This is the first study on yoga for teens in the UK. There have been plenty of others in the US and other countries. While access to mental health support is limited, a recent UK survey suggests that 13% of children and adolescents have a diagnosed mental health condition. Mind-body programs like yoga have the potential to help teens improve mental well-being, and learn skills to manage stress. This study explores young people’s understanding and attitudes towards yoga, their experiences of practicing yoga, and their perceived impact on health and wellbeing.
Positive effects from previous studies include improvements in self-esteem, self-regulation, resilience, and coping, with decreases in negative affect, mood disturbance, and anxiety. Cognitive effects included improved memory and executive functioning, whilst a number of studies explored a range of physiological changes from yoga, such as fitness, balance, and respiratory functioning. However, some of the research has been weak due to small sample sizes, lack of randomization, lack of controls, and incomplete reporting of the yoga interventions.