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ABSTRACT. Ninety children with mental retardation of mild, moderate and severe degree were selected from four special schools in Bangalore, India. Forty-five children underwent yogic training for one academic year (5 h in every week) with an integrated set of yogic practices, including breathing exercises and pranayama, sithilikarana vyayama (loosening exercises), suryanamaskar, yogasanas and meditation. They were compared before and after yogic training with a control group of 45 mentally retarded children matched for chronological age, sex, IQ, socio-economic status and socio environmental background who were not exposed to yoga training but continued their usual school routine during that period. There was highly significant improvement in the IQ and social adaptation parameters in the yoga group as compared to the control group. This study shows the efficacy of yoga as an effective therapeutic tool in the management of mentally retarded children.
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