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J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2015 Jan;20(1):41-9. doi: 10.1177/2156587214557695. Epub 2014 Nov 19.

Effects of a classroom-based yoga intervention on cortisol and behavior in second- and third-grade students: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA butzer@research.bwh.harvard.edu.
2
University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Lowell, MA, USA.
3
Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
4
ChildLight Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms, Dover, NH, USA.
5
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

This uncontrolled pilot study examined the effects of a classroom-based yoga intervention on cortisol concentrations and perceived behavior in children. A 10-week Yoga 4 Classrooms intervention was implemented in one second-grade and one third-grade classroom. Students' salivary cortisol responses were assessed at 3 time points. Classroom teachers also documented their perceptions of the effects of the intervention on students' cognitive, social, and emotional skills. Second, but not third, graders showed a significant decrease in baseline cortisol from before to after the intervention. Second and third graders both showed significant decreases in cortisol from before to after a cognitive task, but neither grade showed additional decreases from before to after a single yoga class. The second-grade teacher perceived significant improvements in several aspects his/her students' behavior. The third-grade teacher perceived some, but fewer, improvements in his/her students' behavior. Results suggest that school-based yoga may be advantageous for stress management and behavior.

KEYWORDS:

behavior; cortisol; school; stress; yoga

PMID:
25412616
PMCID:
PMC4410873
DOI:
10.1177/2156587214557695
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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