Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Yoga-Therapeutic use, Yoga-Psychological aspects, Social service-Methodology, Psychobiology, Psychotherapy-Religious aspects, Mind and body therapies, Biopsychosocial-spiritual, Social work, Therapeutic use, Yoga, Theoretical


There is growing evidence emerging from the biomedical, behavioral science, and mental health literature suggesting that yoga may be an effective treatment for a wide range of mental health symptoms. Curiously, there has been very little social work literature published about yoga's therapeutic potential. As one of the most popular complementary and alternative approaches to health in the United States, yoga is not to be overlooked as a potential social work methodology to reach diverse populations and improve or complement mental health treatment rates and outcomes. Yoga's multifaceted ability to affect well-being makes it an important therapeutic approach to mental health that is well-aligned with social work's biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective on assessment and treatment. The goal of this theoretical study is to further explore yoga's potential as a social work approach by reviewing the effects of yoga on mental health and considering its biological, psychological, social, and spiritual implications as grounded in the literature. The study concludes with practice recommendations and cautions for the application of yoga to social work as well as implications for social work research, education, and policy.




v, 53 pages : illustrations. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 42-53)

Limited Access until August 2019