Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Decoding the Integrated Approach to Yoga Therapy: Qualitative Evidence Based Conceptual Framework

Academic journal article International Journal of Yoga

Decoding the Integrated Approach to Yoga Therapy: Qualitative Evidence Based Conceptual Framework

Article excerpt

Byline: Maria Del. Villacres, Aarti. Jagannathan, R. Nagarathna, Jayashree. Ramakrsihna

Aim: The aim of this study was to define, decode, and append to the conceptual frame-work of the integrated approach to yoga therapy (IAYT). Materials and Methods: Four stakeholders who followed two in-patients with depression over a period of 2 weeks in the residential center "Arogyadhama" (of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandana Samsthana, Bangalore, India) were interviewed before the start of the IAYT treatment and prior to discharge of the patient. The patients were also interviewed pre and post and were observed once during their session. The data from the audio recordings from eight in-depth interviews were transcribed manually and qualitative analysis was conducted. Results: The conceptual frame-work of IAYT depicts that patient related factors ("co-operation of patient," "patients awareness of his/her condition"), therapist related factors ("ability to guide," the "assistance to the patients," "explanation of the exercises") and treatment related factors ("combination of psychiatric or Ayurvedic medication with yoga," "counseling during the IAYT treatment," duration of treatment), play an integrated role in reaching the "aim of IAYT" and experiencing "improvements and changes." Conclusion: The IAYT is a holistic program and the ability of the patient to cooperate with and integrate the available factors (therapist related and treatment related) could enable best results.


The integrated approach to yoga therapy (IAYT) model developed by Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana (S-VYASA) [sup][1] is based on the principle that "the root of all psychosocial illnesses is in the mind; which causes an internal imbalance due to long standing stressful and demanding situations of life." [sup][1] Intense surges of uncontrolled excessive speed of responses to these demanding situations at an emotional level ( Manomaya Kosa ) , conflicts between value systems ( Vijnanamaya Kosha ), and strong likes and dislikes at the psychological level ( Manomaya Kosa ) are responsible for imbalances at gross levels ( Pranamaya and Annamaya Kosas ). IAYT slows down the loop of uncontrolled speed of thoughts (stress) through several techniques that use the principle of "successive stimulations followed by progressive relaxation and the rest" to correct the imbalances, promote "mastery over the mind" and harmonize the disturbances at each of the five levels ( Pancha Kosa ). [sup][1],[2]

Based on the above Pancha Kosa concept, the IAYT model incorporates varied yogic practices at each level to help patients with different disorders deal with their problems. [sup][3] The Annamaya Kosa practices include: (1) Asana : A stable and comfortable posture, which gives deep relaxation to internal organs by massaging them thoroughly; all organs of the body start functioning in a harmonious manner and the mind becomes tranquil (2) Diet: Simple vegetarian wholesome food that calms down the mind (Sattvic diet) is recommended as it helps to maintain internal harmony in the body as well as mind (3) Loosening exercises: Reduces joint stiffness, strengthens the muscles of the body and increases physical stamina.

The Pranayama Kosa practices include: (1) Breathing exercises and cleansing breath: Increases awareness about breathing, clears the lungs, corrects breathing pattern, and increases lung capacity; (2) Pranayama: Slows down breathing rate and restores autonomic balance thereby calming the mind. The Manomaya Kosa practices include: (1) Cyclic meditation: Practices with repeated stimulations and relaxations; (2) Om meditation and mind sound resonance technique (MSRT) for creating awareness and slowing down the mind and (3) Devotional sessions: For emotional culture through "Bhakti Yoga" and The Vijnanamaya Kosa Practices include: (1) Lectures and yogic counseling using yogic concepts of fearlessness for stress management. …

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