Year : 2013  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 332--333

Yoga and Neurobehavioral Sciences: Indian Perspective


P Satishchandra 
 NIMHANS, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
P Satishchandra
Director & Vice Chancellor, NIMHANS, Bangalore, Karnataka
India




How to cite this article:
Satishchandra P. Yoga and Neurobehavioral Sciences: Indian Perspective.Indian J Psychiatry 2013;55:332-333


How to cite this URL:
Satishchandra P. Yoga and Neurobehavioral Sciences: Indian Perspective. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Sep 21 ];55:332-333
Available from: http://www.indianjpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2013/55/7/332/116297


Full Text

The issue carries a series of research reports by the team from Advanced Center of Yoga in collaboration with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga. I wish to congratulate the team for making this possible. I also thank the editors, Dr. M. S. Keshavan, Dr. T. S. S. Rao and Dr. Naren for their effort in bringing out this supplement.

National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) has identified yoga as an important area for service as well as research and the word yoga itself figures in the logo of NIMHANS. This is researched in both clinical and preclinical departments over the four decades or longer. The advanced center was set up with a memorandum of understanding and collaboration with the "Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga" in 2007. This led to opening of a regular yoga service for the patients. Every day nearly 40 patients and some of their caregivers receive yoga intervention in this center. Yoga is also given as an add-on intervention in the children's ward. The team has trained the nurses in other wards too to provide yoga-based physical activity. In the past 5 years, the team conducted several seminars and symposia to popularize yoga in relation to mental health and neurosciences. The populations included doctors, teachers, special groups like the elderly and caregivers. The group also released a booklet on yoga in depression. Interdisciplinary research was undertaken as part of this collaboration in important areas. Students were guided in these researches to complete their PhD and MD degrees successfully. Some of these research papers are being published as a compilation in this special issue of the Indian Journal of Psychiatry.

Yoga approaches used in these studies include postures (Asanas), breathing techniques (Pranayamas) and chanting (OM). These procedures were chosen from traditional texts and the modules were validated by experts in the field of Yoga. Such validated modules were used in these studies. The studies demonstrate the efficacy of these modules in select conditions, but with some limitations. That many of the measurements are objective suggests that there was no bias in these results. There is also evidence that the yoga intervention produced predictable biological changes. These biological changes too were relevant to the therapeutic effects. Yoga also was found beneficial in certain divergent groups, caregivers and children and acutely ill in-patients. Persons with difficult-to-treat epilepsy attending out-patient care too expressed a need for yoga as an add-on intervention.

This is only a modest attempt to project evidences in favor of yoga. I am also aware that some studies are not published here as they are yet incomplete, have not shown such positive results in the preliminary analyses. More careful documentation/verification of yoga's adverse effects, if any, deserves to be brought to the notice of clinicians. The team should also extend its work to include other clinical populations in whom the allopathic interventions have limitations. Examples include dementias, degenerative muscle disorders, acquired brain damage-related deficits, childhood/developmental disorders and substance use disorders. There is a need to develop strategies that help to overcome barriers in reaching yoga to the patients living in the community. Demonstrating the effectiveness of such strategies will go a long way in introducing comprehensive/integrated approaches for the care of chronically ill. There could also be potential to include these in public health programs.

Given the presence at NIMHANS of advanced and cutting edge research facilities in basic science, the team must explore the research with reference to the basic mechanisms of yoga as a composite module as well as its independent components. Demonstration of such biological evidence in correcting the underlying disease by yoga helps to motivate modern practitioners to recommend yoga as a treatment in certain conditions. The quantum of evidence in favor of yoga could well prompt in the days to come inclusion of a yoga specialist in the mental health Team. I wish the yoga research team all success in meeting these objectives in the near future.

I also wish all the readers a productive reading and I hope they will be the individuals who will speak for yoga in the modern medicine clinics.