Yoga for Mental Health

We're always looking for more data to add to our index, so if you know of a yoga research study that you don't see here, pass it along to us. Send relevant scholarly articles to Yoga Alliance® supports the continued research on yoga’s benefits, and we will continue to update the page with more research on more health topics. 

Last updated: July 19, 2017

Yoga Alliance recommends that any individuals with health concerns consult with a qualified health care practitioner to discuss whether yoga is right for them, but we are aware that yoga can be used in the medical treatment context by appropriately qualified and licensed healthcare practitioners. Yoga Alliance credentials do not serve as qualifications for the diagnosis or treatment of health conditions.

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“It is recommended that yoga should be a part of health-care facilities for elderly as it can enhance the quality of life by improving their overall mental health status.”
–Meena Ramanathan et al (2017), International Journal of Yoga


“Results suggest that Yoga practice can significantly reduce CMI [cognitive-motor interference] by improving allocation and utilization of attentional resources for both balance control and executive cognitive functioning; thus resulting in better performance under DT [dual-task] conditions.”
–Subramaniam et al (2017), Complimentary Therapies in Medicine



“Highly involved yoga practitioners exhibited a significantly increased amount of mindfulness and religious/spiritual well-being (both p < 0.01) and lower psychiatric symptoms such as depression (p < 0.01) compared to those who were only marginally/moderately yoga-involved or who were in the gymnastics control group.”
–Gaiswinkler et al (2016), Complimentary Therapies in Medicine



“A repeated measures factorial Analysis of Variance showed that in comparison to the control group, the Dru yoga intervention group had improved psychological well-being as indicated by reductions in stress, negative affect, and dysfunctional coping and increases in problem focused coping at follow up (P<0.05).”
–Timlin et al (2017), Midwifery



“YBSM [Yoga-Based Stress Management] and CBSM [Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management] appear to be useful for health care professionals’ mental and physical health. YBSM demonstrates some benefit above and beyond the extremely well studied and empirically supported CBSM, including increased physical activity, overall mental health, and decreased secondary traumatic stress benefits.”
– Riley et al (2016), Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health



“Findings also reveal that participants experience psychological benefits from the practice of yoga asana in addition to mindfulness, such as a more holistic understanding of psychological distress, adaptive coping strategies, and enhanced well-being.”
–Kahya et al (2016), EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing



“Using thematic analysis, the following three themes emerged: (1) youth conflated stress with negative emotions; (2) peer and family conflicts were common stressors; and (3) youth reported improved impulse control and emotional regulation following the intervention. Study findings have implications for refining intervention content (e.g., discussions of stress), as well as informing the selection and development of quantitative measures for future research on stress and stress responses in urban youth.”
–Dariotis et al (2016), EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing



“The E.W.M. ['Exercise Without Movement' yoga method] has been useful in the development of mindfulness and in the treatment of anxiety and depression symptoms and may represent a new method in the mindfulness-based therapeutic application.”
–Roche et al (2016), Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice



“Yoga participation can improve mental/emotional wellness, exhaustion levels, and stress levels in elderly individuals, even without measurable improvements in physical function. Clinicians and health practitioners who work with the elderly should consider yoga as a potential therapeutic modality for improving important aspects of quality of life in this population.”
–Lindahl et al (2016), Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice



“Highly involved yoga practitioners exhibited a significantly increased amount of mindfulness and religious/spiritual well-being (both p < 0.01) and lower psychiatric symptoms such as depression (p < 0.01) compared to those who were only marginally/moderately yoga-involved or who were in the gymnastics control group.”
–Gaiswinkler et al (2016), Complementary Therapies in Medicine



“Results indicate that IYM [integrated yoga module] can profitably be suggested for HGs [home guards] as a cost-effective means to help them cope with stressful situations.”
–Amaranath et al (2016), Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine



“Yoga that applied to schizophrenic patients it was determined to [increase] the level of functional recovery. It can be suggested that yoga should be used as [a] complementary method in nursing practise in order to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.”
–Kavak et al (2016), Archives of Psychiatric Nursing



“The investigations in this study suggest that Cyclic Meditation practice reduces stress and improves psychosomatic health indices more effectively than Supine Rest in managers.”
–Kushwah et al (2016), Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine



“Yoga program led to greater improvement in physical and mental health status than did conventional care. Yoga seems to be a safe, feasible, and effective treatment for patients with COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease].”
–Ranjita et al (2016), International Journal of Yoga



“Eight-week MBCT [mindfulness-based cognitive therapy] program has led to reduction in depression and increased mindfulness skills, acceptance, and overall quality of life in patients with late-life depression.”
–Sonal Mathur et al (2016), International Journal of Yoga



“Yoga and meditation may be effective in reducing stress levels and improving aspects of personal wellbeing in medical students.”
–Prasad et al (2016), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“These findings imply that yoga could offer diverse behavioral, physical, and psychosocial effects that may make it a useful tool for weight loss. Role modeling and social support provided by the yoga community may contribute to weight loss, particularly for individuals struggling to lose weight.”
–Ross et al (2016), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“Yoga plus regular care was effective in reducing symptoms of depression compared with regular care alone.”
–Manincor et al (2016), Depression and Anxiety



“There is also some evidence for the potential of yoga and biofeedback to reduce seizure frequency by acting on both the HPA [hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical] and the SAM [sympathetic-adrenomedullary] systems that are involved in stress.”
– Novakova et al (2013), Epilepsia



“tMBSR [teleconference mindfulness-based stress reduction] is an accessible intervention that may be useful to people with a wide spectrum of health conditions.”
– Reilly-Spong et al (2015), Contemporary Clinical Trials



“In caregivers of outpatients with functional psychosis, 4 weeks of training followed by 3 months of home practice of a yoga module offered significant advantage over waitlist. Yoga can be offered as an intervention for caregivers of patients with severe mental disorders.”
– Varambally et al (2013), Asian Journal of Psychiatry



“The study reports positive results in terms of enhanced EI [emotional intelligence] due to yoga theory and practice. These results underscore the importance of the yoga way of life as an integral element for improving managerial performance in organizations…”
– Adhia et al (2010), IIMB Management Review



“In addition, the yoga group reported increased life purpose and satisfaction, and feelings of greater self-confidence during stressful situations. . . These results show that even a short program of yoga is effective for enhancing emotional wellbeing and resilience to stress in the workplace.”
– Hartfiel et al (2011), Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health



“Hatha Yoga may be an effective technique for enhancing mindfulness and decreasing stress levels in practitioners.”
– Brisbon et al (2011), Journal of Religion and Health



“In this study it was found that Yoga has a positive and significant effect both on depression and state anxiety level of addicts in rehabilitation period (p=0.048),(p=0.023).”
– Marefat et al (2011), The Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences



“Yoga practitioners showed improvement of the memory performance, as well as improvements in psychophysiological parameters. The present results suggest that regular yoga practice can improve aspects of cognition and quality of life for healthy individuals.”
– Rocha et al (2012), Consciousness and Cognition



“Findings suggest that the male participants (age 18-24 years) benefited from the [yoga and mindfulness training] intervention through reductions in stress and improvements in emotion regulation.”
– Barrett et al (2016), International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology



“Findings indicate that Karma-Yoga is very similar to altruism motivation in the Indian context. Individuals who are high on empathic concern and low on personal distress are more likely to take actions for the benefit of others rather than for their own benefit.”
– Mulla et al (2014), Psychology and Developing Societies



“Over the 2-month period, participants exhibited significant decreases in depression symptoms and significant increases in an aspect of mindfulness and in behavior activation. This pilot study provided support for continuing to investigate Vinyasa yoga as an adjunct treatment for depression.”
– Uebelacker et al (2010), Behavior Modification



“Yoga may provide the greatest mental-health–related QOL benefits for those experiencing pre-radiotherapy sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms. Yoga may improve physical-health–related QOL by increasing ability to find benefit in the [breast] cancer experience.”
– Ratcliff et al (2016), Integrative Cancer Therapies



“Yoga may provide the greatest mental-health–related QOL benefits for those experiencing pre-radiotherapy sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms. Yoga may improve physical-health–related QOL by increasing ability to find benefit in the [breast] cancer experience.”
– Ratcliff et al (2014), Integrative Cancer Therapies



“Findings suggest that most initiate yoga practice for exercise and stress relief, but for many, spirituality becomes their primary reason for maintaining practice.”
– Park et al (2014), Journal of Health Psychology



“Yoga practice leads to personal transformation, increases social interaction, provides coping mechanisms to weather relationship losses and difficulties, and leads to spiritual transcendence.”
– Ross et al (2014), Journal of Holistic Nursing



“Results suggest that school-based yoga may be advantageous for stress management and behavior.”
– Butzer et al (2014), Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine



“The program consisted of weekly sessions. Each session incorporated yoga postures, visualization, and social exercises. Breathing techniques were integrated. . . The results demonstrate that children with high BIS [behavioral inhibition system] may benefit from a mind-body-based stress reduction program.”
– Jellesma et al (2012), Journal of Holistic Nursing



“Interventions [8 weeks of mindfulness training including self-compassion and yoga] were effective in helping uninsured and low-income patients reduce depression and/or anxiety symptoms.”
– Falsafi et al (2015), Journal of Holistic Nursing



“The results indicate that a workplace yoga intervention can reduce perceived stress and back pain and improve psychological well-being.”
– Hartfiel et al (2012), Occupational Medicine



“A significant reduction in scores on anxiety, depression, and tension was found in yoga group, as well as an increase in well-being in comparison with the control group.”
– Kozasa et al (2008), Perceptual & Motor Skills



“This suggests that even in army personnel naïve to yoga, a yoga-based intervention or listening to meditation music could reduce anxiety while increasing performance on an attention task.”
– Yogpeeth et al (2012), Perceptual & Motor Skills



“. . . emotion interference in the low attentional condition was lower among advanced practitioners and state anxiety was lower among practitioners attending more than two weekly yoga classes. The results suggested that yoga may help improve self-regulatory skills and lower anxiety.”
– Menezes et al (2015), Perceptual & Motor Skills



“Hence, yoga practice as well as learning about theoretical aspects of yoga appear to reduce state anxiety, with a greater reduction following yoga practice.”
– Telles et al (2009), Perceptual & Motor Skills



“Results from this preliminary study suggest that Y-CBT [cognitive behavioural therapy with kundalini yoga] may have potential as a promising treatment for those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder.”
– Khalsa et al (2014), Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy


“These findings suggest that an abbreviated mindfulness-based stress reduction course can serve to reduce anxiety and improve quality of life in an underserved population.”
– Smith et al (2015), Holistic Nursing Practice



“The results suggest that both interventions improve attention, but that only DRT [yoga-based Deep Relaxation Technique] reduces State Anxiety.”
– Khemka et al (2009), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“Taken together, these results suggest that participation in a SMET [Self Management of Excessive Tension, a yoga based stress management program on brain wave coherence] program was associated with improvement in emotional stability and may have implications for 'Executive Efficiency'."
– Ganpat et al (2011), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“This study suggests that a brief yoga program may be beneficial in decreasing anxiety, somatization of stress and discomfort, improving health-related quality of life and self-rated sleep quality.”
– Telles et al (2012), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“The results show that yoga practice decreases sympathetic activity and causes a shift in the autonomic balance towards parasympathetic dominance indicating a reduction in stress. In conclusion, yoga practice helps to reduce stress by optimizing the autonomic functions.”
– Patil et al (2013), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“The present study demonstrates that Sahaj Yoga has got a potential role as a component in the management of depressive disorders.”
– Sharma et al (2005), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“A study was undertaken to observe any beneficial effect of yogic practices during training period on the young trainees. . .There was improvement in performance at submaximal level of exercise and in anaerobic threshold in the yoga group. Shoulder, hip, trunk and neck flexibility improved in the yoga group. There was improvement in various psychological parameters like reduction in anxiety and depression and a better mental function after yogic practices.”
– Ray et al (2001), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“Our results show that yoga training optimizes the sympathetic response to stressful stimuli like isometric handgrip test and restores the autonomic regulatory reflex mechanisms in hypertensive patients.”
– Vijayalakshmi et al (2014), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“The aim of the study was to study the short-term impact of a comprehensive but brief lifestyle intervention, based on yoga, on anxiety levels in normal and diseased subjects. . . The observations suggest that a short educational program for lifestyle modification and stress management leads to remarkable reduction in the anxiety scores within a period of 10 days.”
– Gupta et al (2006),  Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“The results thereby, demonstrate that Sahaj Yoga practice in addition to the improvement in various other cognitive domains seen with conventional anti-depressants, can lead to additional improvement in executive functions like manipulation of information in the verbal working memory and added improvement in attention span and visuo-motor speed of the depressives.”
– Sharma et al (2006), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“Based on the results of our study, we conclude that regular yogic practices and adapting and implementing the principals and philosophy of yoga in day to day life may decrease the anxiety level.”
– Mullur et al (2014), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“The [Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY)] intervention produced a significant change in the [quality of life] of opioid dependent users as compared to [the control] group. The SKY program holds promise and can be used as a beneficial, low-risk adjunct for substance users undergoing treatment.“
– Anju et al (2015), International Journal of Yoga



“The current study suggests that prenatal yoga may be a viable approach to addressing antenatal depression, one that may have advantages in terms of greater acceptability than standard depression treatments. On average, participants’ depression severity decreased significantly by the end of the intervention.“
– Battle et al (2015), Women’s Health Issues



"Children, like adults, substantially increased the practice of yoga [from 2.3% to 3.1%] between 2007 and 2012."
– Black et al (2015), National Health Statistics Reports



“[Yoga and pranayama] have no side effects but still offer the potential to reduce cardiovascular disease, thus improving long-term outcomes and reducing overall health care costs. While the effects of medication are temporary…the effects of consistent practice of yoga and pranayama are permanent, resetting the autonomic nervous system to one of parasympathetic dominance.“
– Chaddha et al (2015), International Journal of Yoga



“Healing Pathways was effective at reducing stress and improving coping and mindfulness in nurses [to improve their resiliency and reduce burnout]. ...Nurses who invest time in self-care techniques including Reiki, yoga, and meditation improve their overall wellbeing and may provide higher-quality patient care. Implementation of an 8-week yoga program in integrative self-care is feasabile and important for the health of nurses.”
Deible et al (2015), Global Advances in Health and Medicine



“Our results show that both slow and fast pranayamas are beneficial on most of the tested [pulmonary function] parameters, and fast pranayama was more effective than slow pranayama. These changes by both pranayama techniques can be attributed to improved autonomic tone toward parasympathodominance resulting in a relaxed state of mind, better subjective well-being and concentration on the task, improved lung ventilation and strength of respiratory muscles.“
– Dinesh et al (2015), International Journal of Yoga



“Participation in [Surdashan Kriya Yoga] ten days intense workshop and follow-ups, coupled with daily individual and independent practice of a simplified protocol of breathing techniques (30 min), can lead to significant reduction in levels of Anxiety and Depression.“
– Doria et al (2015), Journal of Affective Disorders



“It was concluded that suryanamaskar is effective in leading to [relaxation dispositions] like physical relaxation, mental quiet, at ease/peace, rested and refreshed, strength and awareness and joy and reduces sleepiness, somatic stress, worry and negative emotion at a dispositional level.“
– Godse et al (2015), International Journal of Yoga



“Findings from this study suggest that pregnant, urban, adolescents are highly stressed; they interpret depression-like symptoms to be signs of stress; they desire group-based, interactive activities; and they are interested in yoga classes for stress/depression management and relationship building.“
– Kinser et al (2015), Women’s Health Issues



“The results suggest that yoga produces improvements in emotional functioning in healthy subjects and people who suffer from some physical illnesses, particularly in psychological self-reported variables. In summary, emerging evidence suggests that yoga may help foster healthier psychological responses, indicating its potential as an emotion regulation strategy.”
– Menezes et al (2015), Psychology & Neuroscience



“The regular practices of yoga for a period of five months by young healthy engineering students enhance different types of cognitive skills [and] resulted in many health benefits such as improvement in heart rate variability. [Yoga] practices resulted in effective improvements in physiological parameters, indirectly improving psychological parameters and various cognitive functions.”
– Nagendra et al (2015), Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine



“Contemporary [hatha yoga] (asanas + pranayamas + dhyana), seen holistically, is effective for certain health problems such as hypertension, [eating disorders], stress, among others. Also, the practice of Yoga is associated to healthy [eating behaviors].ldquo;
– Ramos-Jiménez et al (2015), International Journal of Yoga


“Preliminary findings suggest that yoga may reduce expressive suppression and may improve [post-traumatic stress disorder] symptoms by increasing psychological flexibility. …Expressive suppression significantly decreased for the yoga group relative to the assessment control.”
– Dick et al (2014), Journal of Clinical Psychology

“Preliminary findings suggest that yoga may reduce expressive suppression and may improve [posttraumatic stress disorder] symptoms by increasing psychological flexibility.”
– Dick et al (2014), Journal of Clinical Psychology


"Following 8 weeks of yoga practice, participants in the yoga intervention group showed significantly improved performance on the executive function measures of working memory capacity and efficiency of [task switching].”
– Gothe et al (2014), The Journals of Gerontology



“After the [cognitive behavioural therapy combined with kundalini yoga] (Y-CBT) intervention, pre-post comparisons showed statistically significant improvements in state and trait anxiety, depression, panic, sleep and quality of life [in treatment-resistant mental health clients]. Results from this preliminary study suggest that Y-CBT may have potential as a promising treatment for those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder.”
– Khalsa et al (2014), Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy



“Pranayama training decreases sympathetic activity, resulting in mental relaxation and decreased autonomic arousal thereby, decreasing force fluctuations during isometric contraction. This is reflected as improvement in [hand grip strength] and [hand grip endurance].”
– Thangavel et al (2014), Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research



“Antenatal yoga seems to be useful for reducing women's anxieties toward childbirth and preventing increases in depressive symptomatology. A single session of yoga reduced both subjective and physiological measures of state anxiety.”
Newham et al (2014), Depression and Anxiety, the official journal of the ADAA



“Yoga has the potential to help [psychiatrically hospitalized] adolescents in an acute care psychiatric hospital learn to soothe themselves, to regulate their emotions, and to find relief from emotional distress while hospitalized.”
Re et al (2014), Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing



“We found that, among healthy sedentary menopausal women, yoga appears to improve menopausal quality of life.“
– Reed et al (2014), American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology



“The results indicated that hatha yoga and resistance exercise had positive effects on mental health and well-being in sedentary adults. Hatha yoga and resistance exercise may affect different aspects of mental health and well-being.”
– Taspinar et al (2014), Complementary Therapies in Medicine



“[South Icelandic villagers] were offered to participate in a yoga program subsequent to an earthquake. [T]he observed trend toward improved sleep quality and social relations deserve further exploration in larger effectiveness studies on the impact of Hatha yoga on recovery after natural disaster.”
– Thoradardottir et al (2014), Complementary Therapies in Medicine



“Our results suggest two overarching themes: hatha yoga may be a powerful positive practice for some people with bipolar disorder…[but] is not without risks, and… should be used with care.”
– Uebelacker et al (2014), Journal of Psychiatric Practice



“This 12-week community-based yoga intervention was feasible and provides preliminary evidence for the benefits of yoga on [health-related quality of life], physical fitness and [physical activity levels] in pediatric cancer out-patients.”
–Wurz et al (2014), Pediatric Blood & Cancer



“These results suggest that school-based yoga programs may be appropriate for promoting healthy behaviors at a societal level by focusing on the prevention of negative patterns during the adolescent transition.“
– Conboy et al (2013), Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing



“Our study suggests that an 8-week yoga and compassion meditation program [for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients] may offer an effective intervention for reducing perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and salivary cortisol in familial caregivers.”
– Danucalov et al (2013), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“Within these limitations, we may conclude that in-patients with ADHD can be taught a package of yoga along with other medical treatments. The findings encourage RCT of yoga intervention in in-patients with ADHD. There is a suggestion from this study that home yoga practice is also feasible and may benefit ADHD.”
– Hariprasad et al (2013), Indian Journal of Psychiatry



“…associations between affect, mindfulness, and patient-reported mental health outcomes, including mood disturbance, stress symptoms, and health-related quality of life (HRQL), were examined in an existing seven-week yoga program for cancer survivors. Decreases in mood disturbance and stress symptoms and improvements in HRQL were observed upon program completion. Results…suggest a reciprocal relationship in which higher HRQL is associated with yoga practice maintenance.”
– Mackenzie et al (2013), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“Among a non-probability sample of female yoga practitioners between 45 and 80 years, increased yoga experience predicted increased levels of psychological well-being.”
– Moliver et al (2013), International Journal of Yoga


“Pranayama seems to have a significant positive effect on test anxiety and test performance. It could be used as an important technique by students prior to their examinations, to reduce their test anxiety and increase their test performance.“
– Nemati (2013), International Journal of Yoga



“The [Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction] program is effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, perceived stress, [blood pressure] and [body mass index] in patients with [coronary heart disease].“
– Parswani et al (2013), International Journal of Yoga



“[Brahma Kumaris Rajayoga Meditation] helps in significantly increasing self-satisfaction and happiness in life by enhancing positive thinking. Irrespective of age and years of short-term or long-term meditation practice, enhanced positive thinking increases self-satisfaction and happiness in life.”
– Ramesh M.G et al (2013), Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research



“Participants agreed yoga improved: energy…happiness…social relationships…sleep…and weight. Yoga might be beneficial for a number of populations including elderly women and those with chronic health conditions.”
– Ross et al (2013), Complementary Therapies in Medicine



“The present study has shown that 6 months training in [asana], pranayama as well as their combination is effective in improving physiological functions of police trainees.”
– Trakroo et al (2013), International Journal of Yoga



“This randomized trial compared the effects of Brain Wave Vibration…with Iyengar yoga and Mindfulness. In conclusion, substantive benefits to measures of mood and well-being were seen in all groups in this trial, while no measure was a significant negative change seen in any group, suggesting that all three practices are beneficial.”
– Bowden et al (2012), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“These data suggest that yoga may be an effective intervention for prenatally depressed women. When pregnant women were randomly assigned to yoga, deep relaxation or standard prenatal exercise groups, stress decreased by 32% in the yoga group and increased by 7% in the control group.“
– Field et al (2012), Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy



“The present study investigated [gray matter volume] differences between yoga meditation practitioners (YMP) and a matched control group. The YMP group exhibited greater [gray matter] volume in frontal, limbic, temporal, occipital and cerebellar regions. Taken together, study findings suggest that the practice of hatha yoga…is associated with enhanced cognitive function coupled with enlargement of brain structures held to instantiate executive control.”
– Froeliger et al (2012), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“Positive effects of yoga have been shown in persons with mental-health problems, eating disorders and irritable bowel syndrome. There is considerable evidence that mind-body interventions have mild to moderate effects on physical symptoms, psychological functioning and [quality of life], and may be particularly helpful for children coping with acute pain…chronic abdominal pain…and mental-health problems.”
– Hartmann et al (2012), Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies


“[This study] describes the development of a yoga program aimed to reduce burden and improve coping of family caregivers of in-patients with schizophrenia. The developed yoga program was found to be acceptable to caregivers.“
– Jagannathan et al (2012), International Journal of Yoga



“The results of this small pilot trial suggest that the [Sudarshan Kriya Yoga] course represents a potentially valuable adjunct to standard pharmacotherapy in patients with GAD [generalized anxiety disorder] or treatment-resistant GAD.”
– Katzman et al (2012), International Journal of Yoga



“Long-term Sahaja yoga meditation practitioners appear to experience better quality of life and functional health than the general population. A relationship between functional health, especially mental health, and the frequency of meditative experience…exists that may be causal.”
– Manocha et al (2012), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“In conclusion, yoga postures or meditation performed in the office can acutely improve several physiological and psychological markers of stress. Both yoga and meditation reduced perceived stress versus the control group…and these effects were maintained throughout the 15 min postintervention period.”
– Melville et al (2012), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“In conclusion, this study suggests that Iyengar yoga is an effective treatment for women in reducing mental distress and concomitant psychological and physical symptoms.”
– Michalsen et al (2012), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“The patients with [menstrual disorders experiencing] mild to moderate anxiety and depressive symptoms improve significantly with 'Yoga Nidra' intervention.“
– Rani et al (2012), International Journal of Yoga




“This study concludes that Yogic breathing has a significant effect on the reduction of state trait anxiety level of dental students. …the inclusion of yogic breathing in the stress reduction protocol of dental school curriculum could reduce dental students’ overall anxiety, enhance their academic functioning, improve their technical performance, decrease their patients’ anxiety, and ultimately benefit all aspects of their academic and professional careers.“
– Shankarapillai et al (2012), International Journal of Yoga




“To summarize, our study demonstrates that [fast and slow] pranayama practice are equally beneficial in reducing perceived stress but significant benefit on physiological parameters is seen only in subjects practicing slow pranayama.“
– Sharma et al (2013), International Journal of Yoga



“Our study indicates that [sudarshan kriya and pranayam] practice has the potential to overcome [exam stress] by improving lipid profile and hematological parameters, [both of which exam stress impact.]“
– Subramanian et al (2012), International Journal of Yoga



“The present study was designed to determine whether immediately after uninostril or alternate nostril yoga breathing there would be a change in the ability to pay attention to a given stimulus. …Certain psychiatric disorders are known to be associated with the selective disruption of the function of a specific hemisphere. Uninostril breathing practices have potential to be used in conditions like this.“
– Telles et al (2012), International Journal of Yoga



“Both kapalabahati [high frequency yoga breathing] and breath awareness can improve fine motor skills and visual discrimination, with a greater magnitude of change after kapalabhati.“
– Telles et al (2012), International Journal of Yoga



“Both the mindfulness-based and therapeutic yoga programs may provide viable and effective interventions to target high stress levels, sleep quality, and autonomic balance in employees. Compared with the control group, the mind-body interventions showed significantly greater improvements on perceived stress, sleep quality, and the heart rhythm coherence ratio of heart rate variability.”
– Wolever et al (2012), Journal of Occupational Health Psychology



“The observations suggest that a short-term, yoga-based lifestyle intervention may significantly reduce anxiety and improve subjective well-being and personality in patients with chronic diseases.“
– Yadav (2012), International Journal of Yoga



“…yoga could be considered an ancillary treatment option for patients with depressive disorders and individuals with elevated levels of depression.”
Cramer et al (2011), Depression and Anxiety, the official journal of the ADAA



“Results suggest a relation between yogic meditative practice and sustained attenuation of emotional response following emotion regulation. Increased positive affect and familiarity with cognitive emotion regulation in the yogic group may explain this effect.”
– Gootjes et al (2011), Journal of Psychophysiology



“Reduction in State and Trait anxiety score signifies that yoga has both immediate as well as long-term effect on anxiety reduction. Thus yoga helps to improve the mental health in both [young and senior participants].”
– Gururaja et al (2011), International Journal of Yoga



“[The] authors conclude that yoga has a significant effect in ameliorating the autonomic, endocrine, and psychological changes brought about by the examination stress. Yoga keeps the anxiety levels in check such that it rises only to [a] level where it is beneficial and not harmful.“
– Gopal et al (2011), International Journal of Yoga



“A single month of integral yoga practices imparts significant benefits to healthy volunteers in all psychological and health variables. It improves sustained attention and [emotional intelligence]. It improves the personality of the healthy person by increasing sattva and decreasing rajas and tamas. It also improves all dimensions of general health.“
– Khemka et al (2011), International Journal of Yoga



“In summary, our findings show potential benefits of yoga for people with cancer in improvements of psychological health.”
– Lin et al (2011), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“The results of this pilot study demonstrate that a six-week peer-mediated multimodal behavioral program that included Yoga and Meditation can lead to measurable benefits in children with ADHD. More than 50% of the children improved their academic and behavioral performance.”
– Mehta et al (2011), ISRN Pediatrics



“This pilot study suggests that a yoga-based, comprehensive wellness program is both feasible and efficacious in creating positive, short-term improvements in multiple domains of health and wellness for a population of employees. Statistically significant improvements were observed in weight, diastolic blood pressure, flexibility score, body fat percentage, and overall quality of life.“
– Thomley et al (2011), Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing



“The IAM [Integrated Amrita Meditation] technique is an efficient tool in reducing stress as measured by [Life Changes Questionnaire].“
– Vandana et al (2011), International Journal of Yoga



“[In participants of a 4-week yoga teacher training resident program,] “The mindfulness subscales of oobservation, awareness, and nonreactivity all improved following the training, suggesting that one benefit of yoga practice is a more refined ability to attend to one's inner experience.”
– Conboy et al (2010), The Scientific World Journal



“This study explored the benefits of yoga on functional fitness, flexibility, and perceived stress [for firefighters. Results] revealed significant improvements in the Functional Movement Screen…trunk flexibility and perceived stress. Participants reported…feeling more focused and less musculoskeletal pain. These findings…indicate that participants benefitted from yoga.“
– Cowen (2010), Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies



“We conclude that participation in yoga classes may be both enjoyable and beneficial to children living in stressful conditions…[or] postwar stress situations.”
– Ehud et al (2010), International Journal of Yoga



“Our findings showed that Laughter Yoga is at least as effective as group exercise program in improvement of depression and life satisfaction of elderly depressed women.”
–Shahidi et al (2010), International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry



“Women practicing mindful yoga in their second trimester reported significant reductions in physical pain from baseline to postintervention compared with women in the third trimester whose pain increased. Women in their third trimester showed greater reductions in perceived stress and trait anxiety. Preliminary evidence supports yoga’s potential efficacy in these areas, particularly if started early in the pregnancy.”
– Beddoe et al (2009), Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing



“After 6 months of silver yoga exercises, the sleep quality, depression, and health status of older adults were all improved.“
– Chen et al (2009), International Journal of Nursing Studies



“…Yoga helps in the improvement in Gunas (personality) and self- esteem. These findings reveal that Yoga has greater influence on holistic personality growth (Gunas) when compared to routine physical exercise. This study thus provides scientific evidence to consider yoga as an independent practice that can be beneficial in improving one's quality of life.“
– Deshpande et al (2009), International Journal of Yoga



“The results show that the students who practiced yoga performed better in academics. The study further shows that low-stress students performed better than high-stress students, meaning thereby that stress affects the students' performance.“
– Kauts et al (2009), International Journal of Yoga



“This…study investigated the effects of meditation with yoga (and psychoeducation) versus group therapy with hypnosis (and psychoeducation) versus psychoeducation alone on diagnostic status and symptom levels among 46 individuals with long-term depressive disorders. Results indicate that significantly more meditation group participants experienced a remission than did controls at 9-month follow-up.”
– Butler et al (2008), Journal of Clinical Psychology



“This study has demonstrated that an eight week intervention of an integrated yoga module decreased verbal aggressiveness in the yoga group (in males and those below 25 years of age), with a nonsignificant increase in the [physical exercise] group.”
– Deshpande et al (2008), International Journal of Yoga



“Yoga improved exercise tolerance and positively affected levels of inflammatory markers in patients with [heart failure], and there was also a trend toward improvements in [quality of life].“
– Pullen et al (2008), Journal of Cardiac Failure



“The results suggest possible benefits for yoga in reducing postoperative distress and preventing immune suppression following surgery [for breast cancer patients.] The results suggest a significant decrease in psychological morbidity such as anxiety state and trait, depression, treatment-related symptoms and improvement in the quality of life in the yoga group as compared to the controls following surgery.“
– Rao et al (2008), International Journal of Yoga



“These findings indicate that caregivers [who provide unpaid care to an individual with a disease or disability] in a yoga program may receive some benefits. After [an] 8-week yoga program, lower body strength increased significantly…and other notable trends occurred in terms of coping, upper body strength and aerobic endurance.”
– Puymbroeck et al (2007), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“Yoga appears to be a promising intervention for depression; it is cost-effective and easy to implement. It produces many beneficial emotional, psychological and biological effects, as supported by observations in this study.”
– Shapiro et al (2007), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“This [study] suggests that yoga practice may be useful in the management of stress following a natural disaster in people with widely differing social, cultural and spiritual beliefs.”
– Telles et al (2007), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“Results extend the antidepressant effects of [Sudarshana Kriya Yoga] in alcohol dependence subjects. Reduction in stress-hormone levels (cortisol and ACTH) along with [Beck Depression Inventory] reductions possibly support a biological mechanism of SKY in producing beneficial effects.“
–  Vedamurthachar et al (2006), Journal of Affective Disorders



“[The study] tested whether yoga practice is associated with greater awareness of and responsiveness to bodily sensations, lower self-objectification, greater body satisfaction, and fewer disordered eating attitudes. Three samples of women (43 yoga, 45 aerobic, and 51 nonyoga/nonaerobic practitioners) completed questionnaire measures. As predicted, yoga practitioners reported more favorably on all measures.”
– Daubenmier (2005), Psychology of Women Quarterly



“The results suggest that yoga was associated with improved mood, and may be a useful way of reducing stress during inpatient psychiatric treatment. Analyses indicated that participants reported significant improvements on all five of the negative emotion factors on the [Profile of Mood States].”
– Lavey et al (2005),Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal



“These findings suggest that Inner Resources [yoga–meditation program for caregivers] may be a feasible and effective intervention for family caregivers [of dementia patients] and may improve affect, coping, physical well-being, and stress management.”
– Waelde et al (2004), Journal of Clinical Psychology



“Average minutes of weekly yoga–meditation practice were significantly associated with improvements in depression. The majority of caregivers…reported subjective improvements in physical and emotional functioning.”
– Waelde et al (2004), Journal of Clinical Psychology


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