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Effects of a Kundalini Yoga Program on Elementary and Middle School Students' Stress, Affect, and Resilience

Sarkissian, Meliné, EdD*; Trent, Natalie, L., PhD; Huchting, Karen, PhD*; Singh Khalsa, Sat, Bir, PhD

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: April 2018 - Volume 39 - Issue 3 - p 210–216
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000538
Original Articles

Objective: The Your Own Greatness Affirmed (YOGA) for Youth program delivers yoga to urban inner-city schools with the goal of providing practical benefits that support underserved children at high risk of behavioral and emotional problems. A 10-week YOGA for Youth program delivered 1 to 2 times per week was implemented in 3 schools in urban neighborhoods to examine the effect of the program on student stress, affect, and resilience.

Methods: Thirty children were administered the Perceived Stress Scale, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and the Resilience Scale before and after the yoga program. After the program, informal qualitative interviews were conducted with school teachers, yoga teachers, and students to determine the overall impact of the yoga program.

Results: The quantitative results of this study indicated that the yoga program significantly improved students stress (p < 0.05), positive affect (p < 0.05), and resilience (p < 0.001). The qualitative results indicated that students, school teachers, and yoga teachers all found the program to be beneficial for students' well-being.

Conclusion: Taken together, these data suggest that the YOGA for Youth program may provide students in low-income urban schools with behavioral skills that will protect against risk factors associated with the development of behavioral and emotional problems.

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*Department of Educational Leadership, School of Education, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA;

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Address for reprints: Karen Huchting, PhD, School of Education, Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, Suite 2300, Los Angeles, CA 90045; e-mail:

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Received June , 2017

Accepted November , 2017

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