The International Yoga Day was celebrated with great fervour across the capital with people making full use of its open spaces as Delhi’ites spread out their yoga mats and stretched themselves in various ‘asanas’ across various parks of the city. On the occassion, India’s premier health institute came up with studies proving positive results in patients due to yoga life style intervention.

Cloudy weather resulting in rain just minutes after yoga session ended across the capital could not deter people from participating in the programme.

Yoga sessions were also held at the country’s premier health facility All India Institute of Medical Sciences and at the NDMC convention centre here.

The enthusiasm could be gauged from the fact that a large number of people were turned away from the International Yoga Day celebrations venue at Rajpath, for not having passes.

Meanwhile BJP’s state unit also organised several events on the occasion. Yoga and cultural performances were performed by the differently-abled at a workshop at the NDMC Centre which was attended by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.

Various Resident Welfare Associations also organised Yoga classes at residential complexes across the city.

Elaborate arrangements were made at AIIMS to mark the day. “Large number of faculty members and students performed yoga asanas at AIIMS campus,” said spokesperson Amit Gupta.

On the occassion AIIMS also came up with studies based on which Dr MC Misra said that a study done at IHC and published in 2005, including a heterogeneous group of patients with hypertension, coronary artery disease, and diabetes mellitus type 2, showed promising results after patients started practising Yoga. Fasting plasma glucose, serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and total triglycerides were significantly lower, and HDL cholesterol significantly higher, after the yogabased lifestyle intervention. The changes were more marked in subjects with hyperglycemia or hypercholesterolemia.

Dr Misra added that in another interesting study, the efficacy of this yoga based lifestyle intervention programme in reducing stress and inflammation was assessed.

The results demonstrated that the mean level of cortisol decreased while ß-endorphins increased after yoga based intervention. Also, there was reduction in mean levels of interleukin- 6 and TNF-a. The results suggested that the yoga based lifestyle intervention reduced the stress and inflammation.

However, a multi-centric trial (RCT) is being conducted in the Dept of Cardiology (AIIMS) in heart patients. In this trial a total of 4000 heart patients will be recruited at different centers/ hospitals in India and UK, and in this study 2000 patients will be doing yoga with standard treatment. The study is ongoing, says Dr Ambuj Roy of Dept of Cardiology, AIIMS.

In RPC (eye hospital, AIIMS), a RCT is ongoing with 40 patients in each arm: 40 with standard treatment and another 40 doing yoga with standard treatment for three weeks. It was observed that there was comparatively 20-30 percent reduction in Intra ocular pressure in yoga group patients,also there was better quality of life in yoga group patients with increase in endorphins & decrease in cortisol, says Dr. Tanuj Dada of Dr RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS.

At IHC, the efficacy of yoga was also evaluated for modifying cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and markers of inflammation and endothelial function in overweight and obese men.

The results showed that there was a significant reduction in weight and systolic Blood pressure, says Dr Raj Kumar Yadav, Dept of Physiology.