Arizona University studying yoga’s healing effects

An Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe health researcher is reportedly studying how online yoga can help people faced with grief of stillbirth or rare blood cancer symptoms.

Dr. Jennifer Huberty, an associate professor at the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion in the College of Health Solutions, and her team at ASU will reportedly receive a grant of about half-a-million dollars from US National Institutes of Health (NIH) for investigating yoga’s effects on symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after stillbirth. Participants access online yoga sessions through a site which offers a collection of over 400 classes, health-wellness challenges and fitness programs; reports indicate. An additional about $2.5 million grant will reportedly be sought from NIH by ASU in the next year in partnership with Mayo, for examining yoga’s effects on symptom burden in patients of Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN), which is a kind of rare blood cancer. It would reportedly explore the online-streaming-yoga’s efficacy in reducing fatigue and improving the quality of life.

There was a significant improvement in depressive symptoms, anxiety, sleep and symptom burden in a feasibility study ASU recently conducted over a 12-week period with 30 MPN patients, reports claim. Hindus have welcomed ASU efforts to explore yoga’s healing effects. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.

Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out. According to NIH, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to a recently released “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image.  Yoga is the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Rajan Zed adds.

Founded in 1885, ASU, which claims to be “a top ranked research university”, was ranked number one among the “Most Innovative Schools” in America. Michael M. Crow is ASU President, while Keith Lindor is Dean of College of Health Solutions.