Yoga in Schools: A Research Review
Sat Bir S. Khalsa and Bethany Butzer
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1373 (2016), 45-55
These authors are timely in highlighting yoga's potential for developing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills as mental health concerns are so pervasive. The authors suggest that yoga may have significant benefit for three key areas: 1) mind-body awareness, 2) self-regulation and 3) physical fitness. Forty-seven peer-reviewed studies published from 2000 on the use of school-based yoga programs in elementary school settings are included in this bibliometric analysis. Of these, 57% included a randomized control study design. Overall, findings were generally positive and varied. Significant changes in students' emotional balance, attentional control, cognitive efficiency and memory were reported. Two of the three studies that included yoga for teacher support purposes found positive effects on measures associated with well-being. The authors conclude that the published evidence to date suggest that school-based yoga interventions hold promise for enhancing students mental state, health, performance, and positive behaviors.
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