Yoga is a low-cost self-help approach to well-being. Emerging studies have shown the positive effects of yoga and exercise on the physiological, biochemical, cognitive, and molecular changes. Interestingly, studies focused on yoga practices has shown an increase in the pool of hematopoietic stem cells, endothelial progenitor cells in bone marrow and peripheral blood, cognitive functions, delay in ageing, altered gene expression, cell proliferation, cytokine secretion. Studies related to endurance exercises have provided indirect evidence documenting an increase of neurotransmitters, neurogenesis, angiogenesis, neurotropic factors.
This book amalgamates a range of perspectives in the field of yoga as a non-pharmacological intervention for promoting health under extremes of environmental conditions and disease stress. It encompasses research conducted using laboratory tools (e. g Human case studies etc.), surveys, and yoga as an intervention to alleviate symptoms against environmental and occupational stress induced diseases.
Dr. Shashi Bala Singh is presently Director, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Hyderabad. Formerly, she was the Director General (Life Sciences), DRDO and director of two DRDO Labs, Dihar, Leh and DIPAS, Delhi. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Human Physiology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and D.Sc. degree in Physiology form Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. She has immensely contributed to the understanding of high altitude physiology. Dr. Singh is the elected Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India and Indian Academy of Neuroscience. She holds editorship in many prestigious journals. She had published three books and more than 170 research papers.
Dr. K.P. Mishra is currently working as Scientist-E at the Directorate General Life Sciences, DRDO-HQ, New Delhi. Prior to his posting at DRDO-HQ he was at DIPAS, Delhi. His area of research is Immunophysiology, Viral Immunology and Immunomodu-lation. He is elected member of the National Academy of Sciences India and the National Academy of Medical Sciences, India. He is on the panel of editorial board of several journals. He has published more than 65 Research papers in national and international journals.
The book "Scientific Insights in Yoga" introduces a range of perspectives in the field of yoga as a non- pharmacological intervention for promoting health under extremes of environmental conditions and disease stress. Special attention has been given to research leading to improvement of health of people living in extremes of environment. It serves as a guide as well as a reference book for practicing clinicians, scientists, and research scholars.
This book is divided into three sections: Section I: "Yoga as a Preventive Medicine", Section II: "Yoga for Extreme Environment" and Section III: "Yoga as a Non-pharmacological Intervention in Diseases".
Under the part I, different forms and styles of yoga; physiological basis of asana and pranayama; effects of yoga and meditation on mind-body health; stress management through yoga and effectiveness of yoga on physical performance and well-being has been broughtout.
Part two highlights the different yogic practices for extreme environmental conditions. Stay in extremely hostile environment such as desert, high altitude, confined environment and extreme cold areas etc. lead to detrimental physiological effects. How the different yogasanas and prananyama promote health and prevent detrimental effects of hostile environments are clearly described.
Part three covers the scientific validation of effects of yoga on different diseases such as asthma, obesity and eating disorder, sleep apnea, ageing related problems; cardiovascular diseases; diabetes; osteoporosis; rheumatoid arthritis and impaired neurocognition.
The authors has endeavored to present the text of this book in an interesting manner. Overall this book brings important scientific studies on yoga for preventing diseases and promoting health performance even in extreme of environmental conditions and disease stress.
The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-vedic Indian traditions, as mentioned in the Rigveda. The ancient wisdom known as "the supreme science of life" is believed to have been revealed to the great sages of India several thousand years ago. . The first written records of the practice of yoga appeared around 200 BC in Yogasutra of Patanjali. The system consisted of the eightfold path or Asthangayoga. Yoga is a union of the organ systems in the body with the consciousness in the mind. Philosophically, yoga produces a union of body, mind, soul or spirit, to bring about a state of equanimity (calmness). Progressing to an even more advanced state, blending science and philosophy, one experiences a union of body, mind, internal energy, and all-pervading cosmic energy, resulting in better physical health, mental control, and ultimately self-realization. Yoga is a systematic practice of physical exercise, breath control, realization, positive thinking and meditation aimed at developing harmony in the body, mind, and environment. The practice entails low-impact physical activity, postures (called asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), relaxation, and meditation. Yoga is not a thing merely to be heard. Yoga is a thing that has to be assimilated and put into practice in daily life. Yoga does not quarrel with science; it supplements it. Yoga is an exact comprehensive science that helps to control and co-ordinate the subtle forces within the body. Through yoga we can also have increased energy, vigour, vitality, longevity and a high standard of health. It removes fatigue, confers serenity, calmness, and wonderful concentration. Yoga is the science that teaches us the most effective way, how to remove our defects and weaknesses, and how to attain the state of perfection, freedom and superconscious blessedness. The state in which there is union with the absolute.
The present book entitled "Scientific Insights in Yoga" is a well-prepared and comprehensive book with updated scientific information. It is divided into three sections. Section 1: "Yoga as a Preventive Medicine", Section 2: "Yoga for Extreme Environments" and 3rd section consists of "Yoga as a Non-pharmacological Intervention in Diseases". The book will make the readers acquainted with the current researches and developments in this field. The chapters on yoga for extreme environments such as high altitude, extreme cold, hot deserts and submarine environment are very useful for the readers and those who are living in such environment. I am sure this book will add new dimensions to the research in non-pharmacological preventive medicine.
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