Abstract / Description of output

Rationale Yoga is used widely as a therapeutic tool for physical and mental wellbeing. However, greater understanding of the impact yoga may have on young people who have additional support for learning is warranted. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of delivering and evaluating an 8-week school-based yoga programme targeted at children with additional support needs in a mainstream primary school. Methods Data was collected from 11 pupils (4-12 yrs) with additional support needs. The Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF-2) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) were completed pre and post intervention by parents and the pupil’s schoolteachers. Observation of the yoga class engagement was conducted at baseline, mid-way through and end of the intervention. A visual adaptation of the Children’s Feeling Scale was completed each week pre and post yoga class by each student. Qualitative measures including a parent feedback questionnaire, an interview with the yoga instructor and focus group with the pupil support assistants were undertaken. Findings The programme was delivered as planned. The yoga instructor, parents and pupil support assistants found the programme to be beneficial to the students as well as being a feasible part of their school week. There were no significant differences in pre to post intervention in any of the SDQ or BRIEF-2 scores. Some positive changes in mood were found, although effect sizes were small. Conclusions This study demonstrates the feasibility of delivering a school-based yoga programme for children with additional support needs, and a feasible evaluation approach. The overall experience for pupils, pupil support assistants and the yoga teacher were positive and suggest wider roll out and evaluation of the school-based yoga programme would be of value.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Yoga Therapy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • yoga
  • schools
  • neurodiversity
  • children
  • additional support needs


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