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Yoga as Therapy:
Synthesis of Traditional Wisdom
with Modern Scientific Knowledge
Yogacharya
Dr ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI
MBBS, MD (AM), ADY, DSM, DPC, PGDFH, PGDY, FIAY, C-IAYT
Director CYTER of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth & Chairman ICYER at Ananda
Ashram, Puducherry, South India. yognat@gmail.com
AB Bhavanani - Kdham 2018 Plenary
www.icyer.com
29 Dec
1993
SRI BALAJI VIDYAPEETH
(Deemed University Accredited with “A” Grade by NAAC)
Ranked 72 in NIRF 2018
Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education
and Research (CYTER)
Salutogenesis, our focus!
Bridging the experiential wisdom of Yoga with
empirical modern medical science.
Yoga is usually found in Physical Edu
& Sports deptts of universities
We at CYTER, have it in a medical
institution since 2010
– quality of life enhancing benefits
for ~ 52,000 participants
– educating future Yoga therapists
(PGCYT, PGDYT, M.Phil, PhD),
– creating awareness amongst
medical, dental and nursing
students & professionals
– scientifically researching Yoga,
– 86 publications & 7 CMEs.
– IDY celebrations since 2015
Salutogenesis, our Focus
• Moving from pathogenesis, the focus on disease
towards salutogenesis, the focus on health!
• CYTER is striding forward on an innovative path of
promoting holistic health for one and all.
www.sbvu.ac.in
SALUTOGENESIS versus PATHOGENESIS…
Pathogenesis
• What causes diseases?
• About avoiding problems
•Reactive - absence disease
• Against pain or loss
• Prepares one to live
Salutogenesis
• What causes health?
• About reaching potential
• Proactive - presence health
• For gain or growth
• Discover how to live fully
Rudyard Kipling
Sorry Mr. Kipling,
they indeed have!
Through Yoga!
• This “East-West” dichotomy seems to have been
overcome in recent times.
• Many eastern healing traditions have slowly and
steadily percolated health care systems 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.
• Yoga is indeed all about integration!
National Health Service
www.nhs.uk
• Dozens of scientific trials of varying quality have
been published on yoga.
• While there's scope for more rigorous studies on its
health benefits, most studies suggest yoga is a safe
and effective way to increase physical activity,
especially strength, flexibility and balance.
• There's some evidence that regular yoga practice is
beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart
disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain
– depression and stress.
https://nccih.nih.gov/news/multimedia/infographics/yoga_panel2
2016 Yoga in America Study Highlights
• The top five reasons for starting yoga are: flexibility
(61 percent), stress relief (56 percent), general
fitness (49 percent), improve overall health (49
percent), and physical fitness (44 percent)
• 86 percent of practitioners self-report having a
strong sense of mental clarity, 73 percent report
being physically strong, and 79 percent give back to
their communities – all significantly higher rates than
among non-practitioners
2016 Yoga in America Study Highlights
• Top five reasons for starting yoga are:
– flexibility (61 %),
– stress relief (56 %),
– general fitness (49 %),
– improve overall health (49 %), &
– physical fitness (44 %)
• 86 % practitioners self-report having a strong sense of
mental clarity, 73 % report being physically strong, and
79 % give back to their communities
• all significantly higher than among non-practitioners
http://www.yogatherapy-india.org/
“Yoga therapy is the process of
empowering individuals to
progress toward improved health
and wellbeing through the
application of the teachings and
practices of Yoga”. – IAYT
Traditional concepts and a
revised modern understanding
Cellular Panchakosha !
(Low)
0
0 (Low)
∞
(High)
(High) ∞Skills
Anxiety
Boredom
Increasing skills
Increasing skills
FLOW
Channel
(Low)
0
0 (Low)
∞
(High)
(High) ∞Skills
Anxiety
Boredom
Increasing skills
Increasing skills
FLOW
Channel
Yogah karmasu kaushalam-BG
Rehabilitate
& heal !
Relaxation is the key to healing!
• An essential prerequisite for healing.
• We cannot heal when we are stressed.
• Conscious relaxation facilitates self-healing
• All about educing the “Relaxation Response”
• Yoga’s greatest contribution
to modern healthcare!
Role of pranayama ratios in
prolonging exhalation phase
thereby reducing HR
Reduction in HR lengthens diastole
phase enhances coronary perfusion!
Heart
supplies
itself
only in
diastole!
Broncho-pulmonary segments
Understanding the Prana Vayu in a modern scientific manner
for diagnosis and management in Yoga Therapy
Functional energies of :
1. Respiration
2. Communication
3. Circulation
4. Digestion
5. Excretion
Helps us to work
using Yogic
diagnosis rather
than only the
medical one!
E = mc2
E = mc2
Power of the mind!
• Yoga aims to help regain our psycho-
physiological balance, by removing the root
cause of the dis-harmony.
• Disassociation from inherent tendencies to
identify with suffering, is Yoga!
duhkha samyoga viyogam yoga samjnitham-
Bhagavad-Gita VI: 23.
Yoga Therapy
“without” Yoga
Is no longer
Yoga Therapy!
Cause of Disease According to Yoga
• Primary cause
– Dwaitam – duality - dichotomy
• Disease = dis + ease
(Asana-stira sukam and tado dwandwa anabigata)
• Tri Dosha and their imbalance
• Dwadasha Prana and their imbalance
• Yoga Vashistha
- psychosomatic and non psychosomatic disorders
• Somato-psychic disorders
Mental
Agitations
Mental
Agitations
Haphazard
Flow of
Prana
Haphazard
Flow of
Prana
Unstable
Nadis
Unstable
Nadis
Hypo-cellular
activity
(Ajeeranatvam)
Hypo-cellular
activity
(Ajeeranatvam)
Hyper-cellular
activity
(Ateejeeranatvam)
Hyper-cellular
activity
(Ateejeeranatvam)
Altered cellular
activity
(Kujeeranatvam)
Altered cellular
activity
(Kujeeranatvam)
VYAADHI
Physical
Ailments
VYAADHI
Physical
Ailments
Yogic understanding of Psychosomatic DisordersYogic understanding of Psychosomatic Disorders
AADHIAADHI
Manomaya
Kosha
Manomaya
Kosha Annamaya KoshaAnnamaya Kosha
Pranamaya
Kosha
Pranamaya
Kosha
From the Yogic viewpoint of disease, psychosomatic,
disorders progress through four phases.
1. Psychic Phase
 vijnanamaya & manomaya kosha
1. Psychosomatic Phase
 manomaya & pranamaya kosha
1. Somatic Phase
 pranamaya & annamaya kosha
1. Organic Phase
 annamaya kosha
• The Pancha Klesha model of Maharishi Patanjali
clearly states that the ‘root’ of all suffering (duhkha)
is AVIDYA (distorted perception of reality).
– tasya hetur avidya –PYS II:24
• Avidya as the root cause enables manifestation of
other kleshas in dormant, attenuated, manifest or
overpowering forms leading to suffering.
- avidya kshetram uttaresham prasupta tanu
vicchinna udaranam- Yoga Darshan II:4
Unless we treat the
individual’s underlying
psycho-somatic disassociation
(dwaitham) and misconceived
sense of self identify (avidya),
we are not practicing
Yoga Chikitsa.
Managing and suppressing manifest
symptoms using Yoga techniques
without trying to find
& correct the ‘underlying’ cause is
better described as
YOGOPATHY! 1,2,3
1. Bhavanani AB. Are We Practicing Yoga Therapy Or Yogopathy? Integral Yoga Magazine; Fall 2009: 10-11.
2. Bhavanani AB. Are we practicing yoga therapy or yogopathy? Yoga Therapy Today 2011; 7 (2): 26-28
3. Bhavanani AB. Yoga is not an intervention, but maybe Yogopathy is. Int J Yoga 2012; 5: 157-58.
• As Yoga therapists, unless we aim to correct the
manifest psycho-somatic disassociation as well as
the underlying ignorant, distorted perception of
reality in the individual, we are not practicing Yoga
Chikitsa.
• Yoga Chikitsa is based on salutogenesis
• Yogopathy is based on pathogenesis
Yogic 12-Point System of
Diagnosis and Health Evaluation
Yoga places great importance on a proper and healthy
lifestyle whose main components are:
ACHAR – healthy physical activities & exercise
VICHAR – right thoughts and right attitude towards
life that are vital for wellbeing.
AHAR – healthy, nourishing diet with adequate intake
of fresh water; balanced intake of fresh food, green
salads, sprouts, unrefined cereals & fresh fruits.
Sattwic diet, prepared & served with love & affection.
VIHAR – proper recreational activities to relax body
and mind are essential for good health.
VYAVAHAR – healthy relationships for social health
And not merely the absence of disease.And not merely the absence of disease.
Definition of Health (WHO)Definition of Health (WHO)
Health is a
dynamic
state of
complete…
Health is a
dynamic
state of
complete…
It doesn’t matter how many resources you have.
If you don’t know how to use them,
it will never be enough.
• Yogopathy, is more about "doing" than "being".
• Yoga Chikitsa empowers an individual to
“BE” at ease with themselves,
an integrated state of coherence,
their own Sukha Sthanam
Some final words…….
• The need of the hour is for a symbiotic relationship
between Yoga and modern science.
• Living, human bridges combining the best of both
worlds need to be cultivated.
• Iti iti………….. The way forward!
Some final words…….
We need to focus on
wholesomeness
&
salutogenesis
and move consciously
from
duhkham to sukham….
This is our dharma,
our responsibility as a
Yoga Therapist.
And we truly only become human,
when we live our dharma!
May we all be blessed to do so!
Hari om tat sat
“Health and happiness
are your birthright.
Learn and live Yoga
for then you will
know true health and
happiness”
Yogamaharishi
Dr Swami Gitananda Giri
Guru Maharaj
(1907-1993)
Founder:
ICYER at Ananda Ashram,
Pondicherry, India.
Thank You!Thank You!

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Yoga as Therapy: Synthesis of Traditional Wisdom with Modern Scientific Knowledge

  • 1. Yoga as Therapy: Synthesis of Traditional Wisdom with Modern Scientific Knowledge Yogacharya Dr ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI MBBS, MD (AM), ADY, DSM, DPC, PGDFH, PGDY, FIAY, C-IAYT Director CYTER of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth & Chairman ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Puducherry, South India. yognat@gmail.com AB Bhavanani - Kdham 2018 Plenary
  • 4. SRI BALAJI VIDYAPEETH (Deemed University Accredited with “A” Grade by NAAC) Ranked 72 in NIRF 2018 Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research (CYTER) Salutogenesis, our focus!
  • 5. Bridging the experiential wisdom of Yoga with empirical modern medical science. Yoga is usually found in Physical Edu & Sports deptts of universities We at CYTER, have it in a medical institution since 2010 – quality of life enhancing benefits for ~ 52,000 participants – educating future Yoga therapists (PGCYT, PGDYT, M.Phil, PhD), – creating awareness amongst medical, dental and nursing students & professionals – scientifically researching Yoga, – 86 publications & 7 CMEs. – IDY celebrations since 2015
  • 6.
  • 7. Salutogenesis, our Focus • Moving from pathogenesis, the focus on disease towards salutogenesis, the focus on health! • CYTER is striding forward on an innovative path of promoting holistic health for one and all. www.sbvu.ac.in
  • 8. SALUTOGENESIS versus PATHOGENESIS… Pathogenesis • What causes diseases? • About avoiding problems •Reactive - absence disease • Against pain or loss • Prepares one to live Salutogenesis • What causes health? • About reaching potential • Proactive - presence health • For gain or growth • Discover how to live fully
  • 10. Sorry Mr. Kipling, they indeed have! Through Yoga!
  • 11. • This “East-West” dichotomy seems to have been overcome in recent times. • Many eastern healing traditions have slowly and steadily percolated health care systems 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. • Yoga is indeed all about integration!
  • 12. National Health Service www.nhs.uk • Dozens of scientific trials of varying quality have been published on yoga. • While there's scope for more rigorous studies on its health benefits, most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. • There's some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.
  • 13.
  • 15. 2016 Yoga in America Study Highlights • The top five reasons for starting yoga are: flexibility (61 percent), stress relief (56 percent), general fitness (49 percent), improve overall health (49 percent), and physical fitness (44 percent) • 86 percent of practitioners self-report having a strong sense of mental clarity, 73 percent report being physically strong, and 79 percent give back to their communities – all significantly higher rates than among non-practitioners
  • 16. 2016 Yoga in America Study Highlights • Top five reasons for starting yoga are: – flexibility (61 %), – stress relief (56 %), – general fitness (49 %), – improve overall health (49 %), & – physical fitness (44 %) • 86 % practitioners self-report having a strong sense of mental clarity, 73 % report being physically strong, and 79 % give back to their communities • all significantly higher than among non-practitioners
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 20. “Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and wellbeing through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga”. – IAYT
  • 21. Traditional concepts and a revised modern understanding
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 26. (Low) 0 0 (Low) ∞ (High) (High) ∞Skills Anxiety Boredom Increasing skills Increasing skills FLOW Channel Yogah karmasu kaushalam-BG
  • 27.
  • 29. Relaxation is the key to healing! • An essential prerequisite for healing. • We cannot heal when we are stressed. • Conscious relaxation facilitates self-healing • All about educing the “Relaxation Response” • Yoga’s greatest contribution to modern healthcare!
  • 30.
  • 31. Role of pranayama ratios in prolonging exhalation phase thereby reducing HR
  • 32.
  • 33. Reduction in HR lengthens diastole phase enhances coronary perfusion! Heart supplies itself only in diastole!
  • 35. Understanding the Prana Vayu in a modern scientific manner for diagnosis and management in Yoga Therapy Functional energies of : 1. Respiration 2. Communication 3. Circulation 4. Digestion 5. Excretion Helps us to work using Yogic diagnosis rather than only the medical one!
  • 36.
  • 37.
  • 39. E = mc2 Power of the mind!
  • 40. • Yoga aims to help regain our psycho- physiological balance, by removing the root cause of the dis-harmony. • Disassociation from inherent tendencies to identify with suffering, is Yoga! duhkha samyoga viyogam yoga samjnitham- Bhagavad-Gita VI: 23.
  • 41. Yoga Therapy “without” Yoga Is no longer Yoga Therapy!
  • 42. Cause of Disease According to Yoga • Primary cause – Dwaitam – duality - dichotomy • Disease = dis + ease (Asana-stira sukam and tado dwandwa anabigata) • Tri Dosha and their imbalance • Dwadasha Prana and their imbalance • Yoga Vashistha - psychosomatic and non psychosomatic disorders • Somato-psychic disorders
  • 43.
  • 44. Mental Agitations Mental Agitations Haphazard Flow of Prana Haphazard Flow of Prana Unstable Nadis Unstable Nadis Hypo-cellular activity (Ajeeranatvam) Hypo-cellular activity (Ajeeranatvam) Hyper-cellular activity (Ateejeeranatvam) Hyper-cellular activity (Ateejeeranatvam) Altered cellular activity (Kujeeranatvam) Altered cellular activity (Kujeeranatvam) VYAADHI Physical Ailments VYAADHI Physical Ailments Yogic understanding of Psychosomatic DisordersYogic understanding of Psychosomatic Disorders AADHIAADHI Manomaya Kosha Manomaya Kosha Annamaya KoshaAnnamaya Kosha Pranamaya Kosha Pranamaya Kosha
  • 45. From the Yogic viewpoint of disease, psychosomatic, disorders progress through four phases. 1. Psychic Phase  vijnanamaya & manomaya kosha 1. Psychosomatic Phase  manomaya & pranamaya kosha 1. Somatic Phase  pranamaya & annamaya kosha 1. Organic Phase  annamaya kosha
  • 46. • The Pancha Klesha model of Maharishi Patanjali clearly states that the ‘root’ of all suffering (duhkha) is AVIDYA (distorted perception of reality). – tasya hetur avidya –PYS II:24 • Avidya as the root cause enables manifestation of other kleshas in dormant, attenuated, manifest or overpowering forms leading to suffering. - avidya kshetram uttaresham prasupta tanu vicchinna udaranam- Yoga Darshan II:4
  • 47.
  • 48. Unless we treat the individual’s underlying psycho-somatic disassociation (dwaitham) and misconceived sense of self identify (avidya), we are not practicing Yoga Chikitsa.
  • 49. Managing and suppressing manifest symptoms using Yoga techniques without trying to find & correct the ‘underlying’ cause is better described as YOGOPATHY! 1,2,3 1. Bhavanani AB. Are We Practicing Yoga Therapy Or Yogopathy? Integral Yoga Magazine; Fall 2009: 10-11. 2. Bhavanani AB. Are we practicing yoga therapy or yogopathy? Yoga Therapy Today 2011; 7 (2): 26-28 3. Bhavanani AB. Yoga is not an intervention, but maybe Yogopathy is. Int J Yoga 2012; 5: 157-58.
  • 50. • As Yoga therapists, unless we aim to correct the manifest psycho-somatic disassociation as well as the underlying ignorant, distorted perception of reality in the individual, we are not practicing Yoga Chikitsa. • Yoga Chikitsa is based on salutogenesis • Yogopathy is based on pathogenesis
  • 51. Yogic 12-Point System of Diagnosis and Health Evaluation
  • 52.
  • 53. Yoga places great importance on a proper and healthy lifestyle whose main components are: ACHAR – healthy physical activities & exercise VICHAR – right thoughts and right attitude towards life that are vital for wellbeing. AHAR – healthy, nourishing diet with adequate intake of fresh water; balanced intake of fresh food, green salads, sprouts, unrefined cereals & fresh fruits. Sattwic diet, prepared & served with love & affection. VIHAR – proper recreational activities to relax body and mind are essential for good health. VYAVAHAR – healthy relationships for social health
  • 54. And not merely the absence of disease.And not merely the absence of disease. Definition of Health (WHO)Definition of Health (WHO) Health is a dynamic state of complete… Health is a dynamic state of complete…
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  • 60. It doesn’t matter how many resources you have. If you don’t know how to use them, it will never be enough.
  • 61. • Yogopathy, is more about "doing" than "being". • Yoga Chikitsa empowers an individual to “BE” at ease with themselves, an integrated state of coherence, their own Sukha Sthanam Some final words…….
  • 62. • The need of the hour is for a symbiotic relationship between Yoga and modern science. • Living, human bridges combining the best of both worlds need to be cultivated. • Iti iti………….. The way forward! Some final words…….
  • 63. We need to focus on wholesomeness & salutogenesis and move consciously from duhkham to sukham….
  • 64. This is our dharma, our responsibility as a Yoga Therapist.
  • 65. And we truly only become human, when we live our dharma!
  • 66. May we all be blessed to do so! Hari om tat sat
  • 67. “Health and happiness are your birthright. Learn and live Yoga for then you will know true health and happiness” Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj (1907-1993) Founder: ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry, India.