NIMHANS Integrated Centre for Yoga is premiere health centre in India which offers evidence-based yoga therapy to patients suffering from neuro-psychiatric disorders. Basic research into the effects of Yoga has been going on at NIMHANS since the 1970’s. However, Yoga services as therapeutic interventions in the hospital began with the setting up of the Advanced Centre for Yoga in Mental Health and Neurosciences in 2007. The Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), New Delhi, supported and collaborated in this endeavour. NIMHANS later integrated the Centre as a part of the Institute itself, as the NIMHANS Integrated Centre for Yoga which was established in 2014..
Clinical and training activities: Patients are referred for yoga therapy from the Psychiatry and neurology/neurosurgery departments. The yoga sessions are held in smaller groups after initial one-on-one orientation to the referred patients. On average, 8-10 new patients are referred, and close to 60 patients attend the yoga sessions every day. Nearly 12 separate yoga sessions are held each day to provide the required intervention. Generic yoga modules (including asanas, pranayama, mediations and relaxation) have been designed, validated and subjected to clinical trials for common neuro-psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, mild cognitive impairment, obsessive compulsive disorder, somatoform pain disorder, substance use disorder and Parkinson’s disease. In addition to patient services, the yoga centre conducts yoga appreciation courses for caregivers, staff and students. This one-month course has up to 30 participants and till date, the centre has conducted 30 such courses. Centre has also started one-month certification course in Yoga and Mental health for AYUSH and mental health professionals respectively.
Research activities: More than 50 peer-reviewed and indexed research papers have been published from the Centre. Research on yoga for schizophrenia has been acknowledged by the NICE guidelines of the UK. Several Ph.D., DM (Neurology), MD (Psychiatry) dissertations have been completed, and several are ongoing under the aegis of the Centre. Faculty of the centre have presented invited lectures in scientific meetings held nationally as well as in in 6 different countries. A large inter-departmental group of faculties interested in yoga research have been meeting and 12 research projects in the area of Integrative neuro-psychiatry are currently ongoing.
New facilities including two new yoga halls, updated research facilities, and digitized data recording have been set up and were inaugurated by the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, on 29th August 2017.