Indo-German Collaborative Research: Neuroscience of Yoga

Coordinated by the Center in association with Yoga Forum Munich this is a decade long collaborative project with participation of several Indian and German colleagues & institutions with twin objective of

• developing deeper understanding of basic physiological mechanisms including the brain-body connection in the context of yoga,

and

• development of Technology and Training for Translation of Evidence Based Yoga Therapy into clinical practice

The project has led to important discoveries about unique physiological modulations, especially in the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS, which represents the brain-body link) associated with practice of different yoga asanas, pranayama and other yoga angas. ANS research is the cutting edge research in medicine today since the system is implicated in various major disorders of public health significance.  This research was made possible by development of special purpose high end medical device, a first of its kind The Ambulatory Polygraph and signal analysis software, which were developed in collaboration with Engineer colleagues.

The research findings provide scientific basis for developing Evidence Based outcome oriented yoga therapies for treatment and rehabilitation. The Center has planned Training courses for Medical Doctors and Yoga Trainers and will make the technology and device available for carrying out ‘monitored’ yoga therapy.

MVHS (Munich Open University) has supported Yoga Forum Munich’s Yoga Teachers’ training program. Neuroscience and exercise physiology relevant to yoga were introduced into this program since 2005 and provide the opportunity to senior yoga teachers from the German speaking part of Europe viz. Germany, Switzerland, and Austria to upgrade their skills. An MOU between the Center and Yoga Forum facilitates faculty and research support.

Over the years and particularly since 2010 various work groups with participation of Indian and German colleagues & institutions have been working on different aspects viz.

• Theoretical foundation
• Yoga-ANS research & energy consumption research
• Yoga-CNS research
• Yoga-biomechanics research
• Evidence-based outcome-oriented yoga intervention

The Center has funded the project ‘Assessment of pattern of ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) modulation during performance of different yogāsanas’ at SKN Medical College, Pune (since 2013).

Yoga Research Lab of SKN Medical College, Pune was inaugurated on 14 December 2013 by Center’s Adj. Prof. Reinhard Boegle.

The Center has formulated training programs for the Yoga Teachers and Medical Doctors to impart systematic training to provide evidence-based outcome-oriented yoga interventions, which will become available soon.