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CYTER day 2018


The 9th Foundation Day of CYTER, the Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education & Research of the Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry was celebrated at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute on Saturday, 3rd November 2018.

The theme of this year’s celebration was “Yoga for the Third Gender: a Salutogenic Approach” and was organised in collaboration with the local SCOHD Society as well as the Gender Care Committee for Transgenders of the MGMCRI Hospital Services.

Prof Subash Chandra Parija, Hon Vice Chancellor of SBV was Guest of Honor and released a compilation of the Best Practices of CYTER that included:

  1. Silver Yoga for Senior Citizens: The CYTER model
  2. Dhivyanga Yoga for Children with Special Needs: The CYTER model
  3. Salutogenic Approach of Yoga for the Third Gender: The CYTER model

He also unveiled new signboards with the names Patanjali Yogashala (for the CYTER Yoga Hall) and Thirumoolar Avai (for the CYTER Seminar Room)  thus honouring both the Sanskrit and Tamil Yogic traditions of Maharishi Pathanjali who codified the Yoga Darshan through his Yoga Sutras and the Dravidian Siddha, Saint Thiromoolar who has given us the 3000 versed Tamil Siddha Yoga treatise Thirumandiram.

Speaking on the occasion Prof SC Parija commended the efforts of CYTER towards integrating the ancient wisdom of Yoga with modern medical science. He stressed the importance of respecting the choice of an individual with reference to gender and elaborated on the efforts of SBV towards making the Deemed University an abode of wellness and acceptance. The need of the transgender community for health, wellness, respect, and acceptance needs to be understood by individuals and institutions as that is the only way a society can transform for the better. Yoga can play a great role in creating and maintaining positive health and SBV is making conscious and dedicated efforts to inculcate Yoga for the all the students, faculty and staff members of the university as well as patients of MGMCRI.

The event was felicitated by Prof AR Srinivasan, Registrar of SBV and Prof V Nirmal Coumare, the Medical Superintendent MGMC&RI and graced by attendees from SBV, MGMC&RI, IGIDS, and international Yoga teachers and trainees from ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Yoganjali Natyalayam, and Pondicherry Yogasana Association.

CYTER’s Director Prof Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani welcomed the guests for the celebrations that were coordinated by Dr. Meena Ramanathan, Sri G Dayanidy and the CYTER Team.

A Special Interactive Session on “Salutogenic Approach of Yoga for the Third-Gender” was conducted by the CYTER team highlighting the impact and positive role of Yoga in health and well-being of the much-maligned and neglected transgender community.

Modern medical advancements provide the rationale for the integration of various traditional healing techniques like Yoga, Naturopathy, Ayurveda and Siddha to promote health, healing and longevity. 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 is the strength of these traditional healing systems; and hence a holistic integration of both systems enables the best quality of patient care. It is imperative that advances in medicine include the holistic approach of Yoga to face the current challenges in health care. The antiquity of Yoga must be united with the innovations of modern medicine to improve the quality of life throughout the world.

For probably the first time anywhere in the world, all medical, dental and nursing students of a medical university are receiving regular training in Yoga. This is happening at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth where all students of SBV’s constituent colleges are getting exposed to the integrative potential of Yoga with the modern healthcare system.

This is done through CYTER, the Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research functioning at MGMC&RI since 1 November 2010. CYTER conducts a scientifically sound Yoga therapy programme through its Yoga Therapy OPD. Consultations are offered by Consultant Yoga Therapists and qualified Yoga instructors impart the schedules daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm. Individualized and group Yoga therapy sessions are conducted for various medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, musculoskeletal and psychiatric disorders with excellent feedback from participants. Yoga therapy and lifestyle consultations are offered as part of Basic, Superior, Complete Cardiac and Deluxe Health Check packages of Master Heath Check-up in the Corporate Services Wing. Non-therapeutic general sessions are offered for faculty, staff and students of SBV from 6 to 7am and 4.30 to 5.30pm on all working days. More than 50,000 participants have benefited in the past 8 years. CYTER has an integrated set up where we are educating future Yoga therapists while simultaneously helping patients recover from illnesses and at the same time developing an understanding through scientific research. It is notable that CYTER is an IAYT Member School of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, USA; the first and only university based Yoga therapy centre in India to receive this honur.

A dozen research projects have been completed and many underway at CYTER and 85 papers have been published in high impact journals. CYTER conducts Certificate Courses in in Yoga Therapy as well as a PG Diploma that further facilitates attainment of M. Phil and PhD in Yoga therapy. Five batches of students have graduated from these programs and we are very proud that they are the first set of Yoga Therapists graduating from a modern medical university. A major highlight is the adoption of Credit Based Choice System (CBCS) recommended by NAAC and UGC as a major reform in higher education.

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.

Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Director, CYTER of SBV, Pondicherry