Yoga supports mental wellness

16 December 2020

On Thursday 5 November, NICM Health Research Institute in partnership with All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India), co-hosted a webinar discussing the latest research in the use of yoga and Ayurveda medicine for mental wellness.

Master of Ceremonies and NICM Health Research Institute’s Acting Director, Professor Dennis Chang, says it was a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with AIIA and international researchers in the space.

“Avurveda medicine has been practised in India and Asia for centuries and has the potential to play a greater role in health management and wellbeing in the western world,” said Professor Chang.

“To achieve this goal, it is critical to scientifically validate these interventions and investigate how evidence-based Ayurveda medicine can be integrated with mainstream medicine to improve health outcomes, particularly in the management of chronic illness.

“Hearing about the scientific research underway internationally in this space in the lead up to the United Nation’s World Science Day for Peace and Development, and also Ayurveda Day in India was very timely.”

Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, officially opened the seminar together with Professor Tanuji Nesari, Director of AIIA.

NICM Health Research Institute was honoured to have ministerial addresses from The Hon. Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State, Ministry of AYUSH India and the Hon. Dr Geoff Lee, MP, NSW Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, and Acting Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans; in addition to the Consul-General address from Mr Manish Gupta, Consulate-General of India, Sydney.

The opening was followed by an address from Gurudev Sri Ravi Shankar, and thereafter researchers and scientists from India, Australia, Italy and Germany discussed their latest research. Topics included evidence–based research for yoga undertaken for depression and anxiety; and yoga intervention in mental health for cancer care and fatigue.

The webinar closed with a panel discussion which saw researchers, academics and ministerial officials come together to address topics of policy and international cooperation, as well as clinical practice, research and research translation.

“Further collective efforts from researchers, clinicians and policy makers along with international collaborations are necessary to advance research in, and enable translation of yoga and Ayurveda medicine in healthcare, said Professor Chang.

“This webinar was a great platform to pave the way for future dialogue and collaboration. We look forward to working with AIIA in the future to strengthen the science behind yoga and Ayurveda.”

The webinar attracted over 500 attendees – including researchers, practitioners, HDR students and the general public.

Watch the recording:

Video description: Webinar - Yoga and Ayurveda Medicine for Mental Wellness

0.00 Welcome address and official proceedings 
0.38 Ayurveda for mind and body wellness Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India
0.52 Health, healing and consciousness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, The Art of Living, India
1.03 Balancing mind with Ayurveda for a perfect global health Dr Antonio Morandi, President, Italian Scientific Society for Ayurvedic Medicine, Italy
1.27 Yoga research for mental health in Australia Dr Michael de Manincor, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, Australia
1.46 Calming the fluctuations of the mind? State of the science on yoga for mental health and wellness in cancer Dr Holger Cramer, Research Director, Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
2.07 Panel discussion 
2.42 Closing remarks