International Journal of Yoga

: 2013  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 80--81

Intellectual disabilities and yoga

Satendra Singh 
 Enabling Unit, University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Satendra Singh
Enabling Unit, University College of Medical Siences, Delhi

How to cite this article:
Singh S. Intellectual disabilities and yoga.Int J Yoga 2013;6:80-81

How to cite this URL:
Singh S. Intellectual disabilities and yoga. Int J Yoga [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Dec 2 ];6:80-81
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It was with interest and admiration that I read Hawkins et al.'s article on the influence of yogic exercises on persons with intellectual disabilities. [1] There is a dearth of literature on the effect of yoga on intellectual disabilities. Lotan provided early review with a variety of interventions for individuals with Rett Syndrome. [2] Rather than clear mandate for a few interventions, the review provided effective interventions available to inquisitive parents having children with Rett Syndrome.

Two esteemed members of this journal earlier studied sudomotor sympathetic hypofunction in persons with Down Syndrome. [3] In another study, Uma et al. found the efficacy of yoga as an effective therapeutic tool in the management of children with cognitive disability. [4] The authors used the term "mentally retarded children," which I shall discourage, since being the Coordinator of Enabling Unit for medical students with disabilities, I find this term with negative connotation. Of course, it is a personal opinion and the authors are welcome to differ. The article, however, showed highly significant improvement in the intelligent quotient and social adaptation parameters in the yoga group as compared to control group.

We need more of yoga studies to validate the reliability of yogic interventions on persons with disabilities. A meta-analysis published earlier this year also suggests that yoga is a useful supplementary approach with moderate effect sizes on pain and associated disability .[5] The need of the hour is more rigorous and well-designed research studies to supplement literature in this relatively unexplored field.


1Hawkins BL, Stegall JB, Weber MF, Ryan JB. The influence of a yoga exercise program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Int J Yoga 2012;5:151-6.
2Lotan M. Alternative therapeutic intervention for individuals with Rett syndrome. Scientific World Journal 2007;7:698-714.
3Naveen KV, Telles S. Sudomotor sympathetic hypofunction in Down's syndrome. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1999;43:463-6.
4Uma K, Nagendra HR, Nagarathna R, Vaidehi S, Seethalakshmi R. The integrated approach of yoga: A therapeutic tool for mentally retarded children: A one-year controlled study. J Ment Defic Res 1989;33 (Pt 5):415-21.
5Büssing A, Ostermann T, Lüdtke R, Michalsen A. Effects of yoga interventions on pain and pain-associateddisability: A meta-analysis. J Pain 2012;13:1-9.