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Therapeutic Effects of Yoga for Children: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Galantino, Mary Lou PT, PhD, MSCE; Galbavy, Robyn PT, MPT; Quinn, Lauren DPT

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31815f1208

Purpose: We completed a systematic review of the literature on the effect of yoga on quality of life and physical outcome measures in the pediatric population. We explored various databases and included case–control and pilot studies, cohort and randomized controlled trials that examined yoga as an exercise intervention for children.

Summary of Key Points: Using the Sackett levels of evidence, this article reviews the literature on yoga as a complementary mind–body movement therapy. We address the research through three practice patterns according to the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and provide considerations for the inclusion of yoga into clinical practice.

Statement of Conclusions and Recommendations for Clinical Practice: The evidence shows physiological benefits of yoga for the pediatric population that may benefit children through the rehabilitation process, but larger clinical trials, including specific measures of quality of life are necessary to provide definitive evidence.

This systematic review reports the physiological effects of yoga that may benefit children during the rehabilitation process, but larger clinical trials including specific measures of QOL are necessary to provide definitive evidence.

Physical Therapy Program (M.L.G., R.G., L.Q.), The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Pomona, New Jersey, and University of Pennsylvania (M.L.G.), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Address correspondence to: Mary Lou Galantino, PT, PhD, MSCE, The Richard Stockton College of NJ, PO Box 195, Pomona, NJ 08240. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.