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Yoga as an Integrative Therapy for Mental Health Concerns: An Overview of Current Research Evidence

1
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
2
Department of Psychology, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, 840 Wood St, Clarion, PA 16214, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paolo Girardi
Psychiatry Int. 2021, 2(4), 386-401; https://doi.org/10.3390/psychiatryint2040030
Received: 15 September 2021 / Revised: 23 September 2021 / Accepted: 15 October 2021 / Published: 20 October 2021
Background: Because the prevalence of mental health concerns is high and access or full responsiveness to pharmacological or psychotherapeutic treatment for many individuals is low, there has been increased interest in yoga as a potential therapy for many mental health concerns. Approach: We synthesize and critique current research on the efficacy of yoga relative to pharmacological approaches for anxiety disorders, mood disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders. Results: Yoga has been tested mostly as a complementary treatment to standard psychiatric and psychotherapeutic approaches. Findings from efficacy trials largely support the notion that yoga can help reduce symptoms of many psychiatric conditions, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms, above and beyond the effects achieved by standard pharmacological treatments alone; however, most evidence is of poor to moderate quality. Plausible transdiagnostic bottom-up and top-down mechanisms of yoga’s therapeutic effects have been advanced but remain untested. Conclusions: While results should be considered preliminary until more rigorous evidence is available, yoga appears to have the potential to provide many people suffering with psychiatric symptoms additional relief at relatively little cost. Yoga may be a viable complementary therapy to psychiatric and psychotherapeutic approaches for people with mental health challenges. View Full-Text
Keywords: yoga; anxiety disorders; depressive disorders; PTSD; eating disorders yoga; anxiety disorders; depressive disorders; PTSD; eating disorders
MDPI and ACS Style

Park, C.L.; Slattery, J.M. Yoga as an Integrative Therapy for Mental Health Concerns: An Overview of Current Research Evidence. Psychiatry Int. 2021, 2, 386-401. https://doi.org/10.3390/psychiatryint2040030

AMA Style

Park CL, Slattery JM. Yoga as an Integrative Therapy for Mental Health Concerns: An Overview of Current Research Evidence. Psychiatry International. 2021; 2(4):386-401. https://doi.org/10.3390/psychiatryint2040030

Chicago/Turabian Style

Park, Crystal L., and Jeanne M. Slattery. 2021. "Yoga as an Integrative Therapy for Mental Health Concerns: An Overview of Current Research Evidence" Psychiatry International 2, no. 4: 386-401. https://doi.org/10.3390/psychiatryint2040030

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