Objective: The Your Own Greatness Affirmed (YOGA) for Youth program delivers yoga to urban inner-city schools with the goal of providing practical benefits that support underserved children at high risk of behavioral and emotional problems. A 10-week YOGA for Youth program delivered 1 to 2 times per week was implemented in 3 schools in urban neighborhoods to examine the effect of the program on student stress, affect, and resilience.
Methods: Thirty children were administered the Perceived Stress Scale, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and the Resilience Scale before and after the yoga program. After the program, informal qualitative interviews were conducted with school teachers, yoga teachers, and students to determine the overall impact of the yoga program.
Results: The quantitative results of this study indicated that the yoga program significantly improved students stress (p < 0.05), positive affect (p < 0.05), and resilience (p < 0.001). The qualitative results indicated that students, school teachers, and yoga teachers all found the program to be beneficial for students' well-being.
Conclusion: Taken together, these data suggest that the YOGA for Youth program may provide students in low-income urban schools with behavioral skills that will protect against risk factors associated with the development of behavioral and emotional problems.