The Evidence Portal

No program name: Yoga

About the program

Yoga (no program name listed) comprises 42 standard yoga sessions delivered to school students in a school setting.

The overarching goals of the program are to explore and build:

  • Emotional regulation
  • Mindful attention
  • Self-compassion
  • Body awareness; and
  • The relationship between yoga and emotional regulation.

Each class includes postures, breathing, relaxation and guided meditation techniques.

It is designed and delivered by Bent on Learning (BOL), which is a not-for-profit organization that provides free yoga instruction in New York City classrooms.

Who does it work for?

The yoga program was designed for students aged 15-17. This program has only been evaluated in the USA. A randomised control trial (Daly et al. 2015) was conducted with 37 students (19 in the intervention group, 18 in the control group). On average, students were 16 years old. Most of the students were black (86%) and male (62%).

The program has not been evaluated in Australia or with Aboriginal Australians.

What outcomes does it contribute to?

Positive outcomes:

  • The program had a significant, positive effect on body awareness.

No effect:

  • The program had no effect on emotional regulation.
  • The program had no effect on mindful attention.
  •  The program had no effect on self-compassion.

How effective is it?

Overall, the program had a mixed effect on client outcomes.

How strong is the evidence?

Mixed research evidence (with no adverse effects):

  • At least one high-quality randomised controlled trial (RCT)/quasi-experimental design (QED) study reports statistically significant positive effects for at least one outcome, AND
  • An equal number or more RCT/QED studies of similar size and quality show no observed effects than show statistically significant positive effects, AND
  • No RCT/QED studies show statistically significant adverse effects.

How is it implemented?

The program is held three times per week during school hours over a period of 16 weeks.

The classes follow a structured routine that transitions students from yoga to a rigorous 15-30 minute sequence of postures, relaxation, and then a closing ritual that emphasizes carrying the principles of yoga practice into the rest of the day.

How much does it cost?

Program costs were not reported in the study.

What else should I consider?

Students in good general health assessed on the basis of their capacity to attend physical education (PE) classes are able to partake in this program.

Yoga sessions are delivered by Bent on Learning (BOL) yoga instructors who are required to have a 200-hour yoga certification and two years of teaching experience.

Where does the evidence come from?

1 RCT conducted in the USA with a sample of 37 students (Daly et al. 2015).

Further resources

Daly, LA, Haden, SC, Hagins, M, Papouchis, N, & Ramirez, PM 2015, ‘Yoga and emotion regulation in high school students: A randomized controlled trial’, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2015, article number 794928, DOI 10.1155/2015/79492.

Last updated:

09 Dec 2022

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