The purpose of this article was to systematically review yoga interventions aimed at improving depressive symptoms. A total of 23 interventions published between 2011 and May 2016 were evaluated in this review. Three study designs were used: randomized control trials, quasi-experimental, and pretest/posttest, with majority being randomized control trials. Most of the studies were in the United States. Various yoga schools were used, with the most common being Hatha yoga. The number of participants participating in the studies ranged from 14 to 136, implying that most studies had a small sample. The duration of the intervention period varied greatly, with the majority being 6 weeks or longer. Limitations of the interventions involved the small sample sizes used by the majority of the studies, most studies examining the short-term effect of yoga for depression, and the nonutilization of behavioral theories. Despite the limitations, it can be concluded that the yoga interventions were effective in reducing depression.
Keywords: depression; yoga.