HealthDay News — According to a review published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine, Hatha yoga is a promising method for treating anxiety, but additional research may be needed.

Stefan Hofmann, PhD, from Boston University, and colleagues conducted a literature search and meta-analysis to assess the effect of Hatha yoga on anxiety.

The researchers identified 17 studies involving a total of 501 participants who received Hatha yoga and reported their levels of anxiety before and after the practice. 

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The treatment was found to be effective for anxiety in a random effects meta-analysis (P<.001). There was a positive association between treatment efficacy and the total number of hours practiced. 

Those with elevated levels of anxiety benefited the most. Study year, gender, presence of a medical disorder or age did not lessen the effect. The quality of the studies was relatively low, but the risk of study bias did not moderate the effect.

“More well-controlled studies are needed to compare the efficacy of Hatha yoga with other more established treatments and to understand its mechanism,” the authors write.


Hofmann SG, et al. “Effect Of Hatha Yoga On Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis”. Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine. 2016 September 22. 9(3): 116-124.

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