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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 82-86

The immediate effect on psycho-physiological changes after practice set of asana

Division of Humanities and Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anushandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication29-May-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Balaram Pradhan
Eknath Bhavan, 19 Gavipuram Circle, Bengaluru - 560 019, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5633.157898

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Background: The present study was intended to study, "the immediate effect on the psycho-physiological changes after practices set of asanas." The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of yogasanas on: Psychological change (stress level) and physiological changes (energy and function of organs). Methods: A total of 21 male volunteers with age range (18-30 years) were investigated. They were all residential students of a Yoga University (S-VYASA University, Bengaluru). They have been practicing yoga for last 1 year. Design: This was a self as control study; all the participants were assessed before and after the intervention to measure the psycho-physiological variables. Assessments: (i) Psychological change (stress level) and (ii) physiological change (energy and function of organs). Intervention: The intervention consisted a series of eight yoga postures. Data Analysis: Data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon sign rank test for (pre and post) assessments. Results: There were no significant changes after yoga practices in the experimental and control session. The activation coefficient, an integral entropy, and integral area were compared to their baseline scores. Conclusion: Mild psychological stress level increased immediately after the yoga session compared to control session. At the same time, the disorder in the regulation of physical functions decreased after the yoga session compared to control session. In further study other variable of gas discharge, visualization might be included for better understanding.

Keywords: Asana, gas discharge visualization, psychophysiology

How to cite this article:
Sahoo S, Pradhan B. The immediate effect on psycho-physiological changes after practice set of asana. Int J Yoga - Philosop Psychol Parapsychol 2013;1:82-6

How to cite this URL:
Sahoo S, Pradhan B. The immediate effect on psycho-physiological changes after practice set of asana. Int J Yoga - Philosop Psychol Parapsychol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 May 28];1:82-6. Available from: https://www.ijoyppp.org/text.asp?2013/1/2/82/157898

  Introduction Top

For a quality or successful life, health plays an essential role in our life. According to the World Health Organization, good health is not the absence of disease, but physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It is clear from this definition that health and ill-health are not two discrete entities as commonly understood, but health should be considered as a continuous function indicating the state of well-being. No doubt the modern medical science has replaced almost all the traditional systems of medicine in different parts of the globe. It has been proved that modern medicine is most effective in saving man from the fatal hands of contagious and infectious diseases. However, the psychosomatic ailments and psychiatric problems are posing a great challenge to the modern medical science. A lot of extensive researches on yoga have been done, and it shows that yoga is making a vital contribution to the modern medical system for dealing with these ailments as an effective adjunct to medical management and also for long term rehabilitation. Hence, yoga could play a vital role in preventing diseases.

Yoga is an ancient path practiced by sages to maintain a healthy way of life. The purpose of yoga is to achieve a balance between the internal and external environment and to keep harmony between mental, spiritual and physical well-being. This can be achieved by practicing asana, pranayama, meditation. Yoga is beneficial for overall personality development at physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual level. [1] Through this yoga practice, one can achieve the ability to handle any kind of situations in a relaxed state of mind and perform any action with ease and effortlessness. [2] Yoga is a skillful action according to Bhagavad-Gita.[3] Recent research has shown the yoga-based intervention as an add-on therapy for psychological well-being. [4],[5] Further, yoga helps in getting control over the thought processes to get mastery over the body and the mind. [6] Moreover, it helps to make deep relaxation, lowered metabolic rate, the sense of blissfulness and solitary thought. [7] Scientific studies showed that HathaYoga practice may help personal source of strength in coping up with physical strength and flexibility, and may help to control physiological variables. [8] Hence, the goal of the present study is to examine the effect of a set of yogasanas on the psycho-emotional changes.

Patanjali has put forward Asatnga yoga. It has two major divisions, the first five stages are known as external practices such as Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, and Pratyahara. The remaining three stages are known as internal practice (Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi). The physical posture (Asana) comes under the third limb of Asatnga yoga.

defines asana as a physical posture attributed with steadiness of body, relaxation of all groups of muscles in its final state. [9] This leads to open the energy channels, psychic centers, and achieve the highest state of consciousness (awareness). [10]

There were many physiological effects had been investigated in a group/single hathayoga practice. For example, during Siddhasana (meditative posture), [11] Virasana (warrior posture) [12] and Sirsasana (headstand posture), [13] various yoga postures, [14] and sun salutation [15],[16] found increases in metabolic cost in different magnitude. Irrespective of the method of practice headstand found sympathetic arousal. [17] A single session of yoga practice found that increase in arterial blood pressure [18] irrespective of novice and advanced yoga practitioners. Since there were no study yet investigated psycho-physiological measures. Hence, we plan to undertake this study using gas discharge visualization (GDV).

  Methods Top


A total of 21 male participants were involved in this study. They were all residential students of a Yoga University (S-VYASA University, Bengaluru). Healthy male volunteers in the age range of 18-30 years, gave their consent to participate in the study practicing yoga for the past 1 year. Female participants were not allowed for the study, those who were irregular or suffering with any physical and psycho-physiological problem taking any medicines were excluded. The study was explained to all participants. The informed consent was obtained from all the participants.

Design of the study

It was a self as control study. There were two groups' experimental group and control group. The recordings were taken on two alternative days for each student. Experimental session and control session were chosen randomly.

Variables studied

Activation coefficient

Through the activation coefficient parameter, we can understand stress level, and the balance of the activity of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Integral area

Through this parameter, we can understand about the level of adoption of organism to inner (stress, food, ecology) influences; character of metabolism; adequacy of functional reserves; vital resources.

Integral entropy

Through this parameter, we can measure disorder in the regulation of physiological functions, level of deregulation, level and velocity of wear processes in an organism (velocity of aging); level of tolerance to external influences.


Gas discharge visualization

The GDV electro-photonic imaging (EPI). [19] Is based on the principal of Kirlian photography. Electro diagnostic techniques such as electroencephalograms and electrocardiograms widely use in medical practices. [20] GDV camera was developed for recording static and dynamic gas discharge images. It is also used for professional, scientific and applied research on various environmental objects. This is used not only for the study of human beings but also to study organic and inorganic liquids and solids such as blood, water, plants, and minerals. For this, we use weak electrical current but with high voltage. It is noninvasive, painless. The GDV energy field program is designed to process GDV image and build a model of the human energy field using the information obtained from 10 GDV images of human fingers. These images provide detailed information about a person's psychosomatic, physiologic state. [21],[22] It will show about our internal health abnormalities and earliest symptoms of present conditions. With the help of EPI/GDV device, we can know the functional state of the autonomic nervous system and function of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system and the psycho-physiological state of a person. Creation of the energy field is based on a diagnostic map showing a correlation between the areas of the glow of the separate sectors of fingers and different systems and organs of the human body. The GDV energy field enables to view the human energy field as an image around the human contour and to represent it in tables and diagrams in a numeric form. For the functional state body analysis of separate organs and system, it is possible to calculate the following numeric parameters such as: Integral area (IA), integral entropy (IE), and activation coefficient. The GDV/EPI camera systems and their accompanying software are currently the most effective and reliable instruments in the field of bioelectrography. [23] The GDV/EPI images are taken in two ways: One is without and another is to filter. This filter is a thin sheet of plastic. This filter provides insight into specifically the parasympathetic system, or the physical, functional state of the person that time. Without a filter, the sweat and sebaceous secretions inform on the individual sympathetic nervous system and psychosomatic state .

The GDV technique [19] places an object in a high intensive electromagnetic field. The object is separated from the electrode by a dielectric it is one type of materials it does not conduct electricity, but it can allow an electromagnetic field. Hence, when we apply a voltage between the object, and the electrode current does not flow between them, but the potential difference builds up until the breakdown voltage is reached. This is the point at which electrons around the object begin to move, and the current begins to flow along the surface of the dielectric materials. As they move, the electrons collide produce with heavier gas molecules wrenching out electrons and emitting quanta of light is called (photon). Each collision results in two electrons, so branching tree-like patterns of light result. When an alternating current is used avalanches of ionization moving away or toward the electrode core are overlaid upon each other. During this time, the image of photons is captured by a camera which is used in the GDV instruments.


The intervention consisted of a series of eight yogic postures.

Experimental session

The intervention consisted of series of eight yogic postures given in [Figure 1], each posture such as standing posture - Ardha chakrasana (half wheel posture), Padahasthasana (hand to foot pose); sitting posture - Ustrasana (camel pose), Paschimatanasana (back stretching pose); supine postures - Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose), Matysyasana (fish pose); and prone posture - Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Salabhasana (locust). The recorded instructions were given. They held each asana for a minute. After each posture, there were 30 s resting time. The parameters were measured before and after practices.
Figure 1: Asana session

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Control session

The participants were measured before starting the relaxation postures sessions given in [Figure 2] (standing relaxation posture - Sithila Tadasana, sitting relaxation posture - Sithila Dandasana, supine relaxation posture - Savasana, and prone relaxation posture - Makarasana). The entire participants were measured immediate after the relaxation.
Figure 2: Control session

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Data analysis

Data were analyzed using Wilcoxon sign rank test with sessions (pre and post) for assessments.

  Results Top

Demographic data

The demographic details of the participants. Their age mean and standard deviation was 20.14 ± 1.82 years, weight (57.07 ± 4.79 kg), height (167.86 ± 7.02 cm) and body mass index (20.27 ± 1.48 kg/m 2 ).

[Table 1] displays the experimental group showed increases in activation coefficient from 2.92±0.92 to 3.10 ± 0.91, (P = 0.39, 6.16%) and for control group decrease, from 2.67±0.95 to 2.60 ± 0.73, (P = 0.72, -2.62%).
Table 1: Mean and SD value of activation coefficient

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[Table 2] display the Integral area and the IE (left side without filter) in the experimental group (IA) decrease from 0.37 ± 0.09 to 0.37 ± 0.07 (P = 0.866, −0.27%) (IE) decrease from 1.88 ± 0.14 to 1.84 ± 0.17 (P = 0.330, −2.45%); and for the control group IA and the IE (left side without filter) (IA) decrease from 0.36 ± 0.11 to 0.35 ± 0.10 (P = 0.481, −3.56%) (IE) decrease from 1.89 ± 0.16 to 1.85 ± 0.15 (P = 0.390, −2.12%).
Table 2: Integral area and integral entropy left side

Click here to view

[Table 3] displays the Integral area and the IE (right side without filter) in the experimental group (IA) decrease from 0.42 ± 0.12 to 0.40 ± 0.10 (P = 0.492, −3.64%) (IE) decrease from 1.90 ± 0.16 to 1.89 ± 0.16 (P = 0.737, −0.93%); and for the control group IA and the IE (right side without filter) (IA) decrease from 0.40 ± 0.09 to 0.37 ± 0.08 (P = 0.113, −6.87%) (IE) decrease from 1.93 ± 0.18 to 1.89 ± 0.13 (P = 0.297, −1.85%).
Table 3: Integral area and integral entropy right side

Click here to view

Overall, the control session found improvements in all five GDV variables measured. Sign tests yielded P = (1/32) <0.03125 against null hypotheses, indicating that control session improves GDV measures. In contrast, experimental sessions found improvement in four GDV variables measured. Sign tests yielded P = (1/16) <0.0625 is borderline significant.

  Discussion Top

Main findings

The practice of yogasanas without any relaxation, increased the activation coefficient. This means the sympathetic nerve system activated. In the control group, the activation coefficient decreased due to the involvement of sufficient relaxation. The IA and IE reduced on both sides (left and right), which suggests that the disorder in the regulation of physiological functions decreased in different magnitude of changes in both (experiment and control) sessions.

The possible mechanism

Recent study shows that the metabolic rate was generally in the range of 1-2 metabolic equivalents (MET) except few asana where MET > 2.[14] Yoga sessions increase gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) level which is recommended as an effective treatment for disorders with low GABA levels such as depression and anxiety. [24],[25] Yoga postures involved a combination of isometric and isotonic muscle contraction. The repetition of muscle contraction led to sympathetic arousal during the maintaining yoga posture. However, a set of yoga posture interposed with rest might lead to increase in parasympathetic activity. There was an association between the body and mind. Yoga asanas prescribed by Patanjali one to reach a state of mental calmness using body as a tool through yogasana.

Summary of the findings

Immediate effect of yogasana session without any relaxation, there is an increase in the activation coefficient of the participant. This means that the participants had response a little high level of psychological stress because of physical yoga postures which might be activating the sympathetic nervous system. Immediately after the control session the activation coefficient of the participants due to the involvement of sufficient relaxation got reduced. The IA and IE reduced on both the sides (left and right), which suggests that disorder in the regulation of physiological functions decrease in different magnitude of changes in both (experiment and control) sessions.

  Conclusion Top

Mild psychological stress level increased immediately after the practice compared to the baseline readings. At the same time, the disorder in the regulation of physical functions decreased after the yoga session compared to baseline readings.

The strength of the study

The practitioners were well-experienced in yoga. This was the first study in the yoga intervention using GDV.

Limitations of the study

This study used convenience sampling method. All the participants were male yoga practitioners of a university with limited numbers.

Suggestions for future studies

Further study can be taken with long-term intervention. Clinical study can be designed to investigate the progress of the practitioners.

  References Top

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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