Yoga as a positive embodiment-approach in child and adolescent psychiatry

(Christina Taferner, Msc, Dr. Silvia Exenberger and Prof. Kathrin Sevecke)

Yoga is a holistic system for the body and mind, that includes breathing exercises (pranayama), physical exercises (Asana), mindfulness, relaxation and meditation. Randomized controlled studies are available for children, adolescents and adults, showing positive effects of yoga on global psychopathology (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorder, anxiety and depression), stress response, affect regulation, body perception and self-efficacy. However, there is a lack of yoga-based intervention implemented in child and adolescent health care. Therefore, we practice trauma-informed Hatha yoga with our inpatients with eating disorders and evaluate how yoga can be applied in multimodal treatment. Furthermore, the study aims to focus on positive effects of yoga on different aspects of personality development (e.g. character strengths).