Yoga in the schools: a systematic review of the literature

Int J Yoga Therap. 2012;(22):101-9.


Objective: The objective of this research was to examine the evidence for delivering yoga-based interventions in schools.

Methods: An electronic literature search was conducted to identify peer-reviewed, published studies in which yoga and a meditative component (breathing practices or meditation) were taught to youths in a school setting. Pilot studies, single cohort, quasi-experimental, and randomized clinical trials were considered.

Research: quality was evaluated and summarized.

Results: Twelve published studies were identified. Samples for which yoga was implemented as an intervention included youths with autism, intellectual disability, learning disability, and emotional disturbance, as well as typically developing youths.

Conclusion: Although effects of participating in school-based yoga programs appeared to be beneficial for the most part, methodological limitations, including lack of randomization, small samples, limited detail regarding the intervention, and statistical ambiguities curtailed the ability to provide definitive conclusions or recommendations. Findings speak to the need for greater methodological rigor and an increased understanding of the mechanisms of success for school-based yoga interventions.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / therapy
  • Schools*
  • Yoga*