Objective: The objective of this research was to examine the evidence for delivering yoga-based interventions in schools. Methods: An electronic literature search was conducted to identify peer-reviewed, published studies in which yoga and a meditative component (breathing practices or meditation) were taught to youths in a school setting. Pilot studies, single cohort, quasi-experimental, and randomized clinical trials were considered. Research: quality was evaluated and summarized. Results: Twelve published studies were identified. Samples for which yoga was implemented as an intervention included youths with autism, intellectual disability, learning disability, and emotional disturbance, as well as typically developing youths. Conclusion: Although effects of participating in school-based yoga programs appeared to be beneficial for the most part, methodological limitations, including lack of randomization, small samples, limited detail regarding the intervention, and statistical ambiguities curtailed the ability to provide definitive conclusions or recommendations. Findings speak to the need for greater methodological rigor and an increased understanding of the mechanisms of success for school-based yoga interventions.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion DoAaSH. Healthy youth: Childhood obesity. http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/obesity/. Accessed October 29, 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/obesity/. Accessed October 29, 2011
LetsMove.gov. Let's move: America's move to raise a healthier generation of kids; Schools. http://www.letsmove.gov/schools. Accessed October 29, 2011. http://www.letsmove.gov/schools
Wolfgang B. Education cuts coming, but fewer than GOP wanted. The Washington Times April 12, 2011: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/12/2011-budget-deal-makesgiant-cuts-education/. Accessed July 10, 2011. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/12/2011-budget-deal-makesgiant-cuts-education/
Allensworth D, Wyche, J, Lawson, E, Nicholson, L. Defining a Comprehensive School Health Program: An Interim Statement. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1995.
Defining a Comprehensive School Health Program: An Interim Statement
Clance PR, Mitchell M, Engelman SR. Body cathexis in children as a function of awareness training and yoga. J Clin Child Psychol. 1980;9(1):82-85.
Body cathexis in children as a function of awareness training and yoga
J Clin Child Psychol.
, vol. 
9
 (pg. 
82
-
85
)
Field T. Yoga clinical research review. Complement Ther Clin Prac. 2011; 17: 1-8.
Yoga clinical research review
Complement Ther Clin Prac.
, vol. 
17
 (pg. 
1
-
8
)
Galantino ML, Galbavy R., Quinn L. Therapeutic effects of yoga for children: A systematic review of the literature. Pediatr Phys Ther. 66-80.
Kenny M. Integrated Movement Therapy: Yoga-based therapy as a viable and effective intervention for autism spectrum and related disorders. Int J Yoga Ther. 2002(12):71-79.
Integrated Movement Therapy: Yoga-based therapy as a viable and effective intervention for autism spectrum and related disorders
Int J Yoga Ther.
, vol. 
12
 (pg. 
71
-
79
)
Scime M, Cook-Cottone C. Primary prevention of eating disorders: A constructivist integration of mind and body strategies. Int J Eat Disorder. 2008;41(2):134-142.
Primary prevention of eating disorders: A constructivist integration of mind and body strategies
Int J Eat Disorder
, vol. 
41
 (pg. 
134
-
142
)
Birdee G, Yeh GL, Wayne PM, Phillips RS, Davis R, Gardiner P. Clinical applications of yoga for the pediatric population: a systematic review. Acad Pediatr. 2009;9(4):212-220.
Clinical applications of yoga for the pediatric population: a systematic review
Acad Pediatr.
, vol. 
9
 (pg. 
212
-
220
)
Ellery J. Integrating salutogenesis into wellness in every stage of life. Prev Chronic Dis. 2007;4(3):A79-A79.
Integrating salutogenesis into wellness in every stage of life
Prev Chronic Dis.
, vol. 
4
 (pg. 
A79
-
A79
)
White LS. Yoga for children. Pediatr Nurs. 2009;35(5):277.
Yoga for children
Pediatr Nurs.
, vol. 
35
 pg. 
277
 
Goldberg L. Creative relaxation: A yoga-based program for regular and exceptional student education. Int J Yoga Ther. 2004(14):68-78.
Creative relaxation: A yoga-based program for regular and exceptional student education
Int J Yoga Ther.
(pg. 
68
-
78
)
Gerbarg PL, Brown RP. Yoga. In: Lake JH, Spiegel D, eds. Complementary and Alternative Treatments in Mental Health Care. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.; 2007:381-400.
Complementary and Alternative Treatments in Mental Health Care
(pg. 
381
-
400
)
Nichcy.org. Categories of disability under IDEA. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities 2009: http://nichcy.org/disability/categories. Access June 10, 2012. http://nichcy.org/disability/categories
Rich NC. Levels of evidence. Journal Womens Health Phys Ther. 2005;29(2):19-20.
Levels of evidence
Journal Womens Health Phys Ther.
, vol. 
29
 (pg. 
19
-
20
)
Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman D, The PRISMA Group. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses: The PRISMA statement. PLoS Med. 2009;6(6).
The PRISMA Group. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses: The PRISMA statement
PLoS Med.
, vol. 
6
 
Liberati A, Altman DG, Tetzlaff J, et al. The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate healthcare interventions: explanation and elaboration. Brit Med J Online. 2009;339. Accessed June 10, 2012.
The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate healthcare interventions: explanation and elaboration
Brit Med J Online
pg. 
339
 
Association AP. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Disorders. 4th ed. text revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press; 2000.
Yoga in schools: teaching lifetime wellness skills. 2010. http://yogainschools.org/projects/. Accessed November 11, 2010. http://yogainschools.org/projects/
Uma K, Nagendra HR, Nagarathna R, Vaidehi S. The integrated approach of yoga: a therapeutic tool for mentally retarded children: a one-year controlled study. JMent Defic Res. 1989;33(5):415-421.
The integrated approach of yoga: a therapeutic tool for mentally retarded children: a one-year controlled study
JMent Defic Res.
, vol. 
33
 (pg. 
415
-
421
)
Powell L, Gilchrist M, Stapley J. A journey of self-discovery: an intervention involving massage, yoga and relaxation for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties attending primary schools. Eur Jour Spec Needs Edu. 2008;23(4):403-412.
A journey of self-discovery: an intervention involving massage, yoga and relaxation for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties attending primary schools
Eur Jour Spec Needs Edu.
, vol. 
23
 (pg. 
403
-
412
)
Hopkins JT, Hopkins LJ. A study of yoga and concentration. Acad Ther. 1979;14(3):341-345.
A study of yoga and concentration
Acad Ther.
, vol. 
14
 (pg. 
341
-
345
)
Abadi MS, Madgaonkar J, Venkatesan S. Effect of yoga on children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychol Stud. 2008;53(2):154-159.
Effect of yoga on children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Psychol Stud.
, vol. 
53
 (pg. 
154
-
159
)
Pilkington K, Kirkwood G, Rampes H, Richardson J. Yoga for depression: the research evidence. J Affec Disorders. 2005;89(1-3):13-24.
Yoga for depression: the research evidence
J Affec Disorders
, vol. 
89
 (pg. 
13
-
24
)
Stueck M, Gloeckner N. Yoga for children in the mirror of the science: working spectrum and practice fields of the Training of Relaxation with Elements of Yoga for Children. Ear Child Devel Care. 2005;175(4):371-377.
Yoga for children in the mirror of the science: working spectrum and practice fields of the Training of Relaxation with Elements of Yoga for Children
Ear Child Devel Care
, vol. 
175
 (pg. 
371
-
377
)
Mendelson T, Greenberg MT, Dariotis JK, Gould LF, Rhoades BL, Leaf PJ. Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a school-based mindfulness intervention for urban youth. J Abnorm Child Psych. 2010;38:985-994.
Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a school-based mindfulness intervention for urban youth
J Abnorm Child Psych.
, vol. 
38
 (pg. 
985
-
994
)
Berger DL, Johnson-Silver E, Stein R. Effects of yoga on inner-city chidren's well-being: a pilot study. Altern Ther. 2009;15(5):36-42.
Effects of yoga on inner-city chidren's well-being: a pilot study
Altern Ther.
, vol. 
15
 (pg. 
36
-
42
)
Peck HL, Kehle TJ, Bray MA, Theodore LA. Yoga as an intervention for children with attention problems. School Psychol Rev. 2005;34(3):415-424.
Yoga as an intervention for children with attention problems
School Psychol Rev.
, vol. 
34
 (pg. 
415
-
424
)
Manjunath N, Telles S. Improved performance in the Tower of London test following yoga. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001;45(3):351-354.
Improved performance in the Tower of London test following yoga
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol.
, vol. 
45
 (pg. 
351
-
354
)
Raghuraj P, Telles S. A randomized trial comparing the effects of yoga and physical activity programs on depth perception in school children. J Indian Psychol. 2003;21(2):54-60.
A randomized trial comparing the effects of yoga and physical activity programs on depth perception in school children
J Indian Psychol.
, vol. 
21
 (pg. 
54
-
60
)
This content is only available as a PDF.