Yoga for Depression and Anxiety: A Review of Published Research and Implications for Healthcare Providers

R I Med J (2013). 2016 Mar 1;99(3):20-2.


There is increasing interest in the use of yoga as way to manage or treat depression and anxiety. Yoga is afford- able, appealing, and accessible for many people, and there are plausible cognitive/affective and biologic mechanisms by which yoga could have a positive impact on depression and anxiety. There is indeed preliminary evidence that yoga may be helpful for these problems, and there are several ongoing larger-scale randomized clinical trials. The current evidence base is strongest for yoga as efficacious in reducing symptoms of unipolar depression. However, there may be risks to engaging in yoga as well. Healthcare providers can help patients evaluate whether a particular community-based yoga class is helpful and safe for them.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; yoga.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Bipolar Disorder / therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy
  • Yoga*