has numerous awards including Gold Medal & Scroll of Honor, Annual Internal Oration (2009-10), JIPMER Scientific Society; Best Personalities of India Award and Gold Medal, Friendship Forum of India and Honorary appointment to the Research Board of Advisors (1999) of the American Biographical Institute. He was Founder-Programme Director of ACYTER, JIPMER. He has 115 research papers (including original research work) in national and international journals, more than 74 abstracts and 28 magazine articles. He has guided 34 PG’s(MD, MS, MSc, and PhD) students in their thesis work and 15 medical students in their ICMR Research Studentship. He has worked in 26 research projects as chief investigator / co-investigator. He has personally given yoga training to medical students, school children, police personnel and general public as well as yoga therapy to hospital patients. He has organized many workshops and CMEs in Yoga and edited 7 proceedings of workshops / CMEs / symposia and 3 reports of research projects in yoga. He has served as expert in selection committees of UPSC, JIPMER, University of Madras, NEIGRIHMS, Shillong, Pondicherry Government Medical College and AIIMS. He has also been part time MCI inspector (for UG & PG) for inspection of medical colleges and Member, Inspection Committee for Medical Colleges, Pondicherry University. He was honoured by Yoga Jivana Satsangha (International) with the Karma Yoga Shironmani in 2003 in recognition of his illustrious service for the integration of yoga and modern medicine. CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  19. 19. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 21 NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL BASIS OF CONSCIOUS BEHAVIOR Abstract The neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate behavior of animals operate in humans also. Several parts of the brain including limbic system and hypothalamus influence our behavior. Damage to amygdale (at birth or accident) results in episodes of limbic rage. However, there is extensive development of cerebral cortex (encephalization) in human brain. Prefrontal lobe is a large association area that has extensive functional connections with other brain areas. Prefrontal cortex is responsible for discrimination and judgment. Obviously, human behavior should be modulated by higher brain areas and higher morals and not limited to limbic and animal behavior. Many neuroscientists assert that since behavior is generated at lower synaptic level, it has nothing to do with higher morals and the “desired behavior” is the concern of social science and not neuroscience. However, it needs to be emphasized that humans have free will, hence responsibility. Our beliefs and values do influence our choices and behavior. Encephalization of human brain is so high that our innate behavior (including sexual behavior) is regulated in a complex, multi-tier mode. Encephalization implies that our innate animal behavior is subject to physiological, psychological and social modulation. Different parts of the brain are inter-related. Different aspects of our development also are inter-related and each part develops best when no part is neglected. Practice of desirable behavior needs constant repetition so that the transmission through relevant neural pathways is facilitated. As demonstrated by Pavlov (classical conditioning) and Skinner (operant conditioning), learning involves repetition. Hence, conscious desirable behavior should be practiced repeatedly so that it becomes an automatic response.
  20. 20. 22 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry Prof. Harsha N Halahalli Professor, Department of Physiology K.S. Hegde Medical Academy Nitte University, Mangalore, Karnataka E-mail: hnharsha@nitte.edu.in. Professor Harsha N Halahalli is Professor, Department of Physiology, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte University, Deralakatte, Mangalore. He has more than 11 years of teaching experience and is a recognized post-graduate teacher. He completed his M.B.B.S (1991- 1997) from Karnataka Medical College, Hubli followed by M.D in Physiology (1999- 2001) from Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry. He went on to complete his MPhil in Neurophysiology (2002 – 2004) from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) and then his PhD in Neurophysiology also from NIMHANS (2008-12). He has bagged numerous awards and prizes including the Society for Neuroscience Graduate Student Travel Award - 44th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience at San Diego, CA, USA, 17th – 21st November 2010; the RN Murthy Award - M.Phil Neurophysiology, 2004. NIMHANS and Vaithialingam Venkatasubba Reddiar Gold Medal - MD Physiology, 2001, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, India. His research interests and experience are in the fields of Cognitive neuroscience, Neurobiology of schizophrenia; Functional Magnetic Resonance (fMRI) experiment design, data acquisition and analysis; MRI morphometry including whole brain voxelwise analysis and Human Electroencephalography (EEG) and Event Related Potential (ERP) experiment design, data acquisition and analysis He has numerous high impact publications in international journals such as Brain Structure and Function, Neurodegenerative Diseases, The British Journal of Psychiatry , Schizophrenia research and the Indian Psychiatric Society. He was also a winner of the Penguin-BLOGPRINT Online Writing Contest in 2008 - a literary contest held by Sulekha.com in partnership with Penguin Books India. “An Ageless Indus Tale - The Making of the Dancing Girl” – a short story won a Cash Prize and was published in an anthology published by Penguin Books, India. CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  21. 21. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 23 NEURAL CORRELATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS Abstract As famously stated by David Chalmers, there is nothing that we know more intimately than conscious experience, but there is nothing that is harder to explain. In this presentation, we will begin by identifying some of the features of consciousness that will allow us to attempt a working definition of consciousness. The highly private and subjective nature of consciousness poses special problems to its study. Several aspects of consciousness which can be considered as being related to the functions of consciousness have been easier to study within the neurobiology framework. However other aspects of consciousness which concern the phenomenological experience or conscious experience have been harder to address in neurobiological research. The identification of the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) – the basic brain system(s) whose activity correlates directly with the states of conscious experience is regarded as a starting point to investigate the harder problems of the neurobiology of conscious experience. Broadly, neurobiological research is aimed at identifying the neural correlates of “being” conscious, of the “background states” of consciousness (such as awake / asleep) and the “contents” of consciousness. The effects of anesthetics and neurological conditions of coma and persistent vegetative states have provided insights into the NCC of being conscious. Neurophysiological techniques have helped in making substantial progress in understanding the NCC of the background states of consciousness such as sleep and wakefulness. Newer neuroimaging methods along with neurophysiological approaches are being used to investigate the NCC of the contents of consciousness. Some of the evidence from such studies for the neural correlates of consciousness will be presented and discussed.
  22. 22. 24 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry Yogacharya Dr.ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI MBBS, ADY, DPC, DSM, PGDFH, PGDY, FIAY, MD (Alt.Med) Deputy Director, CYTER, MGMCRI, SBVU, Pondicherry. E-mail: yoga@mgmcri.ac.in Website: www.sbvu.ac.in/cyter.html Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani is Chairman of the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry, India (www.icyer.com). He is also chairman of Yoganjali Natyalayam, the premier institute of Yoga and Carnatic Music and Bharatanatyam in Pondicherry (www.rishiculture.org). He is son and successor of the internationally acclaimed Yoga team of Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj and Yogacharini Kalaimamani Ammaji, Smt Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani. He is a Gold Medallist in Medical Studies (MBBS) with postgraduate diplomas in both Family Health (PGDFH) as well as Yoga (PGDY) and the Advanced Diploma in Yoga under his illustrious parents in 1991-93. A Fellow of the Indian Academy of Yoga, he has authored 19 DVDs and 23 books on Yoga as well as published more than a hundred papers, compilations and abstracts on Yoga and Yoga research in National and International Journals. He is a Classical Indian Vocalist, Percussionist, Music Composer and Choreographer of Indian Classical Dance in addition to his duties as Deputy Director of the Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research (CYTER), MGMCRI, Pondicherry. In recent years he has travelled abroad 14 times and conducted invited talks, public events, workshops, retreats and been major presenter at Yoga conferences in the UK, USA, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. He is an Honorary International Advisor to the International Association of Yoga Therapists (www.iayt.org), Australian Association of Yoga Therapists (www.yogatherapy.org.au) and various Gitananda Yoga Associations all over the world (www.rishiculture.org ). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council for Yoga Accreditation International (www.cyai.org) and a Consultant Expert of the WHO Collaborative Centre for Traditional Medicine (Yoga) at MDNIY, New Delhi. CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  23. 23. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 25 THERAPEUTIC POTENTIAL OF MEDITATION Abstract “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” said Rudyard Kipling. This dichotomy however seems to have been overcome in recent times, as many eastern healing traditions have slowly and steadily percolated the health care system worldwide. This is especially true of mind–body therapies that focus on the health promotive intrinsic connections that exist between the human brain, mind, body, and individual behaviour. This includes techniques of meditation (mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, and others), qi gong, tai chi, and yoga.In the USA, reported use of deep breathing, meditation, and yoga increased between 2002 and 2007 with 12.7% of adults using deep-breathing exercises, 9.4% practicing meditation, and 6.1% taking up yoga.Pain related issues were the top usage statistics while more than 40% of adults with neuropsychiatric symptoms were drawn to the usage of various mind–body therapies. Documented health promoting benefits of mind-body practices such as yoga and meditation include: Improvement in cardio-respiratory efficiency, exercise tolerance, dexterity, strength, steadiness, stamina, flexibility, endurance, and neuro-musculo-skeletal coordination, harmonious balance of autonomic function,increase in alpha rhythm, inter-hemispheric coherence and homogeneity in the brain, improved sleep quality and cognitive functions, alteration in brain blood flow and brain metabolism, and modulation of neuro-endocrine axis.These eastern mind-body techniques seem to affect every cell bringing about better neuro-effector communication, enhancing optimum functioning of all organ-systems while increasing resistance against stress. Scientific research in recent times has shown that the physiological, psychological and biochemical effects of yoga and meditation are of an anti-stress nature. Streeter etal suggested that yoga-based practices i) correct under activity of the parasympathetic nervous system and GABA systems in part through stimulation of the vagus nerves, the main peripheral pathway of the parasympathetic nervous system, and ii) reduce allostatic load. Other RCTs have suggested that these practices act on hypothalamic– pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) axis to reduce cortisol levels, and reduce sympathetic tonewhile increasing vagal activity.This suggest great therapeutic potential as an add-on adjunct to conventional therapies in prevention, management and rehabilitation of psychosomatic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, bronchial asthma, musculoskeletal disorders, depression, anxiety, cancer and de-addiction programmes and posttraumatic stress disorders. Since lifestyle related diseases are alarmingly on the rise in our modern society, such a healthyyogic lifestyle based on meditative awareness should be given a special place in preventing and managing these conditions.
  24. 24. 26 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry Prof P.N. RAVINDRA MD, PhD Professor, Dept of Physiology Gadag Institute of Medical Sciences CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014 Gadag, Karnataka Prof P.N. RAVINDRA is currently Professor in Prof. Dept. of Physiology at the Gadag Institute of Medical Sciences, Gadag,Karnataka. After obtaining his MD in Physiology from Karnatak Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubli, Karnataka he pursued PhD from National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. He has worked on evaluating the efficacy of mindfulness meditation on aging by assessing sleep, humoral and autonomic profiles. APPI has bestowed on him Prakrit Mandir Award, a National Award given for the best work in the area of Yoga. He has presented papers in various International and national conferences and seminars and has publications in prestigious peer reviewed journals. He gives regular yoga sessions for general public, students and also therapeutic yoga classes for patients. NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES OF SLEEP AND MEDITATION Abstract Meditation as well as sleep bring about a positive regulatory effect on body and mind thereby influencing various physiological functions and behavioral states. Even though, the common mechanism of inducing sleep and meditation effect is efferent and sensory attenuation, meditation and sleep are exclusively different phenomenon with commonalites and differences in their neurophysiological mechanisms. Physiologically, both these states induces a state of hypometabolism, but it is a natural and spontaneous phenomenon in sleep, whereas during meditation it is a cognitive skill. Behaviorally, both sleep and meditation appear to be a passive like state, but physiologically they are highly dynamic. Interactions of neuronal, humoral, autonomic and cognitive mechanisms at various levels result in these two states, which in turn regulate these mechanism. Thus, both meditation and sleep are self regulatory phenomenon with global effects. Even though both bring about a sense of rejuvenation, they are different, yet mutually influence each other qualitatively. Therefore, by understanding the commonality and differences between meditation and sleep, and the effect of meditation on sleep aids in better understanding of sleep function as an autoregulatory, global phenomenon.
  25. 25. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 27 Dr. AMBARISH. V Associate Professor, Department of Physiology MS Ramaiah Medical College Bangalore, Karnataka Email: ambarishv@rediffmail.com Dr. Ambarish. V is an Associate Professor of Physiology in the M. S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore. He has completed his MBBS and MD in Physiology and currently completing his PhD. He is currently Editor of the International Medical Journal: “Journal of Advanced Clinical and Research Insights.” He is also an examiner for PG/MD and UG/MBBS Physiology Exams and reviewer of MD Physiology thesis under The Kerala University of Health Sciences. He is on the list of Marquis Who’s Who for the year 2015. He has published many articles in indexed national and international journals as first author. His awards include Best-Oral-Paper-Award for the paper: ‘Changes in Plasma Glucose Levels and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α) With Graded and Regular Exercise: Does This Have an Impact on Patients of Diabetes Mellitus?’ Presented at the 33rd Conference of The Research Society for The Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI) held at Bangalore from 23rd to 25th Sept. 2005; First Prize in Poster Category for the paper: ‘Modulation of Plasma Pro-Inflammatory Interleukins By Graded Physical Activity. Can This Have an Impact on Pediatric Age Group?’ Presented at the 45th National Conference of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (PEDICON) held at Bhubaneshwar, Orissa from 17th to 20th Jan. 2008; The Samaja-Rathna Award conferred by Seva Bharathi and Aggarwal Samaj for heading the Tsunami- Medical-Relief-Operations in Nagapattinam and provinces of Pondicherry. He was also nominated for the ‘Young Scientist Medal’ of Indian National Science Academy (INSA) for the year 2009 and Felicitated by M. S. Ramaiah Medical College on eve of Doctor’s day in 2008 for contribution to research. He is active in social service and lead a team of doctors from MSRMCH to Tsunami affected areas in Tamil Nadu for Medical Relief Operations under NGO Seva Bharathi in 2005 and also took part in Flood Relief Operations undertaken by MSRMCH in Gulbarga area in the same year. He has been part of several medical camps in the countryside of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh States for the benefit of rural poor and lead a team of doctors in weeklong medical camps in villages surrounding Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, with assistance from NGO Arun Jyothi in Dec 2003 and under Vivekananda Kendra, to areas bordering Pakistan, during the Gujarat Earth Quake in February 2001.
  26. 26. 28 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry MEDITATION AND IMMUNOMODULATION Abstract Introduction: Meditation promotes mind and body relaxation, builds internal energy/life force (prana), develops compassion, love, patience, generosity, forgiveness and enables us to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in daily activity “Meditation” is derived from the Latin verb meditari, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, and ponder”. Wilson translates the most famous Vedic mantra ‘Gayatri’ thus: “We meditate on that desirable light of the divine Savitri, who influences our pious rites”. Several studies have demonstrated that meditation eases many health issues, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. Recently scientists the world over have been looking into how different types of meditation practices bring about changes in the immune system, both at cellular level and at molecular level. Here we discuss the outcomes of a few interesting studies addressing the effect of meditation on immunomodulation. Immune Changes at Cellular level: Daily practice of pranic meditation for as short as 10 weeks up-regulates the function and metabolism of phagocytes (Fernandes et al. J Altern Complement Med. 2012;18:761-8). Presence of depressive symptoms in older adults decreases the VZV-responder cell frequency (VZV-RCF), an immunological marker of shingles risk. Practice of meditation resulted in improvements in health functioning and immunity to VZV in older adults (Irwin et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2004 ; 1: 223–232). Practice of Qigong meditation lowers numbers of total leukocytes and eosinophils, number and percentage of monocytes, as well as complement C3 concentration (Manzaneque et al. Med Sci Monit. 2004 ;10 :CR264-70). Natural killer cell activity and number increased significantly in the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) meditation group infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The control group with same infection did not show any change (Robinson et al. J Altern Complement Med. 2003 ; 9 : 683-94). Immune changes at molecular level: Four weeks (20 minutes per day) practice of a type of meditation called Integrative Body Mind Training (IBMT) increased the salivary immunoglobulin A levels significantly in the meditatiors indicating a change in the basal immune system and larger acute effects as duration of meditation increases (Fan et al. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 ;16 :151-5). Thaddeus et al demonstrated that the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokine was reduced after bouts of meditation (Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2010 ; 35 : 310–315). Breast cancer patients in the meditation group re-established their natural killer cell activity (NKCA) and cytokine production levels. In contrast, breast cancer patients in the non-meditation group exhibited continued reductions in NKCA and IFN gamma production with increased IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10 production. (Linda-Witek et al. Brain Behav Immun. 2008 ; 22: 969–981). CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  27. 27. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 29 Yoga Chemmal Meena Ramanathan B.sc., M.A., C.Y.T., D.N.Y.S., P.G.D.Y., M.sc. (Yoga) P.hd (in progress). Yogachemmal Mrs. Meena Ramanathan, is Coordinator-cum-Yoga Therapist of CYTER, the Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research at MGMCRI (Mahatma Gandhi Medical college & Research Institute). She has completed numerous undergraduate and post graduate degrees and diplomas in Yoga, science and English and is currently completing her PhD in Yoga at Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University. A student of the Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga Paramparya, she has been trained under the expert guidance of Kalaimamani Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani and Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani. She has been an integral part of that tradition for over a decade. Mrs. Meena Ramanathan has admirably trained thousands of students under the auspices of Pondicherry University as Coordinator Yoga courses in the Community College, as well as faculty of Annamalai University, Manonmaniyam University, MGR University and Yoganjali Natyalayam. She is coordinator of Outreach Programs of Yoganjali Natyalayam and is a guest faculty at ACYTER, JIPMER. For the past 5 years, she has been giving practical Yoga training to staff and students of Pondicherry University. Mrs. Meena Ramanathan has authored and co-authored a dozen books, and, half a dozen papers on Yoga in English and Tamil, in various journals. Her books on Thirukkural and Yoga, Applied Yoga, GherandaSamhita and Primer of Yoga Theory are best sellers. She has received many awards such as Yoga Rathna, Yoga SevaMaamani, Yoga Chemmal, Bangalore Sundaram Award, Yoga Jyothi, Chellammal Award, AnnaiSivakami Award and Mahan AravindarAnmigaSudar Award. She has been doing yeomen service for the past decade for the cause of senior citizens and special children of Pondicherry.
  28. 28. 30 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry MEDITATION: THE INNER YOGA Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani &Yoga Chemmal Meena Ramanathan Introduction Maharishi Patanjali is the codifier of the Yoga Darshana, the yogic view of life. Meditation is preceded by dharana, or one-pointed concentration that helps us to flow into meditation. Patanjali defines dharana or concentration as desha bandhah chittasya dharana, meaning that concentration is the process of binding the consciousness to a point, place, region or object. This implies a duality between the seer and the seen. He further defines dhyana, or meditation, as tatra pratyaya ekatanata dhyanam, meaning thereby that meditation is a state in which there is a steady and continuous flow of attention and concentration on a point, place, region or object. There ceases to be a duality between the seer and the seen. The final step in the three, free-flowing higher states of consciousness is samadhi or union with the divine nature in the ultimate, universal unification. The one-pointedness of concentration, of dharana raises the yogi into the higher stages of the ideating mind, where buddhi, or intellect, is available as an instrument of the Cosmic Mind. When free– flowing concentration is achieved, it is known as dhyana, or meditation. Meditation is not “thinking,” as so many today mistake it to be. Meditation is a transcendental state, where if there is awareness, it is awareness of awareness itself, a state beyond the mind. Meditation is the fruit of long and arduous effort. The mind is so trained in its focus that it naturally flows into the object of contemplation. A deep, vibrant quietness is the characteristic of meditation, which infuses one’s entire lifestyle with calmness and control. Meditation becomes a quality of mind that manifests in all aspects of our daily life. The mind develops the capacity to delve into every experience, thought, emotion and situation that arises, and this focused awareness produces yogic skill in living. Mudras for Meditation Various hastha mudras, or hand gestures, are used to enhance the concentration and deepen the experience of meditation. At the end of your meditation, when ready, slowly release each of these mudras and bring your hands back to the thighs. Jnana Mudra: This “Gesture of Wisdom” is performed by joining the thumb and forefinger together in a perfect circle. The other three fingers are outstretched in a rigid fashion. Jnana Mudra is placed over the knees and held with the palm facing upwards. This mudra helps focus the restless mind and enables us to attain a state of jnana, or discriminatory wisdom. It is an excellent mudra for meditation and contemplation and can be used at times of study and introspection. Chin Mudra: This gesture of consciousness helps us to go within and attain a state of elevated consciousness. From a straight-back sitting position such as Vajrasana, bring both hands up to the chest level with palms facing forward. Join the tips of your thumbs and index fingers to form a perfect circle. Keep the other three fingers straight and with their sides joined together in parallel. Place the Chin Mudra on your thighs with the palm facing down. Contemplate the mudra as it stimulates the mind into higher states of consciousness. CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  29. 29. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 31 Namaskar Mudra: Sit in any meditative posture. Bring both your hands up to your chest and join your palms together. Keep your elbows in a lifted position. This mudra is commonly used in many eastern cultures as a gesture of greeting and peace as it helps us to recognize that the Divine manifests through all beings. Anjali Mudra: Sit in any meditative posture. To perform this gesture of salutation, slowly lift both arms up from the side of your body. At the peak of the stretch bring both your palms together with your arms high over your head. Hold the mudra with sensitivity and awareness. Contemplate the subtle energies of the six higher chakras that are located in the higher region of the subtle body. Kailash Mudra: Sit in any meditative posture. Slowly lift both your hands and perform the Anjali Mudra. Gently bring the Anjali Mudra down to your head so that your wrists are touching the top of your head. Make sure that your elbows are kept in line with your shoulders. This mudra forms a beautiful triangular frame for your face. Try to visualize Mount Kailash in its wonderful snow-coated splendor. This mudra helps energize the sahasrara chakra, the crown center of psychic energy and is a useful mudra for contemplation. Bhairava Mudra: Sit in any meditative posture. Bring your left hand onto your lap with the palm facing up and then place the right hand on it with the right palm facing upwards also. Sit quietly and contemplate the mudra. The right hand represents the masculine energy of Shiva and in this mudra that energy is kept dominant. Bhairavi Mudra: Sit in any meditative posture. Bring your right hand onto your lap with its palm facing up and then place your left hand on it with the left palm facing upwards too. Sit quietly and contemplate the mudra. The left hand represents the feminine energy, and this mudra indicates the dominance of our creative and artistic energy of Shakti over the masculine energy of Shiva. Yoga Mudra: Sit in any meditative posture. Entwine the fingers of both hands with the fingers of the right over the left. The right thumb should be at the top of the piled up heap of fingers. Place the Yoga Mudra on your lap in a relaxed manner and enjoy the calm arising within yourself. Perform deep breathing and become aware of how this mudra brings about a steady and harmonious balance between the right and left flows of energy in your subtle body. Bhumi Sparsha Mudra: Sit in any meditative posture and perform the Jnana Mudra. Place the hands over the knees and then extend the fingers forward until the tips are touching the ground. This earth witnessing or earth touching gesture is a gesture of reverence for our planet, the earth that sustains our race. Ancient yogis were true environmentalists and through the development of reverence for nature, they upheld the highest ethical principles of conservation. Mahabhinishkramana Mudra: From a sitting position, bring your left hand close to your navel with the palm facing upwards. Make your right hand into a clenched fist with your thumb directed straight upwards and place your right hand on the upturned left palm in front of your navel. This hand gesture represents the symbol of Lord Shiva, the Lord of evolutionary change. This mudra’s name means, the “mighty gesture of renunciation.” After you have held the mudra for a comfortable period of time, relax your hands back to your thighs and sit quietly to absorb the higher energies of evolutionary change and renunciation that will start to flow through your system.
  30. 30. 32 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry Trataka: Yogic gazes Concentration upon a sin¬gle point or object for a prolonged period helps to shut out the outer world and also produces a state of alert awareness. With prolonged practice of one-pointed, concentrative gaze, all irrelevant sensory feedback can be eliminated from consciousness, leading to the experience of a state of meditation. Various types of concentrative points may be chosen for the practice of yogic gaze. Here are a few of them: Jyoti Trataka: The term jyoti means a “luminous light,” and so this trataka is the concentrated gaze at the tip of the flame of a lamp kept in front and at eye level 3 to 4 feet away. Sit in any of the meditative postures and gaze steadily at the tip of the flame without blinking the eyes. Don’t allow any distracting thoughts to enter your mind, and if they do, then clean them out at once. Try to maintain the gaze and control the blinking of the eyes as much as possible. Do not strain the eyes. Repeat the practice at least 3 to 9 times at each sitting to obtain maximum benefit. To relieve any tension that may have accumulated in your eyes, rub your palms together to generate healthy, warm, pranic energy. Place your cupped palms over the respective eye blocking out any external light and relax for some time. Bhrumadhya Drishti Trataka: Bhrumadhya Bindu refers to the midpoint between the eyebrows and is one of the most important concentration points in Yoga. Perform Siddhasana and do a few rounds of deep breathing. Open your eyes wide and gaze upward. Focus your gaze on the Bhrumadhya Bindu. Concentrate on this point without blinking your eyes as long as possible and then relax your gaze. Close your eyes and hold this point inwardly for 15 to 20 seconds. To relieve any tension that may have accumulated in your eyes, rub your palms together to generate healthy, warm, pranic energy. Place your cupped palms over the respective eye blocking out any external light and relax for some time. Repeat the practice 3 times at each sitting until a sense of inner concentration is achieved. Nasagra Drishti Trataka: In this practice, we gaze open-eyed upon the tip of the nose, an important concentration point used in the inner practices of Yoga. Sit in Padmasana and do a few rounds of deep breathing. Open your eyes wide and focus your gaze upon the tip of your nose. Your left eye must catch the tip of the nose with the same balance and lack of tension as does your right eye. If there is tension, close your eyes and imagine that you are still gazing at the tip of your nose. Hold this concentration for 15 to 20 seconds and then open your eyes to see if the tip of your nose is actually still in the drishti of your eyes. Repeat 3 to 9 times at each session until a sense of relaxation is achieved. One should gradually increase this practice without putting too much strain on the eyes. To relieve any tension practice the eye cupping technique previously outlined. If a headache develops, stop the practice session and rest your eyes with palming. It is advisable to washout your eyes with lukewarm saline solution after the practice if any tension is still felt in the eyes. Anthara Dharana Anthara Dharana refers to the various techniques of inner concentration that can be done from Dharmika Asana (the devotional asana, or Child’s Pose): Kshitijan Kriya: Kshiti means “horizon” in Sanskrit, but the horizon used for this inner concentration is the inner-mind horizon. After performing the Dharmika Asana, mentally think of the point where your head is touch¬ing the floor. Directly inside the head be¬tween the hemispheric folds of the brain is a nerve center called Bindu Nadi. Withdraw your concentration into this Bindu and imagine that you are CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  31. 31. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 33 looking into the Eastern sky, just be¬fore dawn. Your inner screen or mental hori¬zon is one of velvety, warm darkness. Then, imagine a full sun rise, with all its colors. Relax in this pleasant inner view, letting the experience flood through your entire nervous system. Eka Varna Kriya: This practice elicits inner light experiences. Concentrate at the same Bindu point, thinking only about your favorite color. Choose the color that you like best from the entire color spectrum. Imagine that you are completely engulfed in this liquid color, as though you have fallen into an ocean of colored liquid. Sometimes a swirling sensa¬tion of color will develop, and you will be literally sucked into a point of light in which you may also experience some inner sounds. Do not let these sounds interrupt your concentration, but become completely lost in the color and sound. This is very healing to the body and the mind. Jyotir Darshana: This is the blessing of a view of the inner light. Begin by concentration in Bindu Nadi, at that point where the head touches the floor in Dharmika Asana. Imagine you are sitting out of doors in bright sunlight or watching a bright sunrise. Concentrate fully on this idea. If you do so, a pinhole of light will appear from within the mind’s eye, the third eye, the Ajna Chakra. Hold this light gently in your inner gaze. Do not concentrate too hard, or it will go away. Learn to gaze passively, without a desire to grasp, possess or hold what your mind experiences. Keep the concentration until the light fades or you feel sufficiently relaxed to discontinue the practice. Pranava Dhyana This practice is a one pointed concentration on the form and nada, or sound, of the sacred Pranava AUM, known as the mantra of all mantras. This can be done from any of the sitting postures but make sure that your back is erect. It is best to do this after performing a few rounds of conscious deep breathing so that the mind is in a calm state. Pranava Dhyana harmonizes the body, emotions and mind. In this practice emphasis is first placed on making the sounds AAA, UUU and MMM separately and then in combination. This is followed by the performance of the practice mentally without the audible sound. Sit in Vajrasana and place the Chin Mudra on your thighs. Breathe in deeply into your lower chest area 2-3-4-5-6. Breathe out with the sound, Aaaaa, Breathe in 2-3-4-5-6. Breathe out with the sound, Aaaaa. Breathe in 2-3-4- 5-6. Breathe out with the sound, Aaaaa. Now concentrate on the sound, Aaaaa mentally and perform the same practice 3 times without the audible sound. Curl your fingers inward to form the Chin Mudra and place it on your thighs. Breathe deeply into your mid chest region 2-3-4-5-6. Breathe out with the sound Ooooo. Breathe in 2-3-4-5-6. Breathe out with the sound, Ooooo. Breathe in 2-3-4-5-6. Breathe out with the sound, Ooooo. Now concentrate on the sound, Ooooo, mentally and perform the same practice 3 times without the audible sound. Perform the Adhi Mudra by clenching your fists with your thumbs in the center and place the mudra on your thighs. Breathe deeply into your upper chest and clavicle regions 2-3-4-5-6. Now, exhale with the sound, Mmmm. Breathe in 2-3-4-5-6. Breathe out with the sound, Mmmm. Breathe in 2-3-4-5-6. Breathe out with the sound, Mmmm. Now concentrate on the sound mentally and perform the same practice 3 times without the audible sound.
  32. 32. 34 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry To perform the 4th part of the practice that unites the 3 earlier parts, perform Adhi Mudra and then place it with the knuckles of both hands touching in front of the navel. This is now known as the Brahma Mudra. Take a deep breath into the low, mid and upper chest regions. Now let the breath out with the sounds of Aaaaa—Ooo—Mmmm. Breathe in 2-3-4-5-6. Breathe out Aaaaa—Ooo—Mmmm. Breathe in 2-3-4-5-6. Breathe out Aaaaa—Ooo—Mmmm. Now concentrate on the sound Aaaaa—Ooooo— Mmmm and perform the same practice 3 times without the audible sound. A practice of 3 to 9 rounds of the Pranava Dharana, when done daily, helps to relax the body-mind-emotion complex and provides complete healing through the production of healing vibrations at all levels of our existence. This is the cornerstone of yogic breath therapy and can produce health and wellbeing for all. When the concentrative aspect of the practice is taken to its peak, a state of meditation, or Pranava Dhyana, can ensue. Chakra Meditation This meditative sitting is best done facing North or East. The practice of a few rounds of deep and conscious breathing in Savasana prior to this meditative sitting can serve to enhance its effect dramatically. Kneel in Vajrasana, or any sitting posture in which you are absolutely certain that the spine is yogically erect so that the energy can move upward in an effortless and smooth manner. Do some pranayama focusing on the chakras. As you come up through the chakras, starting from the base of the spine and through to beyond the top of the head, try to become aware of each of these centers. With practice and inner growth these centers will start to become conscious centers filling with light, sound and color. When the breath is completely filled in and you are in the Sahasrara Chakra, beyond the top of the head, hold your breath in a Prana Kumbhaka, a held-in breath, for a lengthy period of time. Slowly let the breath out and keep your concentration in that Thousand-Petal Lotus Chakra. Let the breath take on any form that it wishes and simply hold the idea that you are sitting in the midst of a beautiful thousand-petal pink lotus. Hold that idea as long as you can, repeating the visualization over and over until there occurs a pleasing sensation of being suspended. CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  33. 33. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 35 MEDITATION: A SIMPLE, FAST WAY TO REDUCE STRESS By Mayo Clinic Staff Meditation can wipe away the day’s stress, bringing with it inner peace. See how you can easily learn to practice meditation whenever you need it most. If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. And you can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting. Understanding meditation Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction. Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being. Benefits of meditation Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions. Meditation and emotional well-being When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress. The emotional benefits of meditation can include: yy Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations yy Building skills to manage your stress yy Increasing self-awareness yy Focusing on the present yy Reducing negative emotions Meditation and illness Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.
  34. 34. 36 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it’s not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation. With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as: yy Anxiety disorders yy Asthma yy Cancer yy Depression yy Heart disease yy High blood pressure yy Pain yy Sleep problems Be sure to talk to your health care provider about the pros and cons of using meditation if you have any of these conditions or other health problems. In some cases, meditation can worsen symptoms associated with certain mental and physical health conditions. Meditation isn’t a replacement for traditional medical treatment. But it may be a useful addition to your other treatment. Types of meditation Meditation is an umbrella term for the many ways to a relaxed state of being. There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques that have meditation components. All share the same goal of achieving inner peace. Ways to meditate can include: yy Guided meditation. Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. yy Mantra meditation. In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts. yy Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. In mindfulness meditation, you broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judgment. yy Qi gong. This practice generally combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. Qi gong (CHEE-gung) is part of traditional Chinese medicine. yy Tai chi. This is a form of gentle Chinese martial arts. In tai chi (TIE-CHEE), you perform a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing. yy Transcendental meditation. Transcendental meditation is a simple, natural technique. In transcendental meditation, you silently repeat a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase, in a specific way. This form of meditation allows your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort. yy Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you’re CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
  35. 35. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry | 37 encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment. yy Elements of meditation yy Different types of meditation may include different features to help you meditate. These may vary depending on whose guidance you follow or who’s teaching a class. Some of the most common features in meditation include: yy Focused attention. Focusing your attention is generally one of the most important elements of meditation. Focusing your attention is what helps free your mind from the many distractions that cause stress and worry. You can focus your attention on such things as a specific object, an image, a mantra, or even your breathing. yy Relaxed breathing. This technique involves deep, even-paced breathing using the diaphragm muscle to expand your lungs. The purpose is to slow your breathing, take in more oxygen, and reduce the use of shoulder, neck and upper chest muscles while breathing so that you breathe more efficiently. yy A quiet setting. If you’re a beginner, practicing meditation may be easier if you’re in a quiet spot with few distractions, including no television, radios or cellphones. As you get more skilled at meditation, you may be able to do it anywhere, especially in high-stress situations where you benefit the most from meditation, such as a traffic jam, a stressful work meeting or a long line at the grocery store. yy A comfortable position. You can practice meditation whether you’re sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions or activities. Just try to be comfortable so that you can get the most out of your meditation. Everyday ways to practice meditation Don’t let the thought of meditating the “right” way add to your stress. If you choose to, you can attend special meditation centers or group classes led by trained instructors. But you can also practice meditation easily on your own. And you can make meditation as formal or informal as you like, however it suits your lifestyle and situation. Some people build meditation into their daily routine. For example, they may start and end each day with an hour of meditation. But all you really need is a few minutes of quality time for meditation. Here are some ways you can practice meditation on your own, whenever you choose: yy Breathe deeply. This technique is good for beginners because breathing is a natural function. Focus all attention on your breathing. Concentrate on feeling and listening as you inhale and exhale through your nostrils. Breathe deeply and slowly. When your attention wanders, gently return your focus to your breathing. yy Scan your body. When using this technique, focus attention on different parts of your body. Become aware of your body’s various sensations, whether that’s pain, tension, warmth or relaxation. Combine body scanning with breathing exercises and imagine breathing heat or relaxation into and out of different parts of your body. yy Repeat a mantra. You can create your own mantra, whether it’s religious or secular. Examples of religious mantras include the Jesus Prayer in the Christian tradition, the holy name of God in Judaism, or the om mantra of Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern religions. yy Walk and meditate. Combining a walk with meditation is an efficient and healthy way to relax. You can use this technique anywhere you’re walking, such as in a tranquil forest, on a city sidewalk or at the mall. When you use this method, slow down the pace of walking so that you can focus on each movement of your legs or feet. Don’t focus on a particular destination. Concentrate on your legs and feet, repeating action words in your mind such as lifting, moving and placing as you lift each foot; move your leg forward and place your foot on the ground. yy Engage in prayer. Prayer is the best known and most widely practiced example of meditation.
  36. 36. 38 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry Spoken and written prayers are found in most faith traditions. You can pray using your own words or read prayers written by others. Check the self-help section of your local bookstore for examples. Talk with your rabbi, priest, pastor or other spiritual leader about possible resources. yy Read and reflect. Many people report that they benefit from reading poems or sacred texts, and taking a few moments to quietly reflect on their meaning. You can also listen to sacred music, spoken words or any music you find relaxing or inspiring. You may want to write your reflections in a journal or discuss them with a friend or spiritual leader. yy Focus your love and gratitude. In this type of meditation, you focus your attention on a sacred object or being, weaving feelings of love, compassion and gratitude into your thoughts. You can also close your eyes and use your imagination or gaze at representations of the object. Building your meditation skills Don’t judge your meditation skills, which may only increase your stress. Meditation takes practice. Keep in mind, for instance, that it’s common for your mind to wander during meditation, no matter how long you’ve been practicing meditation. If you’re meditating to calm your mind and your attention wanders, slowly return to the object, sensation or movement you’re focusing on. Experiment, and you’ll likely find out what types of meditation work best for you and what you enjoy doing. Adapt meditation to your needs at the moment. Remember, there’s no right way or wrong way to meditate. What matters is that meditation helps you reduce your stress and feel better overall. CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014
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  67. 67. 69 | Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMCRI - Puducherry CME-CUM-WORKSHOP ON YOGA & LIFESTYLE DISORDERS 2013 CME on Sleep, consciousness and meditation: Neurophysiological correlates 2014 A Brief Report A CME-cum-Workshop on “Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders” was held at MGMC&RI, Pondicherry on 22 November 2013. This event was organized by Department of Physiology and Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research (CYTER), MGMC&RI, Pondicherry. More than 250 medical and paramedical professionals and students as well as Yoga practitioners and enthusiasts took part in the one day CME that gave participants an overview of the role Yoga can play in lifestyle disorders by inculcating a healthy lifestyle. In his lead talk on “Healing & Yoga in Integrative Therapy”, Prof K.R. Sethuraman, Vice- Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth mentioned that yoga therapy uses the ancient principles of yoga to enhance health and wellness at all levels of a person: physical, emotional, and spiritual. It is based on a holistic approach to an individual, because in order to acquire true health, all aspects of a person must be addressed in toto. He suggested that Yoga therapy is a good choice for people with specific health concerns, who want to acquire tools specific to their condition to improve wellness. He also said that when done correctly, yoga is rewarding and intrinsically motivating. It can be used by those who wish to slow aging and improve their health and those who desire to develop a fulfilling personal yoga practice. He stressed on the need for integration of the traditional healing methods with modern medicine and said that Yoga therapy often enhances the benefits gained from modern medical treatments, while also reducing unwanted side-effects. The organizing chairman Prof Madanmohan who is head, department of Physiology and Director CYTER at MGMCRI said, “Lifestyle is the way people live and this has immense influence on the status of health or disease. Since one’s lifestyle is developed early in life, it is advisable to cultivate healthy lifestyle in early childhood.” He also explained the improvement of physiological functions through regular practice of Yoga. The eminent Yoga expert, Yogacharya S. Sridharan of the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandriam, Chennai said “Yoga has a well laid out path of discipline structured to address all the dimensions of the human system, i.e. annamaya (body), prANamaya (breath), manomaya (mind), vigyanamaya (ego/intellect) and anandamaya (emotion). He explained the “Panca kAla ParAyanam”, which literally means “the activities to be filled with in the five parts of the day”. Here a day is divided into 5 parts and the activities are assigned to each part such as Abhigamanam, UpAdAnam, Ijya, SvAdhyaya and Yoga. Dr. Latha Satish, a well known psychologist and Yoga expert gave a talk on Yoga as the original mind body medicine and said that the origin and roots of the mind-body link, its interactions and implication for medicine can be traced to the Indian cultural heritage ie Veda-s and particularly the philosophy and practice of yoga as elucidated by Maharishi Patanjali. She explained that the mind which is characterized by the three gunas, can be agitated and consequences of this can be felt at body, breath, thought level. A panel discussion on Yoga & psychosomatic disorders was held in the afternoon session and this was chaired by Dr. Eshwaran, H.O.D Dept. of Psychiatry MGMCRI who also elaborated the clinical spectrum of somatoform disorders. The panelists in the session were, Yogacharini Cathy Davis of the UK, Dr. Latha Satish, Yogacharya S Sridharan and Dr. Madanmohan. Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani and Mrs. Meena Ramanathan conducted forenoon and afternoon interactive sessions on Yoga practices for healthy living. This included simple warm ups (jathis and surya namaskar), breath body movement coordination practices (kriyas), static stretching postures (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), relaxation and chanting. Modern medical advancements provide the rationale for the integration of various traditional healing techniques including Yoga to promote healing, health, and longevity. It is imperative that advances in medicine include the wholistic approach of Yoga to face the current challenges in health care. Under the dynamic leadership of the Chancellor Shri M.K. Rajagopalan, authorities of SBVU had set up CYTER in 2010 and many activities have been going on since then. A scientifically sound Yoga therapy programme is imparted through the Yoga Therapy OPD that is functioning from 9 am to 1pm from Monday- Friday. Consultations are offered by Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Deputy Director (Yoga) and Mrs Meena Ramanathan, Coordinator and Yoga Therapist and qualified Yoga instructors are imparting the schedules. Individualized and group Yoga therapy sessions are being conducted for various medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, musculoskeletal and psychiatric disorders with excellent feedback from participants. More than 3000 patients have benefited from Yoga Therapy consultations and sessions since 2010. Numerous pilot studies have been completed and major research studies are being planned under guidance of Dr. Madanmohan, Professor and Head, Department of Physiology, MGMC & RI. The Phase-II of CYTER was inaugurated during the CME and a new logo for the centre was unveiled.
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  70. 70. CME-cum-Workshop on “ YOGA AND LIFESTYLE DISORDERS ” 22nd November, 2013 PG.DIPLOMA IN YOGA THERAPY Souvenir Compiled, Edited and Designed by Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Mrs. Meena Ramanathan and Mrs. Uma A.N.

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