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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 345835, 17 pages
Review Article

Are There Benefits from Teaching Yoga at Schools? A Systematic Review of Randomized Control Trials of Yoga-Based Interventions

1Department of Physiology, Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), Avenida Marechal Rondon, s/n, Jardim Rosa Elze, São Cristóvão, 49100-000 Aracaju, SE, Brazil
2Department of Psychology, FASE\UNESA, Aracaju, SE, Brazil
3Trika Research Center, Loei, Thailand
4Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil
5Department of Psychobiology, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
6Indian Council of Medical Research Center for Advanced Research in Yoga and Patanjali Research Foundation, Bengaluru, India

Received 1 March 2015; Revised 21 June 2015; Accepted 25 June 2015

Academic Editor: Vernon A. Barnes

Copyright © 2015 C. Ferreira-Vorkapic et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Yoga is a holistic system of varied mind-body practices that can be used to improve mental and physical health and it has been utilized in a variety of contexts and situations. Educators and schools are looking to include yoga as a cost-effective, evidence-based component of urgently needed wellness programs for their students. Objectives. The primary goal of this study was to systematically examine the available literature for yoga interventions exclusively in school settings, exploring the evidence of yoga-based interventions on academic, cognitive, and psychosocial benefits. Methods. An extensive search was conducted for studies published between 1980 and October 31, 2014 (PubMed, PsycInfo, Embase, ISI, and the Cochrane Library). Effect size analysis, through standardized mean difference and Hedges’g, allowed for the comparison between experimental conditions. Results and Conclusions. Nine randomized control trials met criteria for inclusion in this review. Effect size was found for mood indicators, tension and anxiety in the POMS scale, self-esteem, and memory when the yoga groups were compared to control. Future research requires greater standardization and suitability of yoga interventions for children.