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Int J Yoga. 2018 Sep-Dec;11(3):242-244. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_45_17.

Add-on Yoga Therapy for Social Cognition in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS Integrated Centre for Yoga, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
Department of Yoga and Life Sciences, S-VYASA, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



Yoga as a mind-body therapy is useful in lifestyle-related disorders including neuropsychiatric disorders. In schizophrenia patients, yoga has been shown to significantly improve negative symptoms, functioning, and plasma oxytocin level.


The aim of the study was to study the effect of add-on yoga therapy on social cognition in schizophrenia patients.

Materials and Methods:

In a single pre-post, study design, 15 schizophrenia patients stabilized on antipsychotic medication for 6 weeks were assessed for social cognition (theory of mind, facial emotion recognition, and social perception [SP]) and clinical symptoms (negative and positive symptoms and social disability) before and after twenty sessions of add-on yoga therapy.


There was a significant improvement in the social cognition composite score after 20 sessions of yoga (t[13] = -5.37, P ≤ 0.001). Clinical symptoms also reduced significantly after twenty sessions of yoga.


Results are promising to integrate yoga in clinical practice, if proven in well-controlled clinical trials.


Schizophrenia; social cognition; yoga

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