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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-28
Effect of a 12-week yoga therapy program on mental health status in elderly women inmates of a hospice

1 Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, MGMCRI Campus, Puducherry, India
2 CYTER and Department of Physiology, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, MGMCRI Campus, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, MGMCRI Campus, Pillayarkuppam, Puducherry - 603 402
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.186156

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Aim and Objectives: This study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of yoga on the mental health status of elderly women inmates residing in a hospice in Puducherry. Materials and Methods: Forty elderly women were randomly divided into yoga and wait-listed control group. A yoga therapy program of 60 min was given twice a week for 12 weeks. This protocol was specially designed for senior citizens, keeping in mind their health status and physical limitations that included simple warm-up and breath-body movement coordination practices (jathis and kriyas), static stretching postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas), and relaxation. Hamilton anxiety scale for measuring anxiety, Hamilton rating scale for depression, and Rosenberg self-esteem scale to measure self-esteem were administered to both groups before and after the 12-week study period. Data were assessed for normality, and appropriate parametric and nonparametric statistical methods were applied for intra- and inter-group comparisons. Results: Overall, intra- and inter-group comparison of prepost data showed statistically significant (P < 0.001) differences for all three parameters. There was an overall improvement in the scores indicating decreased levels of depression and anxiety coupled with an increase in the level of self-esteem after the yoga therapy program. Discussion: The influence of yoga in the reduction of depression and anxiety scores and improvement in self-esteem scores in elderly women subjects is evident from this study. As reported in earlier studies, this may be attributed to changes in central neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric-acid coupled with increased parasympathetic tone and decreased sympatho-adrenal activity. Conclusion: It is recommended that yoga should be a part of health-care facilities for elderly as it can enhance the quality of life by improving their overall mental health status. It could provide a healthy and positive alternative from depressing negative thoughts, and give them a sense of purpose and hope.

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