Does Yoga Improve Academic Performance? - Aura Wellness Center

Does Yoga Improve Academic Performance?

Does Yoga improve academic performanceBy Faye Martins

Does Yoga improve academic performance? The studies reveal this is a deep subject, but a combination of Yoga and meditation works best.  It has been known for thousands of years that a regular practice of yoga and meditation techniques will have numerous benefits for the body and mind. It is no surprise that some researchers are starting to discover that incorporating yoga and meditation into a student’s daily schedule can improve cognitive function and reduce stress. This can result in improved concentration, focus, and subsequently, improve one’s school grades.

Stress is indeed a big part of school life, whether you are a child or a college student. Too much stress can have negative effects on attention and memory. Students don’t do well on tests if they are constantly anxious about so many aspects of school. Allowing students to stretch their bodies with asanas (yoga poses) during the course of the day, while utilizing breathing techniques and mindfulness meditation can create not only higher achieving students, but calmer, more polite, and less aggressive ones.


In 2010-2011, a yoga pilot program was started at Cass Street School in Milwaukee by Susan Solvang, the executive director of K-12 Yoga. The instructors guided K-8 students through mindfulness meditation and some basic yoga training twice a week for a school year. The results were amazing; when comparing the numbers of classroom disruptions, disorderly conducts, and fights from the pilot year to the year before, the numbers were cut in half. Yet, the question remains: “Does Yoga improve academic performance”

Other schools in Essex, England, report similar findings when they began testing these methods with primary school students. By teaching visualization techniques and yoga asanas, children in these studies seemed more self-aware and less anxious. Their behavior, concentration, and academic performance  improved.


Adults can benefit from this, too. Researchers at George Mason University on students in a psychology class conducted a recent study. Some of them were taught meditation techniques before lectures. The others were instructed to do nothing. They were then given a quiz. The students who had meditated beforehand scored better than the students who were not taught the techniques.

What is the connection between yoga and academic performance?  Yoga is something that millions of practitioners have practiced throughout history to find tranquility, balance, focus, and clarity. It is understandable that the calming poses of yoga and mindfulness meditation can create a more intelligent and mentally sharp individual. It is fair to say that incorporating any sort of fitness and relaxation techniques or breathing exercises into a school curriculum will have major benefits to anyone of any age.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our selection of Yoga teacher training courses, please visit the following link.

Click here to see our online Yoga Nidra teacher training course.

Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources


52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice

by Rina Jakubowicz.


A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman.


by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

Nagendra HR, Nagarathna R. New Perspective in stress management. Bangalore, India: Vivekananda Kendra Parkashana; 1977.

Nidich SI, Nidich RJ. Increased academic performance at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment: a replication study of Education. 1989;109:302–4.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Science and art of living. Los Angeles. New York: International SRM Publications; 1972.

Telles S, Reddy SK, Nagendra HR. Oxygen consumption and respiration following two yoga relaxation techniques. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2000;25:221–7.

Kumar Kundan Yogacharya. ‘Achieve inner well – being through practice of yoga’. The Times of India; 2005. p. 14.

10. Bhole MV (1977). Psycho – Physiological importance of some yoga practices Paper presented at the international seminar on stress in Health and Diseases. Varanasi: Banaras Hindu University; 1977.

Singh RH, Udupa KN. Psychobiological studies on certain hatha yoga practices. Paper presented at the international seminar on stress in Health and Diseases. Varanasi: Banaras Hindu University; 1977.

Datey KK. Stress and heart diseases and how to control it with newer techniques – biofeedback and Savanasana. Paper presented at the International seminar on stress in Health and Diseases. Varanasi: Banaras Hindu University; 1977.

Udupa KB, Singh RH, Dwivedi KN. Biochemical study on meditation. Paper presented at the international seminar on stress in Health and Diseases. Varanasi: Banaras Hindu University; 7. [Google Scholar]

Sahasi G, Mohan D, Kacker C. Effectiveness of yogic techniques in the management of anxiety. Journal of Personality and Clinical Studies. 1989;1:51–5.

Krejci Milada. ‘Positive influence of yoga exercises for the Adolescents’ Medicine, Mind and Adolescence. 1994;8:2.

Telles S, Joseph C, Venkatesh S, Desiraju T. Alterations of auditory middle latency evoked potentials during yogic consciously regulated breathing in an attentive state of mind. Int J Psychophysiol. 1992;14:189–98.

Telles S, Desiraju T. Recording of audioty middle latency evoked potentials during the practice of meditation on the syllable ‘OM’ Indian J Med Res. 1993;98:237–9. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
18. Telles S, Hanumanthaiah BH, Nagarathana R, Nagendra HR. Plasticity of motor control systems demonstrated by yoga training of school children. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 1994;76:1264–666.

Telles S, Nagarathna R, Vani PR, Nagendra HR. A combination of focusing and de-focusing through yoga reduces optical illusion more than focusing alone. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1997;41:179–82.

Dua J. Meditation and its effectiveness. In: Pestonjee DM, Pareek U, Aggarwal R, editors. Studies in Stress and its management. Delhi: Oxford and IBH; 1998.

Michaels RR, Huber MJ, McCann DS. Evaluation of Transcendental Meditation as a Method of reducing stress. Science. 1992;4245:1242–4.

Miskiman DE. Collected Papers V1.58 Edmonton, Alberta. Canada: University of Alberta; 1973. The effect of Transcendental Meditation Program on the organization of thinking and recall (secondary organization). Graduate department of Psychology. [Google S

Schecter H. The Transcendental Meditation program in the classroom. A psychological evaluation. Doctoral thesis (summary), graduate department of psychology, York university North York, Ontario, Canada, Dissertation Abstracts International. 1977;38:3372B.

Wallace RK, Orme-Johnson DW, Mills PJ, Dillibeck MC, Jacobe E. Department of Biology and Psychology. Fairfield, Iowa, USA: Maharishi International University; 1980. The relationship between the paired Hoffman reflex and academic achievement in participants of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program.

Kember P. The Transcendental Meditation technique and postgraduate academic performance: A shot report on controlled and longitudinal pilot study. British Journal of Educational Psychology. 1985;55:164–6. [Google Scholar]

Nidich SI, Nidich RJ, Rainforth M. School effectiveness: Achievement gains at the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment Education. 1986;107:49–54.

Telles S, Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR. Autonomic changes during ‘OM’ meditation. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1995;39:418–20.

Sharma R. Yoga for sports and health. The Tribune, Sports Feature; 2002. p. 24.

Goldberg C. News item, ‘Doses of Meditation – Key to Good Health. The Asian Age; 2005. p. 34.

Motluk A. News item, ‘Meditation builds up the brain’, 11:01, Nov.15 New new service. com new service; 2005.

Rahi A. Bisht Battery Stress Scale, National Psychological Corporation, 4/230,Kacheri Ghat, Agra, UP, India. 1987.

Yerkes, Robert M, Dodson JD. Juline K. Science of Mind. 1908. ‘Settled Mind Silent Mind’

Kindler HK, Ginsberg MC. Stress training for life: An action program. New York: Nicholas Publishing; 1990.

Kets De Vries MF. Organizational stress: a call for management action. Solan Management review. 1979;21:3–14.

Muehlman JM, Nidich SI, Reilly B, Cole C. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association. Chicago, Illinois: 1988. Relationship of the practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique to academic achievement.

Silver L. Anxiety and first semester of Law School. Wisconsin Law Review. 1968;4:1210–8.

Trow WC. Psychology in Teaching and Learning. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company; 1956.

Mottowildo SJ, Packard JS, Manning MR. Occupational Stress: Its causes and consequences for job performance. J Appl Psychol. 1986;71:618–29.

Warner TQ. Transcendental Meditation and Development advancement: mediating abilities and conservation performance. Dissertation Abstracts International. 1986;47:3558B.

Steers RM. Organizational Behaviour. In: Foresman S, editor. 2nd ed. Gleenview, IL: 1984.

Sailer HS, Schlacter J, Edwards MR. Stress-causes, consequences and coping strategies Personal. 1982;59:35–48.

Wallace RK, Mills PJ, Orme-Johnson DW, Dillibeck MC, Jacobe E. The paired H reflex and its correlation with EEG coherence and academic performance in normal subjects practicing meditation. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts. 1982;8:537.

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching yoga students and our online yoga instructor training school.


2 thoughts on “Does Yoga Improve Academic Performance?”

Leave a Comment

Your Cart