Ashtanga yoga for children and adolescents for weight management and psychological well being: an uncontrolled open pilot study

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2009 May;15(2):110-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2008.12.004. Epub 2009 Jan 11.


Objective: The objective of this pilot study was to determine the effect of yoga on weight in youth at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Secondarily, the impact of participation in yoga on self-concept and psychiatric symptoms was measured.

Methods: A 12-week prospective pilot Ashtanga yoga program enrolled twenty children and adolescents. Weight was measured before and after the program. All participants completed self-concept, anxiety, and depression inventories at the initiation and completion of the program.

Results: Fourteen predominately Hispanic children, ages 8-15, completed the program. The average weight loss was 2kg. Weight decreased from 61.2+/-20.2kg to 59.2+/-19.2kg (p=0.01). Four of five children with low self-esteem improved, although two had decreases in self-esteem. Anxiety symptoms improved in the study.

Conclusion: Ashtanga yoga may be beneficial as a weight loss strategy in a predominately Hispanic population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Body Weight*
  • Child
  • Depression / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept*
  • Yoga*