Clinical Applications of Yoga for the Pediatric Population: A Systematic Review

This article aimed to explore clinical applications of yoga among the pediatric population. 34 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and nonrandomized controlled trials (NRCTs) were selected that included yoga or yoga-based interventions for individuals aged 0 to 21 years. Clinical areas for which yoga has been studied include physical fitness, cardiorespiratory effects, motor skills/strength, mental health and psychological disorders, behavior and development, irritable bowel syndrome, and birth outcomes following prenatal  yoga. Most published controlled trials suggested benefits  but results have to be described as preliminary due to the low quantity and quality of trials.

2009 Birdee – Clinical Applications of Yoga for the Pediatric population – a systematic review

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

Yoga in Schools in Encinitas

This study describes the first year of the yoga program in the Encinitas School District, in California. This program was the subject of a court case in which the school district was sued by a family for government sponsorship of religion. The judge ruled that though yoga has religious roots it was not religious in the way it was being taught in Encinitas. For more information, have a look at this article.

The study involved interviews with yoga instructors, teachers, principals, district leaders and parents, as well as stakeholder surveys, and other indicators. Although there were limitations in the study, the findings relating to well-being, behaviour and other school based outcomes are promising.
Corke 2014 Yoga in public schools in Encinitas

Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a yoga and mindfulness intervention for school teachers

This article, from 2014, outlines the preliminary outcomes of a yoga and mindfulness intervention for school teachers. The study was randomised and aimed to assess a 6 session yoga and mindfulness program for teachers. 7 schools participated in the study. Initial findings indicate that the intervention may be beneficial for some teachers, but that it was hard to recruit teachers to the pilot. The article makes recommendations for improving this, and for research on the use of yoga and mindfulness with teachers.

Ancona 2014 Outcomes of a Y+M intervention for teachers

Asana increase GABA levels

In this study, the authors compared changes in gamma aminobutyric (GABA) levels in the brain in an acute yoga session and a session of reading. Low levels of GABA are associated with depression and anxiety. The results indicate that in experienced yoga practitioners GABA levels increase after a session of yoga.

Due to copyright issues we cannot unfortunately make the article directly available here. The link to the purchase page is here.  However, for further information about the article, please get in touch with us at the Foundation.

Yoga, anxiety and stress

This article reviews 35 trials that assessed the role of yoga in reducing the signs and symptoms of anxiety and stress. 25 of the trials found a reduction in stress and/or anxiety symptoms when yoga was implemented. However the authors noted that many of the studies had limitations such as small populations, lack of control groups and lack of randomisation that make their results inconclusive. In summary, the literature suggests that yoga may help to relieve anxiety and stress, but further research is needed, with larger populations, longer duration, appropriate control groups and randomisation before yoga can be recommended as a treatment.

2012 Li The effects of yoga on anxiety and stress

Is yoga effective for pain?

This article from 2011 is a systematic review of research in order to explore the effectiveness of yoga in treating pain. The review looked at ten different randomized clinicial trials that investigated the use of yoga in patients with any kind of pain. The results of nine of these suggest that yoga leads to a greater reduction in pain than other interventions, which indicates that yoga has the potential to alleviate pain, though the authors point out that definitive conclusions cannot be drawn.

Unfortunately for copyright reasons we cannot provide this article directly. Here is a link to the purchase page. However, if you need further information about the article, please get in touch with us at the Foundation.