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Introduction. Yoga is a holistic system of varied mind-body practices that can be used to improve mental and physical health and it has been utilized in a variety of contexts and situations. Educators and schools are looking to include yoga as a cost-effective, evidence-based component of urgently needed wellness programs for their students. Objectives. The primary goal of this study was to systematically examine the available literature for yoga interventions exclusively in school settings, exploring the evidence of yoga-based interventions on academic, cognitive, and psychosocial benefits. Methods. An extensive search was conducted for studies published between 1980 and October 31, 2014 (PubMed, PsycInfo, Embase, ISI, and the Cochrane Library). Effect size analysis, through standardized mean difference and Hedges'g, allowed for the comparison between experimental conditions. Results and Conclusions. Nine randomized control trials met criteria for inclusion in this review. Effect size was found for mood indicators, tension and anxiety in the POMS scale, self-esteem, and memory when the yoga groups were compared to control. Future research requires greater standardization and suitability of yoga interventions for children.

This study evaluated the effects of Progressive Self-focus Meditation with 42 volunteers (M age = 46.0 yr., SD = 14.1) allocated to two groups: one that had weekly 1-hr. training sessions in the practice for 5 wk. and one waiting-list group. Participants were evaluated before and after 5 wk. on the Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, the Digit Symbol subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale. After 5 wk., a significant reduction in scores on depression was found in the Meditation group as well as an increase in attention in comparison with the waiting-list Control group.

CONTEXT:Mindfulness meditation has been shown to effectively mitigate the negative effects of stress among nursing professionals, but in countries like Brazil, these practices are relatively unexplored. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of a Stress Reduction Program (SRP) including mindfulness and loving kindness meditation among nursing professionals working in a Brazilian hospital setting. DESIGN: Pilot study with a mixed model using quantitative and qualitative methods was used to evaluate a group of participants. The quantitative data were analyzed at three different time points: pre-intervention, post-intervention, and follow-up. The qualitative data were analyzed at post-intervention. SETTING: Hospital São Paulo (Brazil). PARTICIPANTS: Sample 13 nursing professionals, including nurses, technicians, and nursing assistants working in a hospital. INTERVENTION: Participants underwent mindfulness and loving kindness meditation during a period of six weeks. INSTRUMENTS: Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Self-Compassion Scale (SCS), WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment, and Work Stress Scale (WSS). Qualitative data were collected via a group interview following six weeks participation in the SRP. RESULTS: The quantitative analyses revealed a significant reduction (P < .05) between pre-intervention and post-intervention scores for perceived stress, burnout, depression, and anxiety (trait). These variables showed no significant differences between post-intervention and follow-up scores. The WHOQOL-BREF revealed significant increase (P < .05) just in the physical and psychological domains at post-intervention scores, which remained at the follow-up. Qualitative results showed improvement in the reactivity to inner experience; a more attentive perception of internal and external experiences; greater attention and awareness of actions and attitudes at every moment; and a positive influence of the SRP in nursing activities.

Familial caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease exhibit reduced quality of life and increased stress levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an 8-week yoga and compassion meditation program on the perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and salivary cortisol levels in familial caregivers. A total of 46 volunteers were randomly assigned to participate in a stress-reduction program for a 2-month period (yoga and compassion meditation program—YCMP group) () or an untreated group for the same period of time (control group) (). The levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and morning salivary cortisol of the participants were measured before and after intervention. The groups were initially homogeneous; however, after intervention, the groups diverged significantly. The YCMP group exhibited a reduction of the stress (), anxiety (), and depression () levels, as well as a reduction in the concentration of salivary cortisol (). Our study suggests that an 8-week yoga and compassion meditation program may offer an effective intervention for reducing perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and salivary cortisol in familial caregivers.