A systematic review of yoga and schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Implications for recreational therapy practitioners


  • Emilie V. Adams, MS, CTRS, C-IAYT
  • Jasmine Townsend, PhD, CTRS




recreation therapy, yoga, schizophrenia, stress vulnerability model, complementary medicine


Schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) are a group of mental illnesses characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thought; they are often accompanied by cognitive dysfunction, social skills deficits, and low volition. This article reviews the extant literature on the efficacy of using yoga as an adjunct therapy to supplement standard pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment and management of SSD. The 16 studies reviewed indicate yoga may be an effective intervention for increasing global cognitive functioning, decreasing psychotic symptoms, and improving quality of life for clients with SSD. Recommendations for integration of yoga into a Recreation Therapy program are outlined.

Author Biographies

Emilie V. Adams, MS, CTRS, C-IAYT

Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, College of Behavioral, Social, and Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Jasmine Townsend, PhD, CTRS

Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, College of Behavioral, Social, and Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina


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How to Cite

Adams, MS, CTRS, C-IAYT, E. V., & Townsend, PhD, CTRS, J. (2018). A systematic review of yoga and schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Implications for recreational therapy practitioners. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 17(2), 37–47. https://doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2018.0160