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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 819183, 7 pages
Research Article

Preliminary Evidence That Yoga Practice Progressively Improves Mood and Decreases Stress in a Sample of UK Prisoners

1Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK
2Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, 6525 EZ Nijmegen, Netherlands
3Pompestichting, Nijmegen, 6532 CN Nijmegen, Netherlands
4Research Centre for Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK

Received 19 April 2015; Revised 16 June 2015; Accepted 17 June 2015

Academic Editor: Lise Hestbaek

Copyright © 2015 Amy C. Bilderbeck 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.


Objectives. In the first randomized controlled trial of yoga on UK prisoners, we previously showed that yoga practice was associated with improved mental wellbeing and cognition. Here, we aimed to assess how class attendance, self-practice, and demographic factors were related to outcome amongst prisoners enrolled in the 10-week yoga intervention. Methods. The data of 55 participants (52 male, 3 female) who completed a 10-week yoga course were analysed. Changes in pre- and postyoga measures of affect, perceived stress, and psychological symptoms were entered into linear regression analyses with bias-corrected and accelerated bootstrap confidence intervals. Class attendance, self-practice, demographic variables, and baseline psychometric variables were included as regressors. Results. Participants who attended more yoga classes and those who engaged in frequent (5 times or more) self-practice reported significantly greater decreases in perceived stress. Decreases in negative affect were also significantly related to high frequency self-practice and greater class attendance at a near-significant level. Age was positively correlated with yoga class attendance, and higher levels of education were associated with greater decreases in negative affect. Conclusions. Our results suggest that there may be progressive beneficial effects of yoga within prison populations and point to subpopulations who may benefit the most from this practice.