Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

Verified @gmail.com

Director ISCM and Professor Yoga therapy
Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth


yoga, yoga therapy, salutogenesis, wellness


Scopus Publications

Scopus Publications

  • Yoga Therapy in Functional Dyspepsia. A Narrative Review
    Garima Setia, Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Meena Ramanathan, Nilakantan Ananthakrishnan, Vinod Vinoth, B. Sajeeth Manikanda Prabu, and Balanehru Subramanian

    Romanian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
    Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a common upper gastrointestinal disorder, characterized by bothersome epigastric pain or burning, fullness after meals or early satiety. The precise pathophysiology remains incompletely understood but may include the role of disordered gut-brain communication leading to disturbances in gastro-duodenal physiological functioning. Even if there are several pharmacological treatment options, it is a chronic and relapsing disorder with persistent symptoms that makes its management difficult. Yoga is a fast-spreading complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) specialty, that has gained attention in the medical field for its ability to address the physical, emotional, mental and social aspects of health and disease. Various other CAM therapies are being used for FD with varying efficacy. However, apart from one research study that used yoga therapy on abdominal pain related functional gastrointestinal disorders in children which included a few FD cases as well (11.6%), no other study using yoga therapy has been done in FD as per our best knowledge. Therefore, in the present review, we have summarized the current scientific understanding of the probable effects of yoga on the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in FD (gastric motility, fundic accommodation, hypersensitivity, duodenal inflammation, psychological distress and gut-brain dysfunction). The literature suggests yoga can have a beneficial role in the management of FD. However, rigorous research and clinical trials are required to confirm the same.

  • Immediate Effect of Pranava Pranayama on Oxygen Saturation and Heart Rate in Healthy Volunteers: A Single‑Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial
    Meena Ramanathan and Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

    Introduction: Yoga is known to promote health and wellness in all. Pranava Pranayama is a useful sound based yogic breathing technique with reported benefits such as potentiating vagal tone. Subjects and Methods: This single blinded randomized self-controlled cross-over study was done with 58 participants. The immediate effect of Pranava Pranayama on saturation of oxygen in the blood (SpO2) and heart rate (HR) was determined before and after intervention using pulse oximeter. To avoid extraneous influences due to recording on different days, one half of the subjects were randomized to perform quiet sitting on day 1 while other half did Pranava Pranayama which was then reversed on day 2. Results: Intra group comparison showed significant changes (p < 0.001) in both SpO2 and HR following Pranava Pranayama whereas in the quiet sitting group, there was an insignificant fall in the SpO2 readings but HR was found significant (p < 0.001). Intergroup comparison showed significant differences between groups (p-0.032). Discussion: Cardiovascular changes following Pranava Pranayama may be as a result of audible chanting improving baroreflex sensitivity along with increased endogenous nitric oxide production. This promotes vasodilatation resulting in reduction of BP. The decrease in vascular resistance and an increase in capillary perfusion results in increased oxygen saturation with lesser demand on the heart. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that Pranava Pranayama is an effective technique in enhancing SpO2 and our findings may have therapeutic applications especially in the current pandemic situation.

  • Adjuvant yoga therapy for symptom management of functional dyspepsia: A case series
    Garima Setia, Meena Ramanathan, Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, B Sajeeth Manikanda Prabu, Vinoth B, and Ananthkrishnan N

    Elsevier BV

  • Methodological issues in yoga therapy research among psychiatric patients
    RamaReddy Karri, AnandaB Bhavanani, Meena Ramanathan, and VijayaGopal Mopidevi

    ABSTRACT Yoga therapy has been widely accepted as part of the evidence-based modern healthcare system. Although research publications are growing in leaps and bounds, many methodological issues pose stumbling blocks. In this narrative review, various issues like standalone or add-on treatment, blinding, randomization, nature of dependent and intervening variables, duration of intervention, sustainability of effects, attrition bias, adherence and accuracy, all or none performance, diverse schools, heterogeneity and multidimensionality, assortment, permutations, and combinations of different components, neglect of essential ingredients, mindfulness, catch-22 situation, credentials of the instructors, cultural factors, naivety, multicentric studies, duration of collection of data, primary or standard treatment, interdisciplinary research, statistical lapses, qualitative research, biomedical research are discussed. There is a need to frame guidelines for conducting yoga therapy research and publication.

  • Stress and the Autonomic Nervous System: Implication of Yoga
    Kaviraja Udupa, Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, and Meena Ramanathan

    Springer Nature Singapore

  • Impact of an Integrated Yoga Therapy Protocol on Insulin Resistance and Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
    Manoharan Mangala Gowri, , Jayanthi Rajendran, Abu Srinivasan, Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Ramanathan Meena, and

    Rambam Health Corporation
    Objective: Diabetes mellitus (DM), characterized by chronic hyperglycemia, is attributed to relative insulin deficiency or resistance, or both. Studies have shown that yoga can modulate parameters of insulin resis¬tance. The present study explored the possible beneficial effects of integrated yoga therapy with reference to glycemic control and insulin resistance (IR) in individuals with diabetes maintained on standard oral medical care with yoga therapy, compared to those on standard oral medical care alone. Methods: In this study, the subjects on yoga intervention comprised 35 type 2 diabetics, and an equal number of volunteers constituted the control group. Subjects ranged in age from 30 to 70 years, with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test more than 7%, and were maintained on diabetic diet and oral hypoglycemic agents. Blood samples were drawn prior to and after 120 days of integrated yoga therapy intervention. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), post-prandial blood glucose (PPBG), HbA1c, insulin, and lipid profile were assessed in both the intervention and control groups. Results: The intervention group revealed significant improvements in body mass index (BMI) (0.7 kg/m2 median decrease; P=0.001), FBG (20 mg/dL median decrease; P<0.001), PPBG (33 mg/dL median decrease; P<0.001), HbA1c (0.4% median decrease; P<0.001), homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (1.2 median decrease; P<0.001), cholesterol (13 mg/dL median decrease, P=0.006), triacylglycerol (22 mg/dL median decrease; P=0.027), low-density lipo¬protein (6 mg/dL median decrease; P=0.004), and very-low-density lipoprotein levels (4 mg/dL median decrease; P=0.032). Increases in high-density lipoprotein after 120 days were not significant (6 mg/dL median increase; P=0.15). However, when compared to changes observed in patients in the control group, all these improvements proved to be significant. Conclusion: Administration of integrated yoga therapy to individuals with diabetes leads to a significant improvement in glycemic control, insulin resistance, and key biochemical parameters.

  • Additive effect of “Brahma Mudra” on pain, proprioception and functional abilities in non-specific mechanical neck pain
    Mohanakrishnan Jagadevan, Bhanumathy Mohanakrishnan, Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Deepika Shristhudhi, Pahinian Arumugam, Babu Subbiah, Kannadasan Chandrashekhar, and Porchelvan Swaminathan

    Elsevier BV

  • Yoga therapy in psychiatry: Myths and misconceptions
    RamaReddy Karri, AnandaBalayogi Bhavanani, Meena Ramanathan, and VijayaGopal Mopidevi

    Yoga is a philosophy, a science, and an art, the value of which is underrecognized. Many myths and misconceptions are prevailing among the common people as well as mental health professionals, resulting in an underutilization of this effective tool that has the potential for health promotion and disease prevention. It has been established to be an effective adjunct in treating many psychiatric and psychosomatic problems. Scientific, evidence.based data are accumulating from global research institutions. Salutogenesis or wellness concept with a holistic approach is the hallmark of the yoga. This article is a review attempting to dispel some of the popular myths and misconceptions.

  • Salutogenesis approach to communication
    Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

    Springer Singapore

  • Effect of adjunct yoga therapy in depressive disorders: Findings from a randomized controlled study
    Sukanto Sarkar, Suriya Kumar, Eswaran Subramaniam, AnandaBalayogi Bhavanani, and Sivaprakash Balasundaram

    Background: Depression causes significant burden both to the individual and to society, and its treatment by antidepressants has various disadvantages. There is preliminary evidence that adds on yoga therapy improves depression by impacting the neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of mood, motivation, and pleasure. Our study aimed to find the effect of adjunctive yoga therapy on outcome of depression and comorbid anxiety. Materials and Methods: A randomized controlled study involving patients with major depressive disorder (n = 80) were allocated to two groups, one received standard therapy (antidepressants and counseling) and the other received adjunct yoga therapy along with standard therapy. Ratings of depression and anxiety were done using Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at baseline, 10th and 30th day. Clinical Global Impression (CGI) Scale was applied at baseline and 30th day to view the severity of illness and clinical improvement. Results: By the 30th day, individuals in the yoga group had significantly lower scores of depression, anxiety, and CGI scores, in comparison to the control group. The individuals in the yoga group had a significant fall in depression scores and significant clinical improvement, compared to the control group, from baseline to 30th day and 10th to 30th day. In addition, the individuals in the yoga group had a significant fall in anxiety scores from baseline to 10th day. Conclusion: Anxiety starts to improve with short-term yoga sessions, while long-term yoga therapy is likely to be beneficial in the treatment of depression.

  • A 12-week “Silver Yoga” program enhances lung function in elderly women residents of a hospice
    Meena Ramanathan and Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

    JCDR Research and Publications

  • Comparative study on the effect of yogic relaxing asanas and pranayamas on cardiovascular response in healthy young volunteers
    Vasanthan S, Madanmohan T, Bhavanani B, Hanifah M, and Jaiganesh K

    Background: Cardiovascular morbidity is increasing recently in India. Stress and autonomic dysfunction are associated with cardiovascular morbidity. Yoga is the best lifestyle ever designed. Based on limited scientific research, yoga (meditation, asanas, and pranayamas including relaxation) therapy is known to improve cardiovascular autonomic functions. Aims and Objective: To study and compare the effect of 6 months of training in relaxing asanas and pranayamas on blood pressure (BP), pulse pressure (PP), heart rate (HR), and rate-pressure product (RPP) in young healthy volunteers. Materials and Methods: A total of 109 healthy volunteers aged 20-25 years were divided into 3 groups consisting of asan (n = 38), pranayam (n = 38), and control group (n = 33). The Yoga training was given 25 min/day for 6 days/week for 6 months. Pranayam group received relaxing pranayam (pranav, savitri, nadi shuddhi and chandra nadi), asan group received relaxing asan (pawanmuktasana, balasan, dharnicasan, and shavasan) and waiting list were kept as a control group. The results were statistically compared between groups by analysis of variance and intra-group pre-post comparisons by paired t-test. Results: Post training analysis showed significant decreases in systolic BP and diastolic BP as well as PP, mean arterial pressure and RPP in both asan and pranayam group as compared with control. There was, however, no significant difference between asan and pranayam group. Conclusion: Practising either relaxing asan or pranayam enhances parasympathetic activity and decreases sympathetic activity.

  • Effect of different pranayamas on respiratory sinus arrhythmia
    Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

    JCDR Research and Publications
    INTRODUCTION Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA) is the differential change of Heart Rate (HR) in response to inspiration and expiration. This is a noninvasive sensitive index of parasympathetic cardiac control. AIM To evaluate changes in RSA by utilizing a simple and cost-effective analysis of electrocardiographic (ECG) tracings obtained during performance of four pranayama techniques. MATERIALS AND METHODS Fifty two trained volunteers performed the following pranayamas with different ratios for inspiration and expiration: sukha (1:1), traditional (1:2), pranava (1:3) and savitri (2:1:2:1) and ECG was recorded while performing the techniques with rest period of 5 minutes in-between. HR was calculated and maximum HR during inspiration (Imax), minimum HR during expiration (Emin), differences between Imax and Emin (Δ), percentage differences between I(max) and Emin (Δ%) and expiration: inspiration ratio (E:I) calculated by respective formulae. Statistical analysis was carried out using repeated measures of ANOVA with Tukey-Kramer multiple comparisons test. RESULTS There were significant differences between groups in all five aspects namely: p= 0.0093 for mean Imax, p = 0.0009 for mean Emin, and p < 0.0001 for Δ HR (I-E), Δ% HR (I-E) and E:I ratio. Pranava pranayama produced the greatest changes in all five comparisons. CONCLUSION We suggest that further short and long term studies be undertaken with pranava pranayama in patients to further qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate inherent mechanisms of this simple technique. Addition of these cost-effective techniques to the medical armory will help patients of rhythm disorders and other cardiovascular conditions.

  • A brief qualitative survey on the utilization of Yoga research resources by Yoga teachers
    Ananda Bhavanani

    Introduction: Yoga has become popular worldwide with increasing research done on its therapeutic potential. However, it remains to be determined whether such findings actually percolate down into teaching and practice of Yoga teachers/therapists. Materials and Methods: The aim of this survey was to document awareness of Yoga research findings in the Yoga community and find out how these were utilized. It was undertaken with a select group of 34 international Yoga teachers and therapists utilizing email and social media between August and December 2015. Majority of responders had well-established reputation in Yoga and were from diverse lineages with 30 of them having more than 5 years of experience in the field. A set of eight questions were sent to them related to essentiality of Yoga research, how they updated themselves on research findings and whether such studies influenced their teaching and practice. Responses were compiled and appropriate statistics determined for quantitative aspects while feedback, comments and suggestions were noted in detail. Results and Discussion: About 89% agreed that it was essential to be up-to-date on Yoga research but only 70% updated themselves regularly with average papers read fully per year being <10. Most accessed information through general news reports, emails from contacts, and articles on internet sites whereas only 7% were through PubMed. About 60% felt these studies helped them in general teaching whereas 20% said that such studies had not really influenced it in any way. Conclusion: This survey provides a basic picture of a general lack of awareness of Yoga research amongst practicing Yoga teachers and therapists. Though a majority agree research is important, few seriously update themselves on this through scientific channels. With regard to future studies, most wanted “proof” that could be used to convince potential clients and felt that more qualitative methods should be applied.

  • Randomized controlled trial of 12-week yoga therapy as lifestyle intervention in patients of essential hypertension and cardiac autonomic function tests
    Pushpanathan Punita, Madanmohan Trakroo, Swaminathan Palamalai, SenthilKumar Subramanian, Ananda Bhavanani, and Chandrasekhar Madhavan

    Background: In the Indian subcontinent, 118 million people are with hypertension, and this figure is anticipated to double by 2025. Yoga has been widely claimed to play a role in the prevention and management of psychosomatic, stress-induced, and lifestyle disorders such as hypertension. Aims and Objective: To study the effect of 12 weeks of yoga therapy as a lifestyle intervention on cardiac autonomic functions in patients of essential hypertension. Materials and Methods: Subjects with hypertension from the Medicine Outpatient Department of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research were randomized into control and yoga groups. The control group was treated only with the allopathic medicines. The yoga group was given 12 weeks of yoga therapy module designed by JIPMER Institute Advanced Center for Yoga Therapy Education and Research along with the routine medical treatment. The participants’ blood pressure and cardiac autonomic function were recorded before and after the 12 weeks of the study period. Result: No significant change was observed in the body weight (BW), body mass index (BMI), abdominal circumference, and waist–hip ratio (WHR) in both the control and yoga groups at the end of the 12 week-study period. There was a significant decrease in the resting systolic pressure (SP), diastolic pressure (DP), rate pressure product (RPP), and mean arterial pressure (MAP) in the yoga group. In contrast, there was no significant change in the SP, DP, RPP, and MAP of the control group. High frequency (HF) power, total spectral power, and HF normalized units (nu) showed a significant increase in the yoga group. Low frequency (LF) power, HF power, and LF (nu) showed a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in the yoga group at the end of the 12-week yoga therapy. Conclusion: Twelve weeks of yoga therapy reduced both the SP and DP in the yoga group. Furthermore, yoga therapy increased the heart rate variability and vagal tone and decreased the sympathetic tone in the subjects with hypertension. At the same time, it increased both the parasympathetic and sympathetic reactivity.

  • Effect of fast and slow pranayama practice on cognitive functions in healthy volunteers
    Senthil Kumar Subramanian

    JCDR Research and Publications
    OBJECTIVES To compare the cumulative effect of commonly practised slow and fast pranayama on cognitive functions in healthy volunteers. SETTINGS AND DESIGN 84 participants who were in self-reported good health, who were in the age group of 18-25 years, who were randomized to fast pranayama, slow pranayama and control group with 28 participants in each group. MATERIAL AND METHODS Fast pranayama included kapalabhati, bhastrika and kukkuriya. Slow pranayama included nadishodhana, Pranav and Savitri. Respective pranayama training was given for 35 minutes, three times per week, for a duration of 12 weeks under the supervision of a certified yoga trainer. Parameters were recorded before and after 12 weeks of intervention: Perceived stress scale (PSS), BMI, waist to hip ratio and cognitive parameters-letter cancellation test, trail making tests A and B, forward and reverse digit spans and auditory and visual reaction times for red light and green light. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS Inter-group comparison was done by one way ANOVA and intra-group comparison was done by paired t-test. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION Executive functions, PSS and reaction time improved significantly in both fast and slow pranayama groups, except reverse digit span, which showed an improvement only in fast pranayama group. In addition, percentage reduction in reaction time was significantly more in the fast pranayama group as compared to that in slow pranayama group. Both types of pranayamas are beneficial for cognitive functions, but fast pranayama has additional effects on executive function of manipulation in auditory working memory, central neural processing and sensory-motor performance.

  • Effect of slow and fast pranayama training on handgrip strength and endurance in healthy volunteers
    Vivek Kumar Sharma

    JCDR Research and Publications
    BACKGROUND Pranayama has been assigned very important role in yogic system of exercises and is said to be much more important than yogasanas for keeping sound health. Also different pranayamas produce divergent physiological effects. AIM To study the effect of 12 weeks training of slow and fast pranayama on handgrip strength and endurance in young, healthy volunteers of JIPMER population. SETTINGS AND DESIGN Present study was conducted in the Department of Physiology, JIPMER in 2011-12 (1.06.11 to 1.04.12). MATERIALS AND METHODS Total of 91 volunteer subjects were randomised into slow pranayama (SPG) (n=29), fast pranayama (FPG) (n=32) and control groups (CG) (n=30). Supervised pranayama training (SPG - Nadisodhana, Pranav pranayama and Savitri pranayama; FPG - Kapalabhati, Bhastrika and Kukkuriya pranayama) was given for 30 minutes thrice a week for 12 weeks to both slow and fast pranayama groups by certified yoga trainer. Hand grip strength (HGS) and endurance (HGE) parameters were recorded using handgrip dynamometer (Rolex, India) at baseline and after 12 weeks of pranayama training. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED Longitudinal changes in each group were compared by using Student's paired t-test. Delta changes in each group were analysed by ANOVA with Tukey post-hoc analysis. RESULTS In SPG significant improvement occurred only in HGE parameter from 83.95±45.06 to 101.62±53.87 (seconds) (p<0.001) whereas in FPG, significant improvement was observed in HGS from 33.31±9.83 to 37.9±9.41 (Kilograms) (p=0.01) as well as in HGE from 92.78±41.37 to 116.56±58.54 (seconds) (p=0.004). Using Students unpaired t-test difference between the groups in HGS is found to be 1.17±5.485 in SPG and in FPG is 4.59±7.26 (p=0.39); HGE difference in SPG is 1.77±21.17 and in FPG is 2.38±43.27 (p>0.05). CONCLUSION Pranayama training decreases sympathetic activity, resulting in mental relaxation and decreased autonomic arousal thereby, decreasing force fluctuations during isometric contraction. This is reflected as improvement in HGS and HGE.

  • Immediate effects of suryanamaskar on reaction time and heart rate in female volunteers

  • Effects of eight week yoga therapy program on cardiovascular health in hypertensives

  • Effect of yoga on cardiorespiratory functions

  • Immediate cardiovascular effects of pranava pranayama in hypertensive patients

  • Bridging yoga therapy and personal practice: the power of sadhana.

  • Immediate effect of mukha bhastrika (A bellows type pranayama) on reaction time in mentally challenged adolescents

  • Don't put yoga in a small box: the challenges of scientifically studying yoga.