International Journal of Yoga

: 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 158--159

Response to "Yoga is not an intervention but may be yogopathy is"

R Nagarathna 
 Dean, Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, SVYASA, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
R Nagarathna
# 19, Eknath Bhavan, Gavipuram Circle, K. G. Nagar, Bangalore, Bangalore

How to cite this article:
Nagarathna R. Response to "Yoga is not an intervention but may be yogopathy is".Int J Yoga 2012;5:158-159

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Nagarathna R. Response to "Yoga is not an intervention but may be yogopathy is". Int J Yoga [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Apr 4 ];5:158-159
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Dr. Anand Bhavnani's letter is an expression of the concern of many researchers who are keen to promote holistic therapies that has become the need of the hour. [1] The contributions of the so-called modern biomedicine (what do we mean by modern? Refer to the Editorial of the January 2012 issue of IJOY) has been enormous in handling communicable diseases through several breakthrough inventions of the twentieth century while the health problems of twenty-first century are posing major challenges. We now know that the cause of non-communicable diseases is internal and not necessarily an infective agent from outside. With all the billion dollar advances of the technology and drug lobbies, we have not moved an inch in reducing the prevalence of these diseases; rather we are challenged with increasing incidence of many of these diseases. [2] We have become technologists and robots who set right the megamachine of the body and mind through many interventions. The kind and caring humane doctor who examines and talks to the patient to give him solace and confidence by touching his heart with genuine pure love has vanished. The editor has rightly pointed out the role of intravention instead of intervention under these conditions.

It is clear that the best type of 'good modern practice' should be a holistic approach. What is missing in present day biomedicine is the lack of understanding and acceptance of the existence of subtle energies. Imbalances at this level occur much earlier in many mind-body disorders. Yoga and other traditional systems of medical practice (such as Ayurveda, Siddha and Traditional Chinese Medicine) have evolved methods of detecting and correcting the imbalances at the subtle level. Thus any genuine holistic therapy is not just a '-pathy'; it is rather a complete system of body-mind-spirit catering to the gross and subtle layers of the human organism.

Hence we propose that the techniques of yoga and/or other holistic therapies where scientific data is now available through systematic clinical RCT using these traditional therapies be incorporated in the treatment flow chart for lifestyle diseases. For example, presently there is enough data on the complimentary role of yoga ranging from life-style disorders [3] to asthma, [4] cancer [5] and psychiatric disorders [6] to mention only a few. There are more than 4000 references in PubMed indexed journals on the efficacy of several natural therapies such as massage therapy, herbals, Ayurveda, yoga, music therapy, qigong (acupuncture/pressure) and others. In USA, the department of NCCAM was set up more than ten years ago to support researchers and has produced enough authentic data to recognize some of these therapies. If a drug (although there is no drug without side effects) that shows even a marginal improvement can get into the market within a month, why is there such a long delay in recommending these therapies to be included in the main stream management protocols? Why have the recommending bodies (such as American Diabetes Association, Cardiological Society and others) not taken it up seriously to add these proven systems into the main stream practice? Why have they not been included in the syllabus in the medical schools at graduate and/or postgraduate levels? Is there no solution to this?

I hope this dialogue opens up more and more insights and saves our species from the clutches of epidemics of lifestyle diseases and the negative side effects of the so-called modern scientific peripheral molecular research lobby.


1Bhavanani AB. Yoga is not an intervention but maybe yogopathy is. 2012 [In Press].
2United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Changing Levels and Trends in Mortality: the role of patterns of death by cause (United Nations publication, ST/ESA/SER.A/318). 2012; pp 10.
3Innes KE, Bourguignon C and Taylor AG. Risk indices associated with the insulin resistance syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and possible protection with Yoga: A Systematic Review. J Am Board Fam Med 2005;18:491-519.
4Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR. Yoga for bronchial asthma: A controlled study. Br Med J 1985;291:1077-9.
5Lin KY, Hu YT, Chang KJ, Lin HF, Tsauo JY. Effects of Yoga on psychological health, quality of life, and physical health of patients with cancer: A Meta-Analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2011;2011:659876.
6Khalsa-Shannahoff DS. An introduction to kundalini yoga meditation techniques that are specific for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. J Altern Complement Med 2004;10:91-101.