Systematic review to explore the effect of yoga on anxiety in adults




Anxiety, Mental Health, Yoga, Systematic Review, Adults


Introduction: The National Health Service cannot chronically sustain the overwhelming demands being placed on it due to financial cuts, staff numbers and recent presence of Covid-19. As a result, anxiety levels are on the rise thus increasing the need for effective first-line treatment.

Purpose: The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the efficacy of yoga as a first-line treatment for anxiety. Previous systematic reviews have produced mixed results.

Methodology: The inclusion criteria followed the PICO research statement. The population (P) were either healthy or diagnosed with anxiety and the intervention (I) was yoga. The comparison (C) was a control group, or CBT, or used a pre-and post-intervention design. The outcome (O) was the change in the level of anxiety post-intervention.

Results and Discussion: After the review of 64 studies, 7 studies fit the inclusion criteria: four randomized controlled studies, one longitudinal study, and two pre- and post-intervention comparisons. All the studies included provided statistically significant results for the beneficial effect of yoga on anxiety.

Conclusion: This study adds to preceding literature on the current anxiety levels of adults and the potential utility of yoga as a first-line treatment for self-management of anxiety levels. This review stresses the issue of heterogeneity, mode of yoga and calls for more robust randomised controlled trials to pioneer the subject matter to help, if not prevent, to slow down the rising cases of anxiety and ill mental health worldwide.


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How to Cite

Laban-Sharman, A., Mr Mehmet Deveci, & Dr Rebecca Laban-Sharman. (2023). Systematic review to explore the effect of yoga on anxiety in adults. Mental Health: Global Challenges Journal, 6(1), 39–46.