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Management of Overweight and Obesity through specific Yogic procedures

  • G. J. Patel Institute of Ayurvedic Studies and Research

Abstract and Figures

Obesity is the most hazardous factor found in modern sedentary society. It is the main underlying cause of life threatening diseases like Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Atherosclerosis etc.Therefore it is important to control the increasing weight. The alternative therapies like Ayurveda, Yoga are being increasingly popular due to the limitations of allopathy. In the present study, the efficacy of certain yogic procedures is studied on the basis of subjective and objective paprameters of obesity. Statistically highly significant results are observed to decrease weight and Body Mass Index as well as subjective complaints of obesity by treatment through Yogic procedures.
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Management of Overweight and Obesity through specific
Yogic procedures
Maharshi Patanjali Institute for Yoga, Naturopathy, Education & Research, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar.
ABSTRACT : Obesity is the most hazardous factor found in modern sedentary society. It is the main underlying
cause of life threatening diseases like Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Atherosclerosis etc.Therefore it
is important to control the increasing weight. The alternative therapies like Ayurveda, Yoga are being increasingly
popular due to the limitations of allopathy. In the present study, the efficacy of certain yogic procedures is
studied on the basis of subjective and objective paprameters of obesity. Statistically highly significant
results are observed to decrease weight and Body Mass Index as well as subjective complaints of obesity by
treatment through Yogic procedures.
Key words : Obesity, Yogasana, Pranayama, Kapalbhati.
* B.A.M.S., P.G.D.Y.N.
** Ph.D. Scholar in Manas Roga & S.R.F.-AYU, I.P.G.T. & R.A.
*** Yoga Demonstrator, MPIYNER.
**** Principal, MPIYNER.
AYU-VOL. 30, NO. 4 (OCTOBER-DECEMBER) 2009, pp. 425-435
Obesity is a complex disorder of the modern
world. It is emerged as the most prevalent sedentary
lifestyle disorder in urban society. Excessive body weight
is associated with various diseases particularly
cardiovascular diseases, type 2, diabetes mellitus
obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer and
. It is known since ages as it is described
well in Ayurveda. As quoted by Great physician Charaka
Sama Mamsapramanastu Samasamhanano Narah $
Dridhendriyo vikaranam na balena abhibhuyate $$
Means persons having proportionate musculature
and compactness of the body possess very strong sensory
and motor organs and as such they are not overcome by
the onslaught of diseases. But these features are now
becoming a part of history slowly due to modernization.
Obesity is being a widespread social disease. In the
present era of modernization human life is being more
and more sedentary. Daily stressful and competitive
business, leading to improper dietary habits and unhealthy
life style is causing metabolic disorders like obesity. This
plays major role in cardiovascular disorders,
atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, pulmonary
diseases, endocrine disorders, etc.
Ayurveda, the holistic science of life, rightly
explains causes of excess fat deposition like :
Avyayamat divaswapnat medyanam cha ati bhakshanat $
Medovahini dushyanti varunyashcha ati sevanat $$
This indicates that avyayama (lack of physical
activity), divaswapna (day time sleep) atimeda-
bhakshana (excessive fat intake), ati varuni sevan
(excess alcohol intake) lead to Medovaha strotasa
disorders which resembles with obesity due to deranged
fat and lipid metabolism. These various factors are very
important in the aetiopathogenesis of obesity. ‘Sthaulya
is the other term used in Ayurveda which can easily be
correlated with Obesity.
Definition of obesity :
Ayurveda defines Sthaulya as :
Meda mansa ati vriddhatvat chal sphik udara stanah $
Ayathopchayotsaho naro atisthola uchyate $$
Means the person whose fat and muscular
tissues are excessively increased, that buttocks, abdomen,
and breasts are movable and whose metabolism is
impaired is called Atisthula (Obese). Obesity is an
abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more
over an individual’s ideal body weight. Obesity is
associated with increased risk of illness, disability, and
. It is defined as increase in weight of the body
over the desirable level caused due to generalized
deposition of fat
. Depending on the weight, obesity is
classified as follow :
Mild to Moderate : 10-20% above desirable weight.
Moderate to severe : 20 - 30% above desirable
Severe obesity : 30% above the desirable weight.
Causes for Obesity : These can be enlisted as
improper dietary habits, eating more than requirement of
body i.e. excess intake of calories leading to deposition
of fat, lack of exercise, abnormalities in endocrine
secretions of thyroid, pituitary etc. which regulate the
metabolism of fat and lipids, and various psychological
factors like stress, depression, bulimia nervosa are equally
important in causing obesity. As modern medicine is
Kosha Dushti
Kosha Dushti
Tama Dosha
Ajna Chakra
Kosha Dushti
showing its own limitations due to adverse drug effects
and lacking in proper management of obesity, medical
world is looking for the best alternative treatment options
like Ayurveda and Yoga.
Yogic Concept of Obesity : Modern human
has numerous conveniences at his disposal to give physical
comfort and sensual pleasure. But ultimately instead of
peace, rest and happiness he gets lots of physical, mental
and emotional tension. Yoga offers men a conscious
process to solve the problems of daily life and evoke the
hidden potential in a systemic and scientific way.
The word ‘
Yoga is derived from the root Yuja
which means to unite or integrate. The union of individual
consciousness with the supreme consciousness is called
Yoga. According to Bhagvad Geeta, Yoga is skill and
efficiency in action. It also states
Yoga as equanimity in
success and failure.
Patanjali defines Yoga as the Control
of fluctuation and mind is
. It is integration and
harmony among head, heart and limbs.
Pathogenesis of disease according to Yoga :
Yoga Shastra believes in three principle causes for the
occurrence of disease -
1) Purva Janma Vritti (deeds of previous birth),
2) Manasika Karma ( psychological measures) and
3) Sharirika Karma(physical measures).
Kleshas such as
Raga, Dwesha, Abhinivesha
lead to Chitta Vikshepas and causes Manasika Vikaras
Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Ahamkara. These
play integral role for Sharirika Vyadhi.
Ahara Mithya Yoga (Improper dietary habits),
Jivan Charya (life style), Vegadharana( suppression of
natural urges) all these lead to a series of a disease like
obesity. Yoga strictly believes in process of rebirth and
the Karma of Purva Janma which had not achieved
their Vipaka at their time, must affect this birth in the
form of disease.
Pathogenesis of Obesity in yogic view
Importance of Mitahara (Balanced Diet) :
In Yogic Classical Texts, the importance of
balanced diet which is of the quantity sufficient to one’s
needs, is very rightly described. In Gheranda Samhita &
Shiva Samhita, due importance is given to Mitahar before
starting Yogic procedures.
Gheranda Samhita :
Mitahara Vinayastu Yogarambha tu Karayet !
Nana Roga Bhavanti Asya......... !!
Aadau sthanam yatha kalam Mitaharam yatha param !!
Mudga, Shalianna, Chanaka, Patol, Panasa !
Shiva Samhita :
Ateeva Bhojanam Yogi Tyajedetani Nishchitam !!
In Ayurveda also, Charaka also admits the
importance of ‘Mitahar while describing the treatment
of ‘Shosha’
The other Yogic classical texts like Hatha Yoga
Pradipika and Patanjal Yoga Sutra , in Ashtanga Yoga,
Yama and Niyama are emphasized before starting Yoga.
Patanjali Yoga Sutra : Yama and Niyama
Ten Yama : Ahinsa Satyam Asteyam.....Yamadasha !
Beneficial Yogic Procedures in Obesity :
Patanjala Yoga Sutra describes :
-Chittavritti Nirodha
Behavioral modification
Self control Self monitoring
Yama - Niyama
Preventive Aspect.
Preventive Aspect &
Curative aspect.
Gheranda Samhita describes :
Shatkarma are beneficial as follow :
Neti :
Kaphadosha Vinashyanti Divyadrishti
Kapalabhati : Bhavet Swachchhand Dehashcha
Kaphadosham Nivarayet
Management of Obesity through Yoga : Joshi (Deole) S. et. al.
week 2
week 3
1. Prayer Prayer Prayer
2. Sukshma vyayama Sukshma vyayama Sukshma vyayama
Joint rotation Joint rotation Joint rotation
Stretching Stretching Stretching
Bending Bending Bending
3. Surya namaskara Surya namaskara Surya namaskara
4 rounds 10 rounds 10 rounds
4. Shavasana Shavasana Shavasana
5. Asanas Asanas Asanas
A Supine Position Supine Position Supine Position
Uttanapadasana Uttanapadasana Uttanapadasana
Pavanmuktasana Pavanmuktasana Pavanmuktasana
Setubandhasana Setubandhasana Sarvangasana
Matsyasana Matsyasana Matsyasana with Padmasana
Viprit karni Naukasana
B Prone Position Prone Position Prone Position
Bhujangasana Bhujangasana Tiryaka Bhujangasana
Ardhashalbhasana Shalbhasana Shalbhasana
Sarpasana Sarpasana
Dhanurasana dhanurasana
C Sitting Position Sitting Position Sitting Position
Vajrasana Vajrasana Vajrasana
Mandukasana Mandukasana Mandukasana
Janu-shirshasana Janu-shirshasana Pashchimottanasana
Vakrasana Vakrasana Matsyendrasana
Yog mudra
Hathayogapradipika :
Shatkarma : Medah Shleshmadhikah Purve Shatkarmani
Samacharet I
Asana : Kuryat Tad Aasanam Sthairyam Aarogyam
Angalaghavam I
Pranayama : Nadishuddhi Chinhani : Kayasya
krishata,Kanti,Analasya Pradeepanam I
Kapalabhati : Kapalabhati Vikhyata Kaphadosha
Vishoshini I
The above references show that Yoga is a gentle
way to bring a balanced attitude to all aspects of life.
Yoga helps to control oneself more effectively, whether
to lose weight or to gain it. It leads life to a self disciplined,
self regulatory and self conscious approach, helping the
individual to control over the unnecessary patterns of
improper diet and lifestyle. Various specific controlled
postures called Yogasana may stimulate the secretions
of endocrine glands to regulate the metabolic functions.
So the present research was designed to study their
effects scientifically in the management of obesity.
Aims and Objectives :
1) To study the pathogenesis of Obesity in Yogic
2) To evaluate efficacy of certain yogic procedures in
treatment of obesity.
Patients attending OPD of Maharshi Patanjali
Institute of Yoga, Naturopathy Education and Research
fulfilling the following inclusion criteria were selected for
Inclusion criteria :
1) Patients having classical signs of mild to moderate
obesity and willing to take treatment irrespective of
sex, caste, religion.
2) Patients between age of 15 to 50 years.
Exclusion criteria :
1) Patients below age of 15 and above 50 years.
2) Patients having severe diseases like cardiac disorders,
hypertension etc.
Criteria for assessment of results :
1) Gradations adopted as per the W.H.O. marking
scheme especially for obesity are taken for assessment
of results.
2) Body mass index, weight, waist to hip girth ratio are
measured before and after treatment to assess the results.
Treatment plan for clinical study :
Patients were treated with yogic procedures as
per specific yogic plan and trained to follow standard
yogic techniques.
Special advice regarding diet and
lifestyle modification was given to patients.
D Standing Standing Standing
Tadasana Tadasana Tadasana
Trikonasana Vrikshasana
Katichakrasana Katichakrasana Ushtrasana
6. Pranayama Pranayama Pranayama
Anuloma-viloma Anuloma-viloma Anuloma-viloma
Bhastrika Bhastrika Bhastrika
Shitali Shitali Shitali
7. Shat-karma Shat-karma Shat-karma
Kapal bhati Kapal bhati Kapal bhati
Agnisara Agnisara Agnisara
8. Relaxation Relaxation Relaxation
9. Om chanting Om chanting Om chanting
Advice : The patients were advised for Prayer
or meditation twice a day, to take 2-3 sips of hot water
half hr or per hour to do Surya nadi chalan 3-4 times
per day and Walking for 5 km in one hour. They were
advised to avoid Over eating, Eating faster with out
chewing food, Sweets, fried, milk and milk products,
bakery products, sugar in excessive quantity, ice -
cream, chocolates .etc.,to take day time sleep and retire
soon after dinner. Specific dietetic plan was advised for
21 days.
Criteria for Assessment :
For assessing the changes after treatment O.P.D.
patients were examined. Counseling was done for day to
day diet. The suitable scoring method and objective signs
were assessed on the basis of subjective as well as
objective criteria.
Subjective Criteria :
Most of the signs and symptoms of obesity are
subjective in nature. To give results objectively and for
statistical analysis, scoring system was adopted. This
score was obtained before and after the treatment through
statistical analysis and percentage relief was taken to
assess the efficacy of the therapy. Score was given
according to the severity of the symptoms. The details of
scoring adopted for the main signs and symptoms in the
present study are as follows :
Scoring pattern
Absence of symptoms - 0
Mild degree of symptoms - 1
Moderate degree of symptoms - 2
Severe degree of symptoms - 3
The details of this course adopted for the main
signs and symptoms in this present study are as
Weakness :
0 - Can do moderate to hard work.
1 - Can do routine work without difficulty.
2 - Can do routine work with difficulty.
3 - Can do only mild work.
Dyspnoea :
0 - No dyspnoea even after heavy work.
1 - Dyspnoea after moderate work.
2 - Dyspnoea after little work, but relieved later and
up to tolerance.
3 - Dyspnoea after little work but relieved later and
beyond tolerance.
4 - Dyspnoea in resting condition.
Hypersomnia :
0 - Sleep up to 6 - 7 hours a day.
1 - Sleep up to 8 hours a day.
2 - Sleep up to 8 hours with uneasiness whole day.
3 - Sleep up to 10 hours with dizziness.
4 - Sleep more than 10 hours.
Hyperhydrosis (At normal temp. at normal condition):
0 - Sweating after heavy work and fast movements.
1 - Profuse sweating after moderate work and
2 - Sweating after little work and movements.
3 - Profuse sweating after little work and movements.
4 - Sweating even at rest or in cold season.
Polyphagia :
0 - Normal diet with lunch and dinner.
1 - Morning breakfast with lunch and dinner.
2 - Morning breakfast, lunch, dinner and food at
3 - Supplementary food with above mentioned diet.
Management of Obesity through Yoga : Joshi (Deole) S. et. al.
Polydypsia :
0 - Upto 1 lit of water intake a day.
1 - Upto 1 - 2 lit. of water intake a day.
2 - Upto 2 - 3 lit. of water intake a day.
3 - Upto 3 - 4 lit. of water intake a day.
4 - More than 4 lit. of water intake a day.
Oily luster of skin :
0 - Normal skin luster
1 - Mild diffuse shining skin luster.
2 - Moderate moisty shining skin luster.
3 - Oily skin luster.
The assessment was done before starting the
treatment and after 21 days of treatment i.e. at the
completion of the treatment and improvement was
assessed on the basis of percentage relief.
Objective Criteria :
Effects were assessed objectively on body
weight, B.M.I., before starting the treatment and after
completion through percentage relief and statistical
B.M.I./Quetdet’s Index
The B.M.I. is the actual body weight divided by
the height, squared in meter (kg/m
). This index is more
closely correspondent to measurements of body fat and
better differentiates “Over Weight” due to an increase in
muscle mass from true Obesity.
The international classification of B.M.I. has
been widely accepted based on the following range of
B.M.I. values.
B.M.I. (kg/m
) Terminology
<20 Under weight
20 - 25 Normal
25 - 30 Overweight
30 - 40 Obese
40 Very obese
Presentation of Data : The data collected and
compiled from the clinical work was sorted out and
processed further by subjective to statistical methods.
Total six patients were registered for the
present study and all completed the treatment. All the
patients were female and between the age of 20-40
years & Hindu by religion. Among all, maximum
66.66% patients were educated up to graduate level.
Maximum 50% patients were housewives. The
66.66% patients were married and 83.33 % patients
were from middle socio-economic class. In maximum
of 50% patients, the status of Agni was Vishama. All
the patients (100%) were habituated with improper
diet styles like Samashana, Vishamashana and
Viruddhashana. Observed for sedentary life style,
83.33% patients were not doing any physical exercise.
The 66.66% patients were having Kapha-Vataja
Sharira Prakriti and 83.33% were having Tamas
dominant Manasa Prakriti. In the present study all
(100.00%) patients were habituated to daytime sleep.
The 50% patients were having Body Mass Index in
the range of 25 to 30 and same number of patients
were found with B.M.I. between 30 to 35.
Symptom No. of patients %
Weakness 05 83.33
Dyspnoea 05 83.33
Polyphagia 06 100.00
Polydypsia 04 66.66
Hypersomnia 03 50.00
Hyperhydrosis 03 50.00
Oily lusture 03 50.00
Symptoms n Mean score % S.D. S.E. t p
B.T. A.T.
Weakness 5 1.40 1.00 28.58 0.55 0.24 1.63 <0.1
Dyspnoea 5 1.00 1.00 00.00 0.00 0.00 - -
Polyphagia 6 1.33 0.16 87.50 0.40 0.16 7.00 <0.001
Polydypsia 4 1.25 0.75 40.00 0.57 0.28 1.73 <0.1
Hypersomnia 3 1.00 0.33 66.66 0.57 0.33 2.00 <0.1
Hyperhydrosis 3 1.33 1.33 00.00 0.00 0.0 —- —-
Oily lusture 3 1.33 0.33 75.00 0.00 0.00 —- -
Management of Obesity through Yoga : Joshi (Deole) S. et. al.
No. Mean score Mean diff. % X S.D. S.E. t p
B.T. A.T.
1 64 61 3 4.68
2 66 64 2 3.03
3 65 63 2 3.07
4 65 63 2 3.07 2.5 0.83 0.34 7.31 <0.001
5 66 62 4 6.06
6 70 68 2 2.85
No. Mean score Mean diff. % X S.D. S.E. t p
B.T. A.T.
1 26.29 25.06 1.23 4.67
2 30.13 29.21 0.29 3.05
3 30.91 29.96 0.95 3.07
4 26.03 25.23 0.80 3.07 1.10 0.42 0.17 6.39 <0.001
5 31.39 29.48 1.91 6.08
6 28.76 27.94 0.82 2.85
Yoga Therapy
Improvement No. of Patients %
Unchanged 00 00.00
Mild 01 16.66
Moderate 04 66.66
Marked 01 16.66
Complete 00 00.00
Polyphagia was observed in all (100%) patients,
followed by Weakness & Dyspnoea in 83.33% patients
each. (Table no. 2). Remarkable (87.5%) and highly
significant (<0.001) improvement was observed in
Polyphagia by Yoga therapy. It relieved Polydipsia by
40% and weakness by 28.58%. Also, it resulted in
66.66% and 75% decrease in Hypersomnia and oily luster
respectively. These results were insignificant statistically
(Table no. 3).
Statistically highly significant results were
observed in weight reduction by Yoga therapy, but the
changes were not considerable in terms of percentage
improvement (Table no. 4). Yoga therapy didn’t reduce
the BMI considerably in terms of percentage but the
results were statistically highly significant (Table no.
5). On analysis of overall effect, it was revealed that
Yoga therapy produced mild improvement in 16.66%
patients, moderate in 66.66% and marked in 16.66%
patients (Table no. 6).
The world is looking towards drugless therapies
like Yoga and Naturopathy. Both are rapidly growing as
the best alternative treatments. Sushruta has also
mentioned the drugless therapy and quotes that the
diseases may be cured by following proper diet and
lifestyle without any medicine. But in the absence of
proper diet and lifestyle, even after giving hundreds of
medicines, the disease can’t be cured.
Vianapi Bheshajaih Vyadhi Pathyaat Eva Nivartate..
Na tu Pathya Vihinasya Bheshajaih Shataih Api…$$
An attempt to evaluate utility of Yoga in the
management of overweight and obesity has been made
through this study.
Age-Socio-economic status : All these factors
are important in determining the life style, dietary habits
and behavior as well as health consciousness of the
Agni and Faulty dietary habits : All the patients
were found habituated with improper dietary habits like
Samashana, Viruddhashana and Vishamashana. Agni
plays the most important role in digestion and metabolism
of all types of food products. The dietary styles and quality
of diet are also vital factors in maintenance of proper
functioning of digestive system. Any wrong habit can
lead to disturbances in these mechanisms. Improper
digestion leads to accumulation of toxins in the body,
ultimately resulting in to obesity.
Exercise and Day time sleep : Maximum patients
(66.66%) were not doing any physical exercise, while
remaining started it after realizing the problem of
overweight. All the patients were habituated to sleep in
the daytime. Sedentary life style is the main cause of excess
deposition of fats in the body. Increased calorie intake and
decreased work out create the imbalance in homeostasis
resulting into ample physical and psychological disorders.
Exercise is the only non-invasive way to burn excess
calories. To resist and reduce further accumulation of toxins
in the body, Day time sleep should be avoided.
Sharira Prakriti and Manas Prakriti :
Maximum patients were of Kapha Vataja Sharira prakriti
(66.66%) and Rajasika Manas prakriti (58.33%). Prakriti
is the basic constitution of a person on which overall
composition of the body as well as behavior, lifestyle and
diet pattern depends. So it is highly recommenended to
select diet and life style according to the prakriti as the
first preventive measure. Rajas is related with Affection
and Tamas with Greed, both play dominant role at
psychological plane in obesity, so as the Sharira dosha
like Kapha and Vata.
Body Mass Index (B.M.I.) : The 50% patients
were having Body Mass Index in the range of 25 to 30
and same number of patients were found with B.M.I.
between 30 to 35 i.e. they were overweight and pre-
obese. It was noteworthy that if treatment is advised in
early stage, the prognosis is better in obese patients, so it is
important to create awareness among overweight patients
to seek early treatment and prevent further complications.
Symptoms of Obesity : All these can be
considered as the subjective complaints of obesity. These
are the manifestations of underlying faulty digestion and
metabolism as well as pathogenic state, which if neglected
may result into dreadful complications.
Effect of Yoga Therapy : Remarkable (87.5%)
and highly significant (<0.001) improvement was observed
in Polyphagia by Yoga therapy. It relieved Polydipsia by
40% and weakness by 28.58%. Statistically highly
significant results were observed in weight and BMI
reduction, but the changes were not considerable in terms
of percentage improvement.
The results observed in Polyphagia and changes
in weight and BMI are attributed to the correction of Agni
by Whole Yoga Treatment Plan. Yogasana like
Bhujangasana and Sarpasana are typically aimed to
improve Agni
. Pranayama like Anuloma Viloma,
Bhramari and Bhastrika play supportive role on correction
of metabolism through regulation of the Vata dosha. Asanas
like Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Viparitakarani are
effective in regulation and proper functioning of endocrine
glands like Thyroid and Pitutary, which regulate all the
metabolic processes
. Other Asanas like
Pavanmuktasana, Uttanapadasana, Shalabhasana,
Mandukasana, Janushirshasana, Paschimottanasana,
Dhanurasana, Matsyendrasana and Yogamudra are
effective in reducing the deposition of fat (abdominal in
particular) through the stretch receptor stimulation
. These
also improve muscle tone and muscle power to strengthen
the musculoskeletal system
. Other balancing postures
like Tadasana, Vrikshsana provide the mind-body balance
to increase self-consciousness, self-awareness and self-
. These along with OM chanting and prayer
are very important to a sense of Psycho-physical well
Overall effect : Yoga therapy produced mild
improvement in 16.66% patients, moderate in 66.66%
and marked in 16.66% patients. However intensive study
with large sample size is required to draw a concrete
conclusion about the comparison of effects.
Mode of Action of Yogic Procedures :
Yoga Therapy and its mode of action :
Prayer : Every day before starting Yoga
techniques, the following prayer was chanted.
Om Sahanavavatu Sahnau Bhunaktu Sahaveeryam
Karavavahai I
Tejaswinavadheetamastu Ma Vidvishavahai I
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi I
May he (lord) protect us both (Guru and Shishya)
together; may he nourish us both (by bestowing the results
of knowledge; may we attain vigour together ; what we
study be energetic. May not we despise each other.
Prayer plays an important role for the relaxation
of mind. Its anxiolytic and stress modifying effect is
already searched out. Alpha rhythm becomes prominent
during prayer and its general causative effect is observed
on all over the body. Thus prayer is useful regarding
physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual aspect.
Sukshma Vyayama : Before starting practice
of Asana, Sukshma Vyayama was performed regularly.
Sukshma Vyayama includes joint rotation of the body,
stretching of major muscle groups and bending of different
body part. Sukshma Vyayama is very necessary before
practicing Asana. It reduces joint stiffness release muscle
tension. It increases blood circulation, it activates mind
and body in general aspect and general warming up effect
is achieved so its prerequest to Asanas.
Surya Namaskara :
The term Surya Namaskara means sun salutation
as sun is a powerful symbol of spiritual consciousness.
In Yogic term, practice of Surya Namskara awakens the
solar aspects of man’s nature and releases this vital energy
for the development of higher awareness. Surya
Namaskara includes 12 physical postures as follows :
Postures Related Related
Chakras Mantras
1. Pranamasana Anahat Chakra Om Mitray Nama
2. Hasta Uttanasana Vishuddhi Chakra Om Ravaye Nama
3. Pada Hastasana Swadhisthana Om Suryay Nama
4. Ashwa Agna Chakra Om Bhanave Nama
5. Parvatasana Vishuddhi Chakra Om Khagay Nama
6. Ashtanga Manipura Chakra Om Pushnai Nama
7. Bhujangasana Swadhisthanna Om Hiranya garbhay
Chakra Nama
8. Parvatasana Vishuddhi Chakra Om Marichyay Nama
9. Ashwasan- Agna Chakra Om Aadityay
chalanasana Nama
10. Pada Hastasana Swadhisthanna Om Savitre Nama
11. Hast Uttanasana Vishuddhi Chakra Om Arkay Nama
12. Pranamasana Anaha Chakra Om Bhaskaray Nama
Surya Namaskara being an active and dynamic
series exerts its major influence on Pingala Nadi and all
the Chakras mentioned above. It generates heat effect
rather thermal axis of the body deviates towards heat.
So its physiological function is seen as increases B.M.R.
Moreover, all the major groups of muscles get exercised
by the twelve posture of Surya Namaskara.
Asana : Asanas are specific postures indicated
for various psycho-physical benefits.
Uttanapadasana : This is a traditional posture,
which can be viewed as first stage of Viparita Karani,
Sarvangasana or Halasana. This Asana creates pressure
on the lower abdomen and stretches abdominal muscles.
So that it regulates bowel habit, improve digestion and
also be helpful to decrease the amount of fat from greater
omentum. It strengthens the muscles of thigh and pelvic
brim and increases muscle tone. It strengthens the ractus
abdominus muscle of abdomen and gives proper shape
to the abdomen.
Pavanamuktasana : The word ‘Pavan’ means
wind and the word ‘Mukta’ means to release or to make
free. Its so called because its very useful in removing
wind or flatulence from the intestine and stomach. This
Asana gives an excellent massage to the abdomen. In
this pose the abdominal muscles are tensed and
simultaneously internal organs are compressed by the
folded legs. This position increases the circulation of the
blood and hence helps to relieve various types of
abdominal ailments associated with malfunctioning of
either organs. This is useful Asana for removing
constipation and flatulence specially. This Asana also
tones up back muscles and spinal nerves.
Matsyasana : In this asana posture the shape
of the body appears similar to fish in the water. Such a
statement is bold as the fact is we don’t recognize the
posture as fish but one can float on the water without
any movement in this asana.This stretches the Thyroid
and Pitutary glands.It improves the circulation in these
glands assuring healthy functioning.Also the thigh &
abdomen muscles are stretched systematically.
Bhujangasana : This Asana is described in
Gheranda Samhita. In Sanskrit, Bhujanga means Kobra.
The final position of this Asana resembles the hooded
snakes hence it is called Bhujangasana. It produces
extension of spinal cord, it expands chest and strengthens
chest muscles. The vital capacity of lung is increased by
the practice of this Asana regularly. It improves digestion
and respiration, it reduce size of protruding belly and shape
up the abdomen. According to Yoga, it affects mainly on
Manipura Chakra and Anahat Chakra.
Ardhashalabhasana : This is the modified
simple form of Shalabhasana. This Asana is for beginners
and those who are unable to perform Shalabhasana. This
strengthens the extension group of muscles of thigh and
also tones up the muscles of the lower abdomen. Its main
effect is observed on gluteal region and lower abdomen.
So it might be helpful to shape up this body parts which
are most probably disfigured in obese person. It possess
mainly on Muladhara and Manipur Chakra.
Vajrasana : This can be considered as a
meditative posture, so one should close his eyes at the
final stage. This is the only Asana which can be practiced
soon after having meal. Because of its positive effect of
digestion. It reduces blood circulation in the leg and
increase in abdominal region. So all the digestive organs
get affected passively. This Asana strengthens the thigh
muscles and also the calf muscles.
Vakrasana : This Asana is a simple form of
Ardha Matsyendrasana. This Asana twists the spinal
column and associated ligaments, muscles, thus makes
the spine flexible and reduces its rigidity. This Asana is
Management of Obesity through Yoga : Joshi (Deole) S. et. al.
also useful in kidney disorders, because it direct affects
on kidney. This Asana removes constipation, flatulence,
liver weakness and nervous weakness.
Tadasana : This is a traditional posture. The
final position of Asana resemble the palm tree. Palm tree
is usually erect and straight. Therefore one should stand
straight and erect in this Asana. Spine becomes flexible
by performing this Asana regularly. Visceroptosis and
pain in the backbone is removed by this Asana, which
common complication of obese person.During this Asana
main pressure is felt on calcanial region and tarsal joints
of the foot which becomes strong by this Asana.
Kati Chakrasan : This Asana has come through
tradition. Chakra means wheel. In this Asana, the whole
body is given the shape of half a wheel. Hence it is called
Chakrasana. It minimizes the stiffness of spine and
connected nerves become strong. It strengthens lateral
spinal ligaments. It creates pressure passively in kidney
region. Hence, kidneys are get massaged and its improved
functions are achieved.
Viparita Karani :Viparita Karani is described
in Gheranda Samhita. This is the further stage of
Uttanapadasana. It seems that this Asana maintains the
health of thyroid gland and normalizes its functions, as
hypothyroid is one of the causative factors to produce
obesity it can be relieved by this Asana. This is
advantageous in problems related to genital organs. This
is also useful in dyspepsia, hernia and visceroptosis. It
helps for the effective blood circulation in head which is
the place of all the sense organs and brain.
Sarvangasana : Sarvangasana means the
Asana which influences the whole body. Its reference is
not found by its name, but it is counted under the name
Viparita Karani. It is a further improvement of
Uttanpadasana and Viparita Karani. It increases blood
supply in the head. So hypothalamus as well pineal and
pituitary glands can function more effectively. Disease
like dyspepsia, constipation, hernia and visceroptosis can
be treated by this Asana. All the sense organs get proper
nourishment by this Asana.
Sarpasana : The pose of the body is like a snake,
hence is called a Sarpasana. This Asana helps to
strengthens the spinal muscles and gives a good massage
to the abdomen and pelvic organs. Other benefits in this
respect are similar to Bhujangasana.
Dhanurasana : Assuming the shape of a bow
at the final position is called Dhanurasana. It is described
in Hatha Pradipika and also in Gheranda Samhita. It
makes spine and back muscles flexible and checks
nervous weakness. It helps in removing constipation and
Pitta disorders. It prevents lumbar spondylosis. The
muscles of arms and legs becomes strong by regular
practice of this Asana. This Asana also reduce extra fat
from abdomen.
Trikonasana : This Asana has also come
through tradition. It has been described widely in modern
Yoga texts. We assume a triangular form through this
practice hence it is called as Trikonasana. Its practice
makes the spine flexible hence is useful in back pain. It
reduces stiffness of hip joint and makes it flexible. It
strengthens the muscles of arms and improves stone
and tolerance.
Naukasana : Naukasana is a traditional posture.
Its reference is not found in old Yoga texts. The body
resembles the form of a boat, hence, is named Naukasana.
Mainly pressure is felt in the middle abdomen during
practice this Asana. So it is more useful in diabetes and
dyspepsia.It is also a balancing pose, so general
functioning of cerebellar region is also fortified by regular
practice of the Asana.
Pashchimottanasana : This Asana is found in
Hatha Pradipika. The meaning of ‘Pashchima’ is back
and that of ‘Tana’ is stretch. This Asana strengthens the
abdominal muscles and shape up abdomen. It removes
the possibility of sciatica. It reduces the tension of thigh
and calf muscles and make it flexible. It reduces the
stiffness of the hip joints.
Yoga Mudra : This Yoga Mudrasana has come
through tradition. Its reference is not found in old Yoga
texts. The internal organs of abdomen work efficiently
as a result of regular practice of this Asana. It is beneficial
in constipation and removes seminal weakness. It
strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. Gradual increase in
blood circulation in head takes place during this Asana.
Vrikshasana : A tree is always in a standing
position, remains stable and grows upward. The similar
process is involved in this asana and hence it is called
Vrikshasana. In this asana all the muscles are stretched
in one direction at one time and then relaxed. This process
helps to remove all the strains. The muscles get rest and
relaxation and even the earlier strains caused by other
asanas get removed.
Pranayama :
Anuloma Viloma : This Pranayama is also
known as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. The main
characteristic feature of this Pranayama is alternate
breathing through the left and right nostrils with or
without Kumbhaka. Yoga believes that left nostril
breathing has a cooling effect on the body which is
known as ‘Ida Nadi’ or ‘Chandra Nadi’. It represents
constructive anabolic or energy conservating aspect of
the Pranic functions. The right nostril is known as
‘Pingala Nadi’ or ‘Surya Nadi’. It is having catabolic
heating and destructive effect on the body. The main
purpose of Anulomaviloma Pranayama is to purify the
principle channels of energy (Nadi) it is believed that
due to our improper life style and other disrupting forces
the Nadis are filled with morbid substances and are
blocked. So the flow of Prana gets obstructed. By this
Pranayama this obstruction can be removed and morbid
material can be eliminated from the body. Moreover it
can elevate Kapha Dosha too. In this respect, this
procedure is beneficial as a remedy of obesity.
Bhastrika : The term is derived from the bellow
used by blacksmith. The air is drawn in and emptied out
rather quickly. After sitting in the usual meditative pose,
3 to 4 inhalation and exhalation are performed then
sonorous inhalation is practiced and is quickly followed
by force sound producing exhalation. This quick noisy
process looks like the working of the blacksmith bellow.
The 10 to 12 such respiratory rhythms are followed by
one or two deep breathing. After completion of this
Pranayama, Shavasana has been advocated. Bhastrika
is supposed to be good for all type of disorders regarding,
sluggishness of the body or depletion of Prana.
Bhastrika also normalize vitiated Kapha hence useful
in obesity. This exercise is supposed to be very good
for disease associated with digestive troubles.
Surya Bhedana Pranayama : The word ‘Surya’
means sun and route word ‘Bheda’ means to pierce or
pass through. The breath is inspired through the right
nostril which is supposed to passed through Pingala Nadi
or Surya Nadi. The expiration is run through the left nostrils
rather Ida Nadi. The Kumbhaka lasts for long as possible
using chin locked posture called Mulabandha. The
inspiration is always through right nostril and inspiration
through left nostril. The mind remains attentive to the
flow of air and the frictional sound. This Pranayama
generates heat inside the body. Cleanse up Prana channel,
increases digestive power. Regular practice of this
Pranayama increases energy expenditure in this way it’s
a good measure for obesity.
Pranavochara : Aum is a one word Mantra
(Beeja Mantra) and yet very powerful Mantra of all. It is
the essence of all Mantras. In recent years due to
scientific research, its universal and secular nature as
well as the therapeutic significance is revealed.
Aum consist three words -
A : It is connected to Muladhara and Swadhisthana
U : It is connected to Manipura Chakra.
M : It is connected to Anahat Vishuddhi and Ajna Chakra.
Aum recited ten times the internal attention is
produced. Alpha rhythm becomes prominent and
synchronized blood pressure and heart rate slows down
which might be high in obese. It produces
parasympathetic predominance and brings about calmness
and peace. Anxiety and hypertension has been seen
reduced and sleep pattern is improved by this Aum
recitation regularly. These conditions are often seen as
complication of obese. So it is very useful spiritual
technique for obese person.
Shat Karma (Shodhana) :
Kapalabhati : The word Kapala means forehead
or frontal part of the brain. Bhati means bellows.
Kapalabhati therefore be translated as frontal brain
bellowing. During Kapalabhati the respiration obviously
become shallow in nature. The tidal volume decreases
and breathing rate is increased. Oxygen consumption is
increased due to increased breathing work. Consequently
is eliminated in large quantity from the blood. O
consumption increases by 10 - 14% which improves total
health. Vigorous contraction and relaxation of abdominal
muscles will be helpful to reduce fat of abdominal area.
Specially the adipose tissue of abdomen and of greater
omentum. Gheranda Samhita says that Kapalabhati is
useful in eliminating excessive Kapha from the body,
which is also supported by Hathapradipika. In general
pathogenesis of obesity Kapha is a predominant Dosha.
So normalization of Kapha can be achieved by this divine
Although the sample size is small, the present
study directs towards the effective treatment of obesity
and controlling its complications through executing Yoga
procedures in the routine stressful lifestyle. It also proves
the efficacy of Yoga in controlling mind and its harmful
tendencies towards improper subjects. Thus Yoga can
be advised as the beneficial therapy in improving the
quality of life,promoting health and preventing ailments.
Faulty dietary habits and sedentary life style are
the main etiological factors in pathogenesis of obesity.
Yoga therapy shows moderate improvement in the
subjective symptoms of obesity and significant results in
weight and BMI reduction.
Management of Obesity through Yoga : Joshi (Deole) S. et. al.
1. accessed on 04/03/09.
2. Agnivesha, ‘Charaka Samhita’, revised by Charaka and
Dridhbala with ‘Ayurveda Dipika’ commentary, by
Chakrapanidatta, edited by Vaidya Jadavaji Trikamaji Acharya,
Krishnadas Academy, Gopal Mandir Lane,Varanasi -221 001,
(India), reprint 2000 Sutra Sthana pg. 21/18.
3. Ibid Charak Samhita, Vimana Sthana, pg. 5/16.
4. Ibid Charak Samhita, Sutra Sthana pg. 21/9.
5. accessed on 04/03/2009.
6. Definition of Obesity from <
Obesity accessed on 04/03/09.
7. Bhagvadgita As It Is (Marathi), by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada, Arjuna Vishada yoga, one, eigth edition,
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Juhu, Mumbai-400 049, 2001,
Adhyaya 2/48 & 56.
8. Patanjali Yoga Sutra : Sanskrit Sutra with transliteration,
translation and commentary, by Dr. P. V. Karambelkar,
Kaivalyadhama, Lonavala Pada 2/2.
9. Ibid Charak Samhita, Strosh Nidan, 6/10, pg. 221
10. Yogic techniques Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha - Swami
Satyananda Saraswati, Published by Shri G. K. Kejriwal, 8
edition, 1993.
11. Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha - Swami Satyananda
Saraswati, Published by Shri G. K. Kejriwal, 8
edition, 1993.
12. Jaideep Shah et. al. (2006) PGDYN thesis on Obesity.
13. BMI reference accessed on
14. Patanjali Yoga Sutra: Sanskrit Sutra with transliteration,
translation and commentary, by Dr. P. V. Karambelkar,
Kaivalyadhama, Lonavala.
15. Anatomy and physiology of Yogic practices: M. M. Gore
Published by Mrs. B. M. Gore, 2
edition, 1991.
16. Yogic and Nature Cure treatment for common Ailments - Central
council for research. In Yoga and Naturopathy - New Delhi, 2
Edi. 2002.
17. Yoga and Kriya : By Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Published
by G. K. Kejriwal, Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, Bihar.
18. Yoga, Mind and Body: Shivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre,
Published by Dorling Kindersley, 1
edition, 1996.
19. Gheranda Samhia: Edited by Swami Digambaraji and Dr. M. I.
Gharoti, Published by Shree O. P. Tiwari, 1
edition, 1978.
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... In this approach main emphasis occur on: various diseases (Joshi et al., 2009). The Sthaulya Rogi can reduce the main factors (i.e. ...
... Several yoga postures help in reducing the fat such as forward bending asanas (mandukasana & paschimottanasana) and backward bending asanas (Katichakrasana and twisting). Ardhmatsyndrasana and Triyakatrikonasana asanas used to reduce the fat near the hips, abdomen and other areas (mostly fat accumulated) (Joshi et al., 2009). Exercise (walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, gyming) also an important part of life (Mellendijk et al., 2015), to reduce the weight and make a healthy. ...
... Moreover, the practice improves overall body balance, flexion and extension of the limbs, better posture, tones up leg muscles, strengthens hip and pelvic region, improves digestion, improves blood circulation, regulates heartbeat and heart rate, calms down the body and mind, relives constipation and flatulence issues, acidity by increasing blood flow to the stomach, flexibility of hole body and alignment, balance and equilibrium to body and mind, opens the hips and also improves strength of the musculoskeletal system [17]. Though, the higher level benefits are neurological, with the involvement of brain as reflected through an improved concentration and attention among the practitioners, in short, postulating the involvement of central nervous system [18]. ...
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Aim: Adopting a perfect final pose of specific yoga āsanā and obtaining maximum benefits is possible by learning the major to minor details of the āsanā including the preparations, steps and parts of the body involved, benefits, contra-indications, final pose and much more. However, understanding the specific body parts involved and how muscles, bones and joints work together to create movements and shape is through the study of Biomechanics. Anatomically, human body adapts to a specific posture of Yoga āsanā with proper sync of Bones, muscles, and joints. Studies on biomechanics of selected yoga āsanās are found sparsely any in Scientific interfaces. Therefore, with this article, we intended to give an insight on one of the standing poses named as Vrikshāsanā, known as Tree pose. For which, related information was obtained from scientific and non-scientific sources and to postulate the details of practice of Vrikshāsanā, citing the biomechanics. Methodology: Manuscripts related to Vrikshāsanā and its details including Biomechanics were identified from scientific interfaces like PubMed and Google Scholar. Books on Anatomy of Human body and Scriptures describing the steps of adopting the final pose and benefits were referred to extract details specific to the correct position of hip, muscles, and ankle joint for reaching at appropriate posture of Vrikshāsanā. The search was conducted between the month of February and September 2022. Conclusion: This review emphasizes on the importance of practice of Vrikshāsanā on enhancing the wellness of body and brain. But the benefits are obtained only when the practitioner is well aware of the right posture, higher benefits and Biomechanics of the āsanā.
... The comprehensive yogic breathing program included jogging and a drill walk followed by relaxation for two minutes. After relaxation, participants were asked to perform joint exercises (sukshma vyayama) of the neck, fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knees, and ankles for about 10 minutes [10]. After the exercises, all participants practiced asanas (back twist, forward and backward swing with "Ha" sound, side bending/trikonasana, surya namaskar, modified padmasadhana) for 30 minutes. ...
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Introduction One of the major health problems in many countries including India is type 2 diabetes. Yoga is being explored as an alternative therapy for the management of diabetes. Methods Among the total of 137 participants who successfully completed the ‘Living Well’ workshop by the Art of Living, 84 with type 2 diabetes were assessed for change in random blood sugar levels, systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels (SBP/DBP), and pulse rate over seven days. In the Living Well workshop, the participants performed a comprehensive Yogic Breathing Program that included yogic movements and postures (Asana), relaxation practice, three-stage Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY), breathing techniques, and discussion of stress relieving principles over those seven days. The parameters were recorded at the time of enrollment and after the completion of seven days of the workshop. Results There was a greater (p<0.05) percent reduction in the mean blood sugar level in diabetics as compared to non-diabetic individuals. However, the reduction in SBP and DBP were similar (p>0.05) in diabetics and non-diabetics. The percent reduction in the pulse rate however was greater (p<0.05) in diabetics than non-diabetics. Conclusion Comprehensive yogic breathing practices comprising SKY may be beneficial in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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Charaka Samhita', revised by Charaka and Dridhbala with 'Ayurveda Dipika' commentary, by Chakrapanidatta
  • Agnivesha
Agnivesha, 'Charaka Samhita', revised by Charaka and Dridhbala with 'Ayurveda Dipika' commentary, by Chakrapanidatta, edited by Vaidya Jadavaji Trikamaji Acharya, Krishnadas Academy, Gopal Mandir Lane,Varanasi -221 001, (India), reprint 2000 Sutra Sthana pg. 21/18.
Arjuna Vishada yoga, one, eigth edition
Bhagvadgita As It Is (Marathi), by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Arjuna Vishada yoga, one, eigth edition, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Juhu, Mumbai-400 049, 2001, Adhyaya 2/48 & 56.
Sanskrit Sutra with transliteration, translation and commentary
  • Patanjali Yoga
  • Sutra
Patanjali Yoga Sutra: Sanskrit Sutra with transliteration, translation and commentary, by Dr. P. V. Karambelkar, Kaivalyadhama, Lonavala.
Mind and Body: Shivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
  • Yoga
Yoga, Mind and Body: Shivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Published by Dorling Kindersley, 1 st edition, 1996.