Hatha Yoga for Anxiety Management: A Critical Review

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  • Hatha yoga has shown promise as an effective intervention for managing anxiety.
  • Studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between yoga practice and reduced anxiety levels.
  • Further research is warranted to determine the efficacy of Hatha yoga compared to other established treatments and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of its anxiolytic effects.


Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent, affecting a significant proportion of the population worldwide. Conventional treatments for anxiety include pharmacological interventions and psychotherapy, but these approaches have limitations and can be associated with adverse effects.


A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify studies that evaluated the effects of Hatha yoga on anxiety. A total of 17 eligible studies were included in a meta-analysis, involving over 500 participants. The studies utilized a variety of designs, including randomized controlled trials and observational studies.


The meta-analysis revealed a significant effect of Hatha yoga on anxiety reduction (P Discussion

The current findings suggest that Hatha yoga has potential as a complementary or adjunctive therapy for managing anxiety. However, the studies included in the review were of varying quality, and further well-controlled trials are needed to compare the efficacy of Hatha yoga to other established treatments.


Hatha yoga is a promising intervention for reducing anxiety. Additional research is essential to optimize its use and elucidate the underlying mechanisms of its anxiolytic effects.


By James R. Wilson, Ph.D.

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Credit and rights belong to OMG I Yoga.


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