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VOLUME 5 , ISSUE 2 ( July-Dec, 2016 ) > List of Articles

Finding Peace on a Psychiatric Ward with Yoga: Report on a Pilot Anthropological Study in Pondicherry, India.

Krzysztof Bierski, S Eswaran, Madanmohan

Keywords : Yoga, Psychiatry, Mental Health, Anthropology

Citation Information : Bierski K, Eswaran S, M. Finding Peace on a Psychiatric Ward with Yoga: Report on a Pilot Anthropological Study in Pondicherry, India.. 2016; 5 (2):14-19.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10085-5205

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-02-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2016; The Author(s).


This article explores how patients and their families engage with yoga practice offeredat a psychiatric ward of MGMC&RI in the Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth in Pondicherry, India. The material collected during participant observation-based research in form of detailed field notes, photography and video focused on patients’ experiences, hopes and limitations as well clinical staff's expectations and opinions on providing yoga as a therapeutic activity. Participants in the study found yoga to be a beneficial practice through which they could release tensions, relax and care for themselves. However, patients also felt that they would not be able to continue with their practice once discharged from the hospital. In addition to therapeutic interventions, then, there is a burning need to introduce yoga in patients as a long-term skilled practice. Yoga could be brought out of the psychiatric ward into the patients’ day-to-day lives by encouraging families to practice together. Furthermore, we suggest that using personalised videos could support patients in maintaining regular practice and to enhance adherence.

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