Yoga Concepts

Yoga Bharati – Yoga With a Difference

Yoga Bharati – Yoga With a Difference

While there are a host of yoga studios mushrooming in every street in America these days, there are very few of these studios or organizations that provide yoga for the body, mind and spirit making it a wholesome and holistic practice. People perform strenuous acrobatic poses, toning the muscles, sweating and stretching in the name of yoga. Very few of them focus on mental and spiritual aspects of of yoga.

Yoga Bharati’s very foundation of yoga classes is to provide health at five dimensions of human existance (pancha koshas) – the physical, the pranic or life-force level, the emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels. With the technique of stimulation and relaxation and with the focus on building awareness, ours is an integrated approach to yoga geared to be holistic. We bring subtle aspects from the ancient wisdom of Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali Yoga sutras with its stress on Asthanga Yoga. This makes our classes very popular and people who attend our yoga classes are simply awestruck by their simplicity and effectiveness. Our goal is to achieve positive health for individual and society (Vyasthi and Samasti as said in Upanishads) combining the best of East with the best of West as envisioned by Swami Vivekananda.

In the same spirit of combining head, heart and hand in all its activities, Yoga Bharati provides many avenues for our trained teachers to offer community service (sewa) whether it is through providing free yoga classes to the community, connecting the community with various aspects of yoga philosophy or instilling in the younger generation a spark of curiosity in yoga practice and philosophy. There is increasing demand for our teachers training program among high school children to help them handle the stresses of high school and college.

Yoga Therapy with Research (Evidence based Yoga)

Yoga Bharati has made a great leap in therapeutic applications of yoga in association with SVYASA, which has immense background on research in Yoga Therapy. SVYASA has published over 100 research papers that are catalogued in pubmed and are peer reviewed. SVYASA houses 250 bed Yoga Therapy Health center called Arogyadhama. We have been conducting yoga classes for common ailments and special groups such as kids and pregnant women in SF Bay Area for the last three years with significant results. We conduct yoga for kids, prenatal and postnatal yoga, yoga for back/neck/shoulder pain, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, weight loss and stress management, yoga for infertility, to name a few. The goal of Yoga Bharati’s yoga classes for ailments is three-fold:

Help people with their ailments by giving them regular classes where they learn to relax better and to get relief on their ailments. Touch the hearts of people with the simple and profound yogic concepts so they understand how to manage their condition as well as they become better in their overall personality – physical, mental and spiritual outlook

Develop research so that we practice Evidence based Therapy.

Yoga Teachers with depth of Yoga Foundation

Yoga Bharati conducts Yoga Teachers Training every year for three months as a weekend course. We bring this course from Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation (SVYASA), a premier yoga university in Bengaluru, India with its focus on yoga research. Our course conforms to the Yoga Alliance RYT200. It is however, different from many other courses because we focus on holistic aspects in our course. We bring the best of yoga masters from India and US and give the most authentic yoga concepts along with scientific explanation of the concepts where needed. Yoga Philosophy is taught by Yogashree N.V.Raghuram of SVYASA and Spiritual founder and Chairman of Yoga Bharati who has more than 20 years experience in teaching Yoga philosophy in over 30 countries all over the world. Yoga Bharati also provides a platform for all the yoga teachers to further enhance their yoga skills and for their self growth by providing year round study groups, discourses by yoga masters, yoga retreats, Suryanamaskar yagna (Sun Salutation Marathon), Stress Management and other such workshops.

Stress Management using Yoga

Yoga Bharati brings Stress Management workshops to various communities. Just to name a few,

Yoga Bharati recently conducted a *free* SMET (Self Management of Excessive Tension, a SVYASA technique) in June 2011 at Sunnyvale Hindu Temple Auditorium for public and the doctors in the Bay Area. More than 100 folks participated in the event and enjoyed the wonderful discourse and SMET practice. This was presented by Shri. N.V.Raghuram of SVYASA and Dr.Naveen of FAITHS, Bengaluru.

  • Conducted Stress Management workshop for Foster Parents at the department of Family and Child Services.
  • Collaborated with Breathe California to bring Stress Management workshop for Senior Centers in the Bay Area.

Research Awareness for Medical Practitioners

One of the important initiatives of Yoga Bharati is to facilitate collaboration and awareness programs to bring research work on yoga in India to American medical community. Yoga Bharati arranged a Doctors Workshop in Sept 2010 where more than 30 doctors from various fields participated. Dr. Nagarathna, the chief of Medical staff at SVYASA chaired the event and shared the research work on Yoga in Diabetes, Cancer, Autism and many other ailments. A similar workshop was done in June 2011, where Dr. Naveen of FAITHS (Foundation for Assessment and Integration of Traditional Health Systems), Bengaluru, presented enormous data on research in Yoga Therapy. Doctors and research scientists at UCSF appreciated the presentation and agreed to work with Yoga Bharati and FAITHs in considering possible research collaborations.

Yoga for Kids with a difference

Our children’s yoga classes are also special in that we not only focus on yoga poses, but we do teach them to chant shlokas to build harmony of the mind and to root them into yogic tradition. Children of Yoga Bharati classes participate in Chinmaya Mission Gita Competition, Samskrita Bharati’s shloka competitions and bag awards! They are proud to be little yogis and to chant their Sanskrit shlokas.

Partnerships and Reach Outs

Yoga Bharati works with other organizations to help build network, spread the awareness, to bring the best of yoga research into our practice, and as a reach out program.

Research: We collaborate with SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation), Bengaluru and FAITHS (Foundation for Assessment and Integration of Traditional Health Systems), Bengaluru for bringing evidence based yoga into our yoga classes and therapy classes.
Community Service and Outreach: We provide free classes at various locations in the SF Bay Area, prominent temples, public libraries, community centers, Chinmaya Mission Balavihar programs, at India Community Center (Milpitas, Bay Area) and other locations in USA.
Vedanta: We collaborate with Sambodh Society for conducting annual workshops on Meditation, Yoga Philosophy and Vedanta.

Sanskrit: Since Sanskrit and Yoga go hand in hand, we refer our yoga students to Samskrita Bharati for Speak Sanskrit Course, and for higher studies on Sanskrit and also provide yoga classes for workshops and retreats of Samskrita Bharati.
Ayurveda: Working with Vedika Global (a Ayurveda School in Berkeley) to provide Yoga Darshan course as a part of their curriculum.
Yoga for Sports: We work with non-profit organizations like Sevathon, Ekal Vidyalaya and Chinmaya mission to conduct yoga sessions for their Marathon programs. Marathoners have given a feedback that they were able to improve their speed from 10%-30% after they took the yoga class. They also said they get less pain and less injury after taking yoga classes.

Making a Difference – A New WayInstead of providing fish to the needy, Yoga Bharati teaches them how to fish. Due to modern life style, extreme competitions, economic instability, relationships issues of fast paced individual-centric American society, etc, people are under tremendous stress. Lifestyle disorders such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases are becoming epidemics. To address this and to help people manage their lives better, Yoga Bharati conducts free classes in many locations in the Bay Area and different chapters of America. Our goal is to help people help themselves. Yoga Bharati has provided more than 400 yoga classes per week in various locations in the Bay Area alone (worth $4000 or more).

Simply by attending our regular free classes, people have made their lives better and are living in health and harmony. Many come to Yoga Bharati yoga teachers at the end of the class and explain how stressed they were just a couple of years ago and how peaceful, they feel after attending regular yoga classes.

Yoga and Stress Management Dr Naveen and Raghuramji

 June 18th, 2011
Yoga Bharati conducted a workshop on Yoga and Stress Management where close to hundred people attended and enjoyed the event. The workshop was also attended by the doctors and medical researchers who were interested in the ongoing research in yoga and its therapeutic effects.
This workshop was presented by Shri N.V.Raghuram, the spiritual founder of Yoga Bharati and a faculty member at SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation), Bengaluru, India, and Dr.Naveen Vishweshwaraih of FAITHS (Foundation for Assessment and Integration of Traditional Health Systems). Both these institutions are working on bringing research papers on the therapeutic effects of yoga. SVYASA has published over 150 papers on yoga applications for various ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, backpain, autism, cancer and many more.
Shri Raghuram presented the concepts of yoga and its effect on Stress. He showed the example of Arjuna’s mental condition in Bhagavad Gita and explained that his sudden decision to withdraw from the inevitable war imposed on them, his trembling hands and legs and his hesitation to fight the war in the battlefield showed the signs of anxiety disorder. “Krishna explained him the concepts of yoga and counseled him to come out of his confusions to take his own battle decisions. Simple and profound yogic counseling of Krishna could relax Arjuna to get clarity of mind even in the battlefield” said Shri Raghuram. Raghuramji also explained how yoga can help us in handling our stress in day-to-day life and how we all can learn from the example of Arjuna.

Dr. Naveen presented the research side of yoga in the most elegant and amazing manner. He began with how yoga can help counter stress by giving examples from Patanjali Yoga Sutras and then quickly moved into the most exciting part of the program by showing us the graphs and charts on the effects of different asanas, pranayama and meditation on the psycho-physiology of our personalities. He presented the research on the ability to control involuntary systems of the body such as heart rate, body temperature by the yogis and also showed how the prefrontal cortex of a yogi looks like, using EEG and other clinical neurophysiology tools.. He also demonstrated the research data on heart rate variability of postures such a Shirshasana (head stand) and practices like Kapala Bhati, Nadi Shuddhi (alternate nostril breathing) and single nostril breathing like Surya anuloma viloma (right) and Chandra anuloma viloma (left) and their effects on psycophysiology parameters such as oxygen consumption, blood pressure, galvanic skin resistance, memory and grip strength, spatial memory, etc, using the bio-feedback tools. He then explained SVYASA’s Cyclic Meditation Technique and its effect on stress management and also the physiological effects of Cyclic Meditation such as respiration, peak amplitude, peak latency, memory scores, etc.

 After Dr. Naveen’s presentation, the audience enjoyed the practice of Cyclic Meditation by Shri N.V.Raghuram and at the end was Q&A session where the audience flooded Dr.Naveen with questions which were all answered effectively. The doctors present in the audience were excited over the research data presented and they expressed their interest in working on bringing yoga and its research to their patient community. Sri N.V.Raghuram is a professor at SVYASA University and the spiritual founder of Yoga Bharati. With more than 20 years of yoga experience, Sri Raghuram conducts workshops and yoga discourses during several retreats and conferences around the world. He has been instrumental in starting yoga therapy programs in many hospitals and medical research centers in US and Europe.
Dr. Naveen. Visweswaraiah is the Director, Foundation for Assessment and Integration of Traditional Health Systems [FAITHS], Bengaluru. He is also a Co-Principal Investigator at ICMR Center for Advanced Research in Yoga and Neurophysiology and Associate Professor at SVYASA.


Evidence Based Yoga for Health - Doctors Workshop

Workshop on Evidence Based Yoga for Medical Practice 

Yoga Bharati Press Release Sep 22nd, 2010

Yoga for Health Doctors Workshop

 Yoga Bharati organized a workshop for doctors and medical practitioners at India Community Center (ICC) Milpitas on Sunday, Sep 19th, 2010. The workshop was well attended by a group of over twenty five healthcare professionals. There were specialists in all fields of medicine such as cardiology, oncology, obstetrics, internal medicine and therapists. The workshop was arranged to generate awareness on yoga therapy and its benefits on the patients.

It was reiterated that yoga therapy basically works at removing the root cause of all ailments – Stress. Stress itself is defined as response to a situation. We cannot change the situation but we can only change *our* response to the situation – was a takeaway to the audience.

The sequence of events was a talk on “Yogic Concept of Health” by Dr.Nagarathna, practice of Cube Yoga (Cyclic Meditation) by Sri. N.V.Raghuram, followed by a panel discussion. On the Panel were – Sri.Raghuram, Dr.Nagarathna , Dr.Naras Bhat, Dr.Raji Iyer and Smt.Pratichi Mathur. Savita Joshi, Treasurer and yoga therapy teacher of Yoga Bharati introduced Dr. Nagarathna and other delegates to the audience.

Dr. Nagarathna also gave a brief idea about Prashanti, the wellness center in Bangalore and the yoga therapy and the associated research being conducted there. She talked about modern day medical problems such as heart attack, emotional instability, stress, etc – basically mind and body related issues because of urbanization and fast paced life. She elaborated on different yoga therapy techniques to cope with these problems such as different relaxation techniques that help us get mastery over our mind.

She shared information that SVYASA University has published more than 100 papers in various medical journals. The research papers include effects of yoga on ailments such as breast cancer, diabetes, back pain, etc as well as the study of yoga techniques and its effects on healthy individuals. A complete repository of published reports can be found at

On the question of whether yoga can replace modern medicine, Dr Nagarathna opined that yoga therapy is meant to complement the existing modern system as opposed to replacing it. Pratichi Mathur, an Ayurveda practitioner and the founder of Vedika Global said that Ayurveda and yoga together form a holistic approach to health. Dr. Naras Bhat, cardiologist and professor at Berkeley University, demonstrated with his examples, on how his simple breathing techniques had their benefits on heart disease and other ailments.

Audience raised a concern about the cultural acceptance of yoga to which Dr. Raji Ayyar, oncologist at Kaiser, said that yoga is now universally accepted compared to 20 years ago, and that doing research in yoga and its benefits among the mainstream was not difficult. Also, Dr. Nagarathna said one could modify certain practices based on the nation and the culture in which yoga therapy is being introduced. SVYASA is collaborating with universities and hospitals in US and Europe and the results of the positive effects of yoga therapy were seen consistently across nations.

Sri. Raghuram, Chairman of Yoga Bharati and faculty at SVYASA talked on the philosophy of yoga and also conducted a short cyclic meditation session and a pranayama session to give the doctors and medical practitioners, an idea of how it helps to develop inner awareness. It was beautifully received by the audience.

Overall, it was a fact-filled and motivating session that empowered the audience with the needed research data to help them explore the path of Yoga Therapy.