A rapid review exploring the role of yoga in healing psychological trauma

Arabella English*, Elizabeth McKibben, Divya Sivaramakrishnan, Niamh Hart, Justin Richards, Paul Kelly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The evidence regarding the benefits of yoga for treating psychological trauma is well-established; however, there is a paucity of qualitative reviews exploring this topic. The purpose of this rapid review is to gain a deeper understanding of the impact that yoga can have on people with a history of psychological trauma and to reveal barriers and facilitators to the uptake of yoga in this cohort, from a qualitative perspective. The Ovid(EMBASE), Ovid(MEDLINE), PsycINFO, PubMed, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched using key terms. The systematic search generated 148 records, and 11 peer-reviewed articles met the inclusion criteria. The following main impacts of yoga on participants were identified: feeling an increased sense of self-compassion; feeling more centred; developing their coping skills; having a better mind–body relationship; and improving their relationships with others. The main barriers were also identified: concerns initiating yoga; time and motivational issues; and the costs and location of classes. The main facilitator was the feeling of safety generated in the trauma-informed yoga classes. This review suggests that yoga offers great potential in the field of trauma recovery. Despite this, more high-quality research with rigorous methodologies is called for to allow this field to advance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16180
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
Early online date3 Dec 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Dec 2022


  • impact
  • psychological trauma
  • qualitative literature
  • rapid review
  • yoga


Dive into the research topics of 'A rapid review exploring the role of yoga in healing psychological trauma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this