Yoga is a mind-body practice that encompasses a system of postures (asana), deep breathing (pranayama), and meditation. In addition to improving physical fitness and health, yoga is gaining popularity as an accessible, acceptable and cost-effective practice to maintain and/or promote mental health.
In the past decade, an increasing number of studies have been conducted to investigate the therapeutic and/or preventive potential of yoga as a complementary health-care approach. Yoga has been shown to be beneficial in managing stress and anxiety, to improve energy levels and mood, and to reduce feelings of fatigue.
Browse research papers reporting the effects, side effects, and (proposed) mechanisms of yoga. A click on the paper title will open the full text (if available online), while clicking “Abstract” reveals a short summary. From screening around 70 abstracts, I selected 24 papers from peer-reviewed and mostly open-access journals, including original research, hypothesis and theory papers, literature reviews, and a meta-analysis. To find the most recent research on yoga and meditation, papers that were published before 2011, were excluded.
- Hatha yoga for acute, chronic and/or treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis
- A Systematic Scoping Review of Yoga Intervention Components and Study Quality
- The effects of yoga on anxiety and stress
- A systematic review of randomised control trials on the effects of yoga on stress measures and mood
- Teaching Mindfulness to Teachers: A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis
- Mindfulness Training and the Cultivation of Secure, Satisfying Couple Relationships
- Yoga and Mental Health: A Review
- Reasons, Years and Frequency of Yoga Practice: Effect on Emotion Response Reactivity
- The varieties of contemplative experience: A mixed-methods study of meditation-related challenges in Western Buddhists
- The Effect of Trait Emotional Intelligence on the Relationship Between Dispositional Mindfulness and Self-esteem
- Mindful with Your Baby: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Effects of a Mindful Parenting Group Training for Mothers and Their Babies
- Yoga practice improves executive function by attenuating stress levels
- When Did Coloring Books Become Mindful? Exploring the Effectiveness of a Novel Method of Mindfulness-Guided Instructions for Coloring Books to Increase Mindfulness and Decrease Anxiety
- The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace
- Neuroprotective effects of yoga practice: age-, experience-, and frequency-dependent plasticity
- Perception in Romantic Relationships: a Latent Profile Analysis of Trait Mindfulness in Relation to Attachment and Attributions
- Yoga Training in Junior Primary School-Aged Children Has an Impact on Physical Self-Perceptions and Problem-Related Behavior
- How long is now for mindfulness meditators?
- Differences in brain structure and function among yoga practitioners and controls
- Yoga Poses Increase Subjective Energy and State Self-Esteem in Comparison to ‘Power Poses’
Hypothesis and Theory
- Bridging the Sciences of Mindfulness and Romantic Relationships
- How Do Theories of Cognition and Consciousness in Ancient Indian Thought Systems Relate to Current Western Theorizing and Research?
- Potential self-regulatory mechanisms of yoga for psychological health
- Augmenting brain function with meditation: can detachment coincide with empathy?