An Investigation on Impact of Yoga Interventions on Components of Mental and Physical Fitness: A Short Reviews | Original Article
In the last years, a new view on mental healthcare has been formed on mental healthcare, called positive psychology. This new view states, that mental health is not solely comprised of a reduction of negative symptoms, such as stress or depression, but positive experiences as well, such as emotional well-being, happiness and self-realization. Yoga, among other activities, is in line with this new view, in the sense that it practices key aspects of positive psychology. More and more research has been conducted on the effects of yoga on mental health in the last years, but little have physical, chronic conditions been the focus of this research. This report summarizes the current evidence on the effects of yoga interventions on various components of mental and physical health, by focussing on the evidence described in review articles. Collectively, these reviews suggest a number of areas where yoga may well be beneficial, but more research is required for virtually all of them to firmly establish such benefits. The heterogeneity among interventions and conditions studied has hampered the use of meta-analysis as an appropriate tool for summarizing the current literature. Nevertheless, there are some meta-analyses which indicate beneficial effects of yoga interventions, and there are several randomized clinical trials (RCT’s) of relatively high quality indicating beneficial effects of yoga for pain-associated disability and mental health. Yoga may well be effective as a supportive adjunct to mitigate some medical conditions, but not yet a proven stand-alone, curative treatment. Larger-scale and more rigorous research with higher methodological quality and adequate control interventions is highly encouraged because yoga may have potential to be implemented as a beneficial supportive/adjunct treatment that is relatively cost-effective, may be practiced at least in part as a self-care behavioral treatment, provides a life-long behavioral skill, enhances self-efficacy and self-confidence and is often associated with additional positive side effects.