Evaluation of a community based yoga training programme in Ernakulam

Aparna Vasudev, Paul T. Francis


Background: Mental health concern is escalating globally and current therapeutic approach is insufficient to bring people towards the state of mental well-being. There is a compelling need for effective population mental health promotion approaches. Yoga is a universally acclaimed method for promoting mental and physical well-being, but very much underutilised. The objective of the present study is to evaluate a community-based yoga training program which was conducted in the field practice area of a medical college in Ernakulam.

Methods: A sequential mixed method-quantitative and qualitative-study was done among the participants who attended the yoga training. The perceived benefits of yoga and adherence to yoga were assessed using an investigator administered semi-structured questionnaire. Subsequently a focus group discussion was conducted among the study participants.

Results: 20 subjects who attended the training participated in the study. Mean age was 48 years (SD±14.663) and 85% were females. Mean duration of yoga practice was 6 months. Among the participants, 95% continued yoga practice at home after the training. The main benefits reported were: a feeling of increased energy (75%), relaxed/happy feeling (55%), relief from body pain (40%) and stress reduction (35%).  The subjects reported that the increased energy they felt from yoga increased their work productivity and eased tiredness and stress.

Conclusions: The study shows that yoga offers considerable benefits on mental health, with a large proportion of participants feeling energised and happier. Community based yoga training is a low cost and feasible approach for better mental health.


Yoga, Perceived benefits, Adherence, Barriers

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