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OBJECTIVE:To test feasibility of yoga within a high school curriculum and evaluate preventive efficacy for psychosocial well-being. METHODS: Grade 11 or 12 students (N = 51) who registered for physical education (PE) were cluster-randomized by class 2:1 yoga:PE-as-usual. A Kripalu-based yoga program of physical postures, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation was taught 2 to 3 times a week for 10 weeks. Self-report questionnaires were administered to students 1 week before and after. Primary outcome measures of psychosocial well-being were Profile of Mood States-Short Form and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for Children. Additional measures of psychosocial well-being included Perceived Stress Scale and Inventory of Positive Psychological Attitudes. Secondary measures of self-regulatory skills included Resilience Scale, State Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2™, and Child Acceptance Mindfulness Measure. To assess feasibility, yoga students completed a program evaluation. Analyses of covariance were conducted between groups with baseline as the covariate. RESULTS: Although PE-as-usual students showed decreases in primary outcomes, yoga students maintained or improved. Total mood disturbance improved in yoga students and worsened in controls (p = .015), as did Profile of Mood States-Short Form (POMS-SF) Tension-Anxiety subscale (p = .002). Although positive affect remained unchanged in both, negative affect significantly worsened in controls while improving in yoga students (p = .006). Secondary outcomes were not significant. Students rated yoga fairly high, despite moderate attendance. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation was feasible and students generally found it beneficial. Although not causal due to small, uneven sample size, this preliminary study suggests preventive benefits in psychosocial well-being from Kripalu yoga during high school PE. These results are consistent with previously published studies of yoga in school settings.
This uncontrolled pilot study examined the effects of a classroom-based yoga intervention on cortisol concentrations and perceived behavior in children. A 10-week Yoga 4 Classrooms intervention was implemented in one second-grade and one third-grade classroom. Students' salivary cortisol responses were assessed at 3 time points. Classroom teachers also documented their perceptions of the effects of the intervention on students' cognitive, social, and emotional skills. Second, but not third, graders showed a significant decrease in baseline cortisol from before to after the intervention. Second and third graders both showed significant decreases in cortisol from before to after a cognitive task, but neither grade showed additional decreases from before to after a single yoga class. The second-grade teacher perceived significant improvements in several aspects his/her students' behavior. The third-grade teacher perceived some, but fewer, improvements in his/her students' behavior. Results suggest that school-based yoga may be advantageous for stress management and behavior.
The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of Kundalini Yoga in reducing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) compared to a common treatment-as-usual condition using cognitive techniques. A secondary objective was to explore potential treatment mechanisms. Females aged 24 to 75 years with GAD ( n = 49) received either an 8-week Kundalini Yoga intervention ( n = 34) or an 8-week treatment-as-usual condition ( n = 15). The yoga condition resulted in lower levels of anxiety relative to the treatment-as-usual condition. Furthermore, changes in somatic symptoms mediated treatment outcome for Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini Yoga may show promise as a treatment for GAD, and this treatment might convey its effect on symptom severity by reducing somatic symptoms.
This study evaluated the effects of yoga on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, resilience, and mindfulness in military personnel. Participants completing the yoga intervention were 12 current or former military personnel who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition-Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Results were also benchmarked against other military intervention studies of PTSD using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS; Blake et al., 2000) as an outcome measure. Results of within-subject analyses supported the study's primary hypothesis that yoga would reduce PTSD symptoms (d = 0.768; t = 2.822; p = .009) but did not support the hypothesis that yoga would significantly increase mindfulness (d = 0.392; t = -0.9500; p = .181) and resilience (d = 0.270; t = -1.220; p = .124) in this population. Benchmarking results indicated that, as compared with the aggregated treatment benchmark (d = 1.074) obtained from published clinical trials, the current study's treatment effect (d = 0.768) was visibly lower, and compared with the waitlist control benchmark (d = 0.156), the treatment effect in the current study was visibly higher.
BACKGROUND: Stress and back pain are two key factors leading to sickness absence at work. Recent research indicates that yoga can be effective for reducing perceived stress, alleviating back pain, and improving psychological well-being.AIMS: To determine the effectiveness of a yoga-based intervention for reducing perceived stress and back pain at work. METHODS: Participants were recruited from a British local government authority and randomized into a yoga group who received one 50 min Dru Yoga session each week for 8 weeks and a 20 min DVD for home practice and a control group who received no intervention. Baseline and end-programme measurements of self-reported stress, back pain and psychological well-being were assessed with the Perceived Stress Scale, Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale. RESULTS: There were 37 participants in each group. Analysis of variance and multiple linear regression showed that in comparison to the control group, the yoga group reported significant reductions in perceived stress and back pain, and a substantial improvement in psychological well-being. When compared with the control group at the end of the programme, the yoga group scores were significantly lower for perceived stress, back pain, sadness and hostility, and substantially higher for feeling self-assured, attentive and serene. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that a workplace yoga intervention can reduce perceived stress and back pain and improve psychological well-being. Larger randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the broader efficacy of yoga for improving workplace productivity and reducing sickness absence.