Design and validation of Integrated Yoga Therapy module for Antarctic expeditioners

J Ayurveda Integr Med. Apr-Jun 2020;11(2):97-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jaim.2017.11.005. Epub 2019 Jan 29.


Background: Extreme environments are inherently stressful and are characterized by a variety of physical and psychosocial stressors, including, but not limited to, isolation, confinement, social tensions, minimal possibility of medical evacuation, boredom, monotony, and danger. Previous research studies recommend adaptation to the environment to maintain optimal function and remain healthy. Different interventions have been tried in the past for effective management of stress. Yoga practices have been shown to be beneficial for coping with stress and enhance quality of life, sleep and immune status.

Objective: The current article describes preparation of a Yoga module for better management of stressors in extreme environmental condition of Antarctica.

Materials and methods: A Yoga module was designed based on the traditional and contemporary yoga literature as well as published studies. The Yoga module was sent for validation to forty experts of which thirty responded.

Results: Experts (n = 30) gave their opinion on the usefulness of the yoga module. In total 29 out of 30 practices were retained. The average content validity ratio and intra class correlation of the entire module was 0.89 & 0.78 respectively.

Conclusion: A specific yoga module for coping and facilitating adaptation in Antarctica was designed and validated. This module was used in the 35th Indian Scientific expedition to Antarctica, and experiments are underway to understand the efficacy and utility of Yoga on psychological stress, sleep, serum biomarkers and gene expression. Further outcomes shall provide the efficacy and utility of this module in Antarctic environments.

Keywords: Antarctica; IAYT; Stress; Yoga module.