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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 162-164

An innovative approach in health sciences: Yoga for obesity

Department of Yoga and Management, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication13-Apr-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tikhe Sham Ganpat
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University, (Prashanti Kutiram), 19, Eknath Bhavan, Gavipuram Circle, Kempegowda Nagar, Bangalore - 560 019, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2321-4848.154974

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Obesity is a global health burden and its prevalence is increasing substantially due to changing lifestyle. A yoga-based lifestyle intervention appears to be a promising option in obesity. The present study is designed to assess the effects of Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy (IAYT) in patients with obesity. Twenty-four obese patients (8 males and 16 females) between18 to 60 years were assessed on the first and last day of a 7 days' residential intensive IAYT program. The body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumferences (HC), and mid-arm circumference (MC) were recorded before and after the IAYT program. Paired Samples t test (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, SPSS-16) was used to compare the means before (pre) and after (post) the intervention. The statistical analysis showed that there was a significant (P < 0.01, all comparisons) decrease (Ϳ) in mean body weight from 86.52 ± 15.23 to 84.54 ± 14.95 (2.29% Ϳ), mean BMI from 32.04 ± 5.02 to 31.30 ± 4.88 (2.33% Ϳ), WC by 3.46% Ϳ, HC by 4.65% Ϳ, and MC by 4.74% Ϳ. The results suggest that IAYT program was beneficial for patients with obesity and may offer better option to obesity-related problems. Randomized control trials are needed before a strong recommendation can be made.

Keywords: Body mass index, circumference, integrated approach of yoga therapy, obesity

How to cite this article:
Dushyant S, Padmini T, Ganpat TS, Ramarao NH. An innovative approach in health sciences: Yoga for obesity. Arch Med Health Sci 2015;3:162-4

How to cite this URL:
Dushyant S, Padmini T, Ganpat TS, Ramarao NH. An innovative approach in health sciences: Yoga for obesity. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Feb 3];3:162-4. Available from: https://www.amhsjournal.org/text.asp?2015/3/1/162/154974

  Introduction Top

Most of the primary healthcare providers are convinced of their critical role in obesity management but do not feel sufficiently competent and look for acceptable and effective interventions to tackle the problem of increasing prevalence of obesity. [1] We know that there exists an etiological relationship between obesity and stress. [2] It is also well-documented that yoga has been utilized as a therapeutic tool to achieve positive health and treat stress-related diseases [3] through self-regulatory behavioral change that improves autonomic balance. [4] Yoga is known to be an effective tool to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms as well as the body mass index (BMI) in obese subjects. [5] The present study was designed to assess the effect of Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy (IAYT) on anthropometric variables in patients with obesity.

  Materials and Methods Top


The data derived from the previous study with similar design on yoga [6] has been used to calculate effect size using G Power. The power analysis (alpha = 0.05, power = 0.50, effect size = 0.5196) yielded a number of 24 subjects for the study.

Inclusion criteria

Both male and female patients with obesity.

Exclusion criteria

Physically unable to participate and those participating in other interventions.

Ethical consideration

An informed consent was obtained from all the participants and the study was approved by the institutional review board of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA) University, Bangalore.


This is a single group pre-post study. Twenty-four obesity patients (8 males and 16 females) between18 to 60 years of age participated in IAYT program at the residential wellness center of S-VYASA University, Bangalore, India.


The IAYT program [7] was practiced by all the participants of this study. It includes Kriya (yogic cleansing techniques), Sukhma Vyayama (loosening and stretching practices), Suryanamaskara (salutation to the sun), Asanas (postures), Pranayama (breathing practices), relaxation techniques, meditation, lectures on yoga philosophy, group discussions, and devotional session along with individualized low-fat-high-fiber vegetarian yogic diet [Table 1].
Table 1: Integrated approach of yoga therapy schedule

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The BMI is a measure for human body shape based on an individual's mass and height. It is defined as the individual's body mass divided by the square of their height, with the value universally being given in units of kg/m 2 . Height and weight were recorded for each participant to determine their BMI. Height was measured on a tape attached to a wall and rounded down to nearest centimeter. Weight was measured on a body fat monitor HBF 375 (Omron Co., Ltd, Singapore) and rounded up to nearest kilogram. Cut-off points according to World Health Organization (WHO) [8] were used to define the prevalence of obesity. The hip circumference (HC), waist circumference (WC), and mid-arm circumference (MC) were measured by a tape in centimeter.

Statistical analysis

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 16.0 showed that the data is normally distributed. Hence, Paired Samples t test was used to compare the means before (pre) and after (post) the intervention.

  Results Top

Following the 7-days IAYT program, there was a significant (P < 0.01, all comparisons) decrease (↓) in mean body weight from 86.52 ± 15.23 to 84.54 ± 14.95 (2.29% ↓), mean BMI from 32.04 ± 5.02 to 31.30 ± 4.88 (2.33% ↓), WC by 3.46% ↓, HC by 4.65% ↓, and MC by 4.74% ↓↓ [Table 2].
Table 2: Data analysis

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  Discussion Top

Medical authorities have identified obesity as a causal factor in the development of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease and more broadly of metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance syndrome. To provide solutions that can modify this risk factor, researchers need to identify methods of effective risk reduction and primary prevention of obesity. Research on the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment for obesity is limited, and studies vary in overall quality and methodological rigor. The present study is an indication of positive impact of IAYT in patients with obesity by reducing BMI, WC, HC, and MC effectively. The underlying principle of the benefits seen in this study may be attributed to the following key features: [7]

  1. Supervised practice,
  2. Long duration of intervention,
  3. Yogic dietary component,
  4. A residential set up away from all responsibilities, and
  5. The comprehensive module of yoga that emphasized on mind and stress management.
It is well-known that psychobiological wellness and social support can contribute to a better understanding and management of obesity. [9] IAYT offers a holistic approach to care and management with a strong conceptual basis for self regulation and mastery over the modifications of mind as defined by sage Patanjali in chapter 1 aphorism 2 of Patanjali Yoga Sutra. It is possible to promote better health and well-being in those with obesity as yoga offers innovative solutions at low cost, with easy stretches with emphasis on relaxation that makes it acceptable and effective and hence may be used as an add on or alternative in public health programs for management of obesity. [10]

  Conclusion Top

The present study suggests that IAYT may be adopted as a way of life to deal with obesity. Randomized control trials are needed before a strong recommendation can be made.

  Acknowledgement Top

Authors acknowledge Chancellor of S-VYASA University for granting permission to carry out this work.

  References Top

Mazur A, Matusik P, Revert K, Nyankovskyy S, Socha P, Binkowska-Bury M, et al. Childhood obesity: Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of European pediatric care providers. Pediatrics 2013;132:e100-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Beals CA, Lampman RM, Banwell BF, Braunstein EM, Albers JW, Castor CW. Measurement of exercise tolerance in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. J Rheumatol 1985;12:458-61.  Back to cited text no. 2
Vaze N, Joshi S. Yoga and menopausal transition. J Midlife Health 2010;1:56-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Sahay BK. Yoga in medicine. API textbook of medicine. 5 th ed. 1995. p. 1444-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
Dhananjai S, Sadashiv, Tiwari S, Dutt K, Kumar R. Reducing psychological distress and obesity through Yoga practice. Int J Yoga 2013;6:66-70.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Sarvottam K, Magan D, Yadav RK, Mehta N, Mahapatra SC. Adiponectin, interleukin-6, and cardiovascular disease risk factors are modified by a short-term yoga-based lifestyle intervention in overweight and obese men. J Altern Complement Med 2013;19:397-402.  Back to cited text no. 6
Villacres Mdel C, Jagannathan A, Nagarathna R, Ramakrsihna J. Decoding the integrated approach to yoga therapy: Qualitative evidence based conceptual framework. Int J Yoga 2014;7:22-31.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
WHO Expert Consultation. Appropriate body mass index for Asian population and its implications for policy and intervention strategies. Lancet 2004;363:157-63.  Back to cited text no. 8
Brown J, Wimpenny P. Developing a holistic approach to obesity management. Int J Nurs Pract 2011;17:9-18.  Back to cited text no. 9
Unnikrishnan AG, Kalra S, Garg MK. Preventing obesity in India: Weighing the options. Indian J Endocrinol Metab 2012;16:4-6.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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