A Comprehensive Review of Yoga-based Intervention for Children

Julie Wancik, Valerie E. Cadet

Research output: Other contribution


The movement of incorporating yoga and meditation programs into schools has become a current sensation in the United States. Historically, qualitative research measuring yoga and meditation’s effectiveness has laid the groundwork for recent quantitative studies. One study claims that yoga may induce immunoglobulin genetic variant shifts toward better health. Most of the variables isolated in yoga studies offer mental and behavioral health benefits for school-aged children. Research on cerebral cortical changes in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA-axis) induced by high cortisol levels illustrated externalization of behaviors in children. To this end, a review of the reduction in cortisol levels in younger populations with yoga-meditation intervention programs has shown to be beneficial. Positive outcomes in self-esteem and a reduction in aggressiveness have been widely reported with yoga trials in children. Further, an intervention of yoga and mindfulness with obese children showed a positive impact on reducing BMI levels and decreasing overall negative feelings. The empirical relevance of the social and emotional impact of yoga and meditation is clear yet needs further replication and increased methodology rigor of study designs. The direction for future research is toward more quantitatively, replicable studies that will assist in developing and validating the need for additional school-based yoga programs.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - May 12 2015


  • Life Sciences

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