Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 60–72 | Cite as

Yoga as an Intervention for PTSD: a Theoretical Rationale and Review of the Literature

  • Stephanie Y. Wells
  • Ariel J. Lang
  • Laura Schmalzl
  • Erik J. Groessl
  • Jennifer L. Strauss
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (K Chard and T Geracioti, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders

Opinion statement

There is evidence to suggest that yoga may reduce PTSD symptoms. It is unclear at this point, however, whether or not yoga reduces PTSD symptoms any more than a non-specific intervention given inconsistent findings and methodological limitations. Nonetheless, additional research in this area is important because of the high level of interest in and acceptability of yoga. Ultimately, yoga may be most effective when taught using trauma-sensitive guidelines and within a framework that helps the practitioner to apply the experience to coping with symptoms.


PTSD Yoga Trauma Complementary and alternative medicine 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Stephanie Y. Wells, Ariel J. Lang, Laura Schmalzl, Erik J. Groessl, and Jennifer Strauss declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article contains one referenced article by co-author Dr. Groessl that included human subjects. All participants provided informed consent and the research was approved by the institutional review board.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Y. Wells
    • 1
  • Ariel J. Lang
    • 2
  • Laura Schmalzl
    • 3
  • Erik J. Groessl
    • 3
  • Jennifer L. Strauss
    • 4
  1. 1.SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and VA San Diego Healthcare SystemSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health and UCSD Department of PsychiatryLa JollaUSA
  3. 3.UCSD Department of Family Medicine and Public HealthLa JollaUSA
  4. 4.Mental Health Services, Department of Veterans Affairs; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ScienceDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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