Yoga for depression

This article, from 2004, reviews the research on yoga for depression. It looks at five randomised controlled trials that each used different forms of yoga interventions and in which the severity of the condition ranged from mild to severe. All the trials reported positive findings but methodological details such as method of randomisation, compliance and attrition rates were missing. No adverse effects were reported with the exception of fatigue and breathlessness in participants in one of the studies. Though they need to be interpreted with caution, the findings were that there are potentially beneficial effects of yoga interventions on depressive disorders.

Unfortunately this article can’t be posted here as it is copyright-protected, but you can reach the publisher’s purchase page by clicking here. If you want further information about it, you could also get in touch with us at the Foundation.

 

Young people explain the benefits

The aim of this exploratory study was to explore how young people explain the benefits of yoga using a qualitative approach. This research study was done with a group of students between 11 and 13, who had been voluntarily attending the after school yoga classes for between one month and a year, although some had previous yoga or meditation experience. The young people described a range of physical and psychological benefits from the yoga classes and responded positively to it being taught in schools. This study also gives a greater insight into the mental health needs of young people and how negative influences, such as stress and pressure, can be reduced.

Morgan Young people explain the benefits of mindfulness based yoga

Research review – children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing

This article discusses yoga as a potential tool for children to deal with stress and self-regulate. The author looks at how children and young people are exposed to new demands, standards, and options and to increased pressure to succeed
in school. A central idea in the article is that yoga may help children and young people cope with stress and thus, contribute positively to balance in life,  well-being, and mental health. It presents research literature suggesting that yoga improves children’s physical and mental well-being and that, when used in schools it can help students improve resilience, mood, and self-regulation skills pertaining to emotions and stress.

2014 Hagen Yoga for children and young people’s mental health and well-being research review

Neuroscience, learning and technology

Sometimes the findings of neuroscience can be over-interpreted, and tentative results presented as things we “know” about the brain. As this article points out, “most of what we know about the brain comes from functional imaging experiments that average over many subjects, use technology that is still limited in capturing the rapid and detailed changes that characterise brain activity during even simplest tasks, and that involve environments very different from everyday contexts such as classrooms.” The article looks at some of the literature relating to neuroscience and adolescence. It is quite an accessible approach, and focuses on the conclusions that can be legitimately drawn from the research. The appendixes on “neuromyths” are useful too.

2009 Howard-Jones – Neuroscience Learning and Technology Becta

 

The developing social brain

This is a very useful paper by Sarah-Jane Blakemore that explores the development of the human social brain. She describes evidence that social interaction plays a critical role in early brain development, and then goes on to discuss recent research demonstrating that the social brain undergoes protracted development and that adolescence in particular represents a period of reorganization of the social brain. Finally, she identifies potential implications of this new research for education policy and for human wellbeing. This work is important for understanding the changes that adolescents are undergoing.

2010 Blakemore – The Developing Social Brain – Implications for Education