Psychological Studies

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 153–165 | Cite as

When Does Yoga Work? Long Term and Short Term Effects of Yoga Intervention among Pre-adolescent Children

Research in Progress


In this research, pre-adolescent children of two city schools were randomly assigned to three conditions of a systematic yoga intervention, a non-yogic intervention and a time lagged comparison group intervention. Three assessments at baseline, three months and six months were done on a sample of 178 school children of class fifth and sixth. The outcome variables were anthropometric, cognitive, personality variables and self reported class room behaviours. Various directional hypotheses based on review of literature were tested. In particular, to understand the short term and long term effects of yoga intervention on children, repeated measures analysis and discriminant function analysis was used, which is discussed in the present paper. Results reveal that the effect of yoga interventions emerge only at long term, where the yoga group is clearly ahead of the non-yogic and time -lagged group on a cluster of factors termed as “positive health”. Implications are discussed.


Yoga and preadolescent children School health NCERT and yoga policy 


  1. Benson, H. (2000). The relaxation response. New York: Avon Books Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Berger, P. (1967). The sacred canopy: Elements of a sociological theory of religion. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  3. Bhavnani, A. B. (2003). Recent studies on yoga at JIPMER: a report. Yoga Life., 34(6), 3–11.Google Scholar
  4. Dalal, A., & Misra. (2010). The core and context of Indian psychology. Psychology and Developing Societies, 22, 121–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dave, M., & Bhole, M. (1989). Sandhi,Samadhi and Vyadhi:Some Considerations. YogaMimamsa, Vol. XXIII, July,44–53.Google Scholar
  6. Fox, K. R. (2000). The effects of excercise on self-perceptions and self-esteem. In S. J. Biddle, K. R. Fox, & H. S. Boucher (Eds.), Physical activity and psychological well-being. London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  7. Gandhi, A., Das, S., Mandal, S., & Kapoor, P. (1999). Comparative Evaluation Study of Integrated Yoga Practices Vs. Conventional Medical Treatment for Management of Health Disorders. A WHO Research Project Report WR/IND/TRM/001/G.Google Scholar
  8. Glueck, B., & Stroebel, C. (1984). Passive meditation: Subjective clinical comparison with biofeedback. In D. H. Shapiro & R. N. Walsh (Eds.), Meditation, classic and contemporary perspectives. New York: Aldine.Google Scholar
  9. Harrison, J., Manocha, R., & Rubia, K. (2004). Sahaja Yoga meditation as a family treatment for children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 9, 479–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hopkins, J., & Hopkins, J. (1979). A study of yoga and concentration. Academic Therapy, 14, 341–345.Google Scholar
  11. Hopkins, L. J. (1976). Yoga in psychomotor training. Academic Therapy, II, 461–465.Google Scholar
  12. Jenson, P. S., & Kenny, D. T. (2004). The effects of yoga on attention and behavior of boys with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 7, 206–216.Google Scholar
  13. Joseph, S., Sridharan, K., SKB, P., Kumaria, M. L., Selvamurthy, W., Joseph, N. T., et al. (1981). Study of some physiological and biochemical parameters in subjects undergoing yogic training. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 74, 120.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Kalayil, J. (1988). A controlled comparison of progressive relaxation and yoga meditation as methods to relieve stress in middle grade school children. Dissertation Abstracts IInternational, 49,3626.Google Scholar
  15. Kapur, M. (2001). Mental health illness and therapy. In J. Pandey (Ed.), Psychology in India revisited-developments in the discipline, vol.2 (pp. 163–227). New Delhi: Sage ICSSR.Google Scholar
  16. Kochar, H. (1976). Anxiety, general hostility and its directions as a result of yogic practices. Yoga Mimamsa, 17(3–4), 73–82.Google Scholar
  17. Kochar, H., & Pratap, V. (1972). Anxiety level and yogic practices. Yoga Mimamsa, 15(1), 11–15.Google Scholar
  18. Kolsawalla, M. (1978). An experimental investigation into the effectiveness of some yogic variables as a mechanism of change in the value-attitude system. Journal of Indian Psychology, 1(1), 59–68.Google Scholar
  19. Kumar, S., Kaur, P., & Kaur, S. (1993). Effectiveness of Shavasana on depression among university. Indian Journal of Clinical Psychology, 20, 82–87.Google Scholar
  20. Madanmohan, e. a. (2002). Blood pressure changes in Surya Namaskar: a longitudinal study. Proceedings of the Indian Science Congress Section(Physiology Section).Google Scholar
  21. Madanmohan, et al. (2003). Effect of Pranayam training on cardiac function in normal young volunteers. Indian Journal of Physiological Pharmacology, 47(1), 27–33.Google Scholar
  22. Madanmohan, et al. (2004). The effect of Asan and Pranayam on neurological, neuromuscular and cardio-respiratory functions in healthy human volunteers: A comprehensive report submitted to Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy. Delhi: Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health.Google Scholar
  23. Nardo, A., & Reynolds, C. (2002). Social, emotional, behavioral and cognitive benefits of yoga for children: A non traditional role for school psychologists to consider. Chicago: National Association of School Psychologists.Google Scholar
  24. Paranjpe, A. C. (2004). Building tall on solid foundations. Psychological Studies., 49(1), 6–13.Google Scholar
  25. Patanjali. (1976). Yoga Sutra Patanjali,with the Commentary by Vyasa-Translated and interpreted by Bengali Baba. New Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.Google Scholar
  26. Pattabhiram, A. G. (2002-2006). Personal Communication on Yoga and Well-being.Google Scholar
  27. Peck, H. L., Kehle, T. J., Bray, M. A., & Theodore, L. A. (2005). Yoga as an intervention for children with attention problems. School Psychology Review., 34(3), 415–425.Google Scholar
  28. Psycomm. (1996). Multidimensional assessment of personality scale-form C, scale and manual. New Delhi: Psycomm Services.Google Scholar
  29. Raja, R. (2002). A Study on Vipassana meditation on adolescent classroom behaviors. Unpublished PhD dissertation. University of Madras.Google Scholar
  30. Raven, J. C., Court, J., & Raven, J. (1996). Manual for Raven’s standard progressive matrices (1996 edition). Oxford: Oxford Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  31. Sahasi, G., Chawla, H. M., Dhar, N. K., & Kataria, M. (1991). Comparative study of progressive relaxation and yogic techniques of relaxation in the management of anxiety neurosis. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 33, 27–32.Google Scholar
  32. Sharma. (2003). Sudarshan Kriya practioners exhibit better antioxidant status and lower blood lactate levels. Biological Psychology, 63, 281.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sommer, S. (1996). Mind-body medicine and holistic approaches. The scientific evidence. Australian Family Physician, 25, 1233–1237. 1240-1231, 1244.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. SVYASA Research Studies. (n.d.). Retrieved from SVYASA: http://www.svyasa/research.
  35. Tilford, S., Delaney, M., & Vogels, M. (1997). Effectiveness of mental health promotion interventions: A review. London: Health Education Authority.Google Scholar
  36. Tones, B., & Tilford, S. (1994). Health education: Effectiveness, efficiency, equity. London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
  37. Upanishat Sangrah. (2009). Delhi: Rashtriya Samskrit Prathisthan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SaraswathiBesant NagarIndia
  2. 2.Krishnamacharya Yoga MandiramChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations