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3rd International Yoga Therapy Symposium at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth

The importance of adjuvant Yoga therapy as an integral part of “Integrative Medicine” was stressed repeatedly by all speakers and participants during the 3rd International Yoga Therapy Symposium organized by the Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth on 11th December 2018. 

This was a very special event as five internationally certified  C-IAYT Yoga therapists were presenting on the same day and it was blessed by messages of greetings and support from a host of Yoga and Yoga therapy luminaries from USA, Australia, India and Europe.

The eminent International Yoga Therapy expert Larry Payne commented, “This is the beginning of an integrative tradition between the East and the West that will have great ramifications for the international Yoga community!”

The event was organized by CYTER of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth in collaboration with Loyola Marymount University (California, USA), ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Vasishta Clinic (Salem, India), Gitananda Integrative Therapies Academy, Yoganjali Natyalayam and the Pondicherry Yogasana Association.

The event was inaugurated by Prof  SC PARIJA,   Hon’ble Vice Chancellor Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, who commanded the international collaboration taking place between  Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth and LMU and emphasized the role of Yoga in promoting positive health thereby effectively reducing the immense present burden on the resources of the modern healthcare system. He emphasised the importance of inner peace and wellbeing and the role of Yoga in nurturing such a state of being. SBV places great importance on the innovative integration of Yoga in the modern medical setting and hence all students of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth are receiving Yoga during their formative years of professional training in the medical, dental and nursing sciences. On the occasion, he released a book of ‘Notes on Anatomy and Physiology for Yoga Education” compiled and edited by Prof Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, the Director of CYTER.

75 participants from the USA, UAE, Slovakia, UK, Germany, Austria, Canada, Australia and India participated in the event having invited internationally acclaimed faculty including Dr Lori Rubenstein Fazzio and Shanna Hughes of the Loyola Marymount University, USA; Sandra Eimers of Balance Yoga Lounge, Iowa, USA; Dr Vetri Vendan, of the Vashistha Clinic, Salem; Dr J Mohanakrishnan, Physical therapist from JIPMER, Pondicherry.

Prof N ANANTHAKRISHNAN, Dean of Faculties at the Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth gave a special presentation on integrating Yoga in a modern medical institution and detailed the advent and progress as well as future plans for the CYTER of SBV. “To go where no one has, and to prove that you are not just good enough but are the best” is our vision for CYTER and we are proud that it is internationally applauded for its work on integrating Yoga in modern medicine.

Registrar of SBV Prof AR Srinivasan, Dean Research Prof C Adithan and Dean MGMCRI Prof M Ravishankar, Head Centre for HPE Prof BV Adkoli, Professor Ambujam Sridevi from  Dermatology and VP AHS Dr AN Uma graced the occasion.

Topics covered in the event “The Science and Art of Yoga Therapy”, “Patanjali, Pain and Neuroscience”, “Integrating Yoga in a modern medical institution: The CYTER Story”, “Individualized Clinical Yoga Therapy” , “Asanas, the healing exercises” , “Yoga Chikitsa Lakshnam: CYTER Model of Yoga Diagnostics”  and “Nourishing your Inner Resource while integrating breath – iRest practices for healing – Yoga Nidra”. A special session was conducted on Clinical Applications of Yoga Therapy by Yogachemmal Dr Meena Ramanathan, Deputy Director of CYTER with practice sessions by Sri G Dayandiy, and demonstration by Sri Danushapnadeesh and Smt Sarulatha Venkatesan. Mrs Sreeranjani Niraj Ramanathan shared her therapeutic experiences through Yoga.

CYTER faculty included Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Yogachemmal Dr Meena Ramanathan and Sri G Dayanidy while sessions were chaired by eminent experts including Prof C Adithan, Prof Madanmohan and Yogacharini Deepika from the UK.

E-poster presentations were given by CYTER Research Scholars who detailed work done by them at CYTER as well as proposed projects to be taken up as part of their MPhil and doctoral studies in Yoga therapy.

Modern medical advancements provide rationale for integration of various traditional healing techniques like Yoga to promote healing, health, and longevity. Thanks to the foresight of Chairman and management of SBV (Deemed University), CYTER, the Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research was started on 1 November 2010 and is functioning in 1st floor, I block, adjacent to the main Hospital block, MGMCRI.

The Govt of India is currently promoting indigenous systems of health in a strong manner through Ministry of AYUSH. The limitations of modern medicine in managing stress induced psychosomatic, chronic illnesses are the strength of Yoga and hence a holistic integration of both systems enables best quality of patient care. CYTER can be projected a nodal centre to train medical educators and administrators for setting up such integrative health centres in our country as we have the necessary infrastructure and man power. We can proudly state that it is only in the supportive and innovative milieu of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth that the holistic art and science of Yoga, our cultural heritage, has been able to reach both the classes and the masses of our society optimally, effectively and holistically.

“There are many centres where you can get a Yoga degree, attend a Yoga therapy session or find Yoga research being undertaken. However, to have all three happening in one place is surely innovative. This centre is indeed a role-model that combines the best of the East with that of the West.” – Joseph le Page, Integrative Yoga Therapy, USA

CYTER has an integrated set up educating future Yoga therapists while simultaneously helping patients recover from illnesses and at the same time developing a scientific understanding of yogic phenomenon through stringent research methods with high impact publications.

Whereas Yoga is usually found in departments of Physical Education and Sports in most universities, CYTER stands out as it is functioning within a medical institution thus enhancing the learning curve of trainees. This enables them to offer integrative and holistic benefits for patients in MGMCRI hospital as many departments refer patients for Yoga therapy regularly.

The VISION of CYTER: The innovative integration of traditional Yoga therapy with modern medical science, through a conscious focus on salutogenesis, thus enhancing holistic health and wellness.

CYTER is conducting a scientifically sound Yoga therapy programme through its Yoga Therapy OPD and qualified Yoga instructors are imparting the schedules daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm. Individualized and group Yoga therapy sessions are being conducted for various medical conditions such as COPD, diabetes, hypertension, musculoskeletal and psychiatric disorders with excellent feedback from participants.

Yoga therapy and lifestyle consultations are also offered daily as part of Basic, Superior, Complete Cardiac and Deluxe Health Check packages of Master Heath Check-up in the Corporate Services Wing of the hospital.

Five batches of students have graduated from the PG Diploma in Yoga Therapy (PGDYT) and these students are the amongst the first Yoga Therapists graduating from a modern medical university. The CYTER also offers Certificate programs in Yoga Therapy as well as the MPhil and PhD in Yoga Therapy programs.

A young medical student from Europe commented, “Impressed how yoga therapy is integrating in the academic hospital & university here in Pondicherry. Doctors of different disciplines prescribe yoga therapy for their patients. Yoga therapists visit the palliative Department and mental health Department frequently. Yoga classes are supporting university students (medical, nurse, dentist) and patients. The CYTER Team does amazing work!”

Dr Lori Rubenstein Fazzio from LMU was impressed and commented joyfully, “It was a most spectacular day!! Thank you so much everyone from CYTER, ICYER and SBV for the incredible generosity and organization of this special event.” 

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