The effects of Sahaja Yoga meditation on mental health: A systematic review

Tommy Hendriks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


To determine the efficacy of Sahaja Yoga (SY) meditation on mental health among clinical and healthy populations. All publications on SY were eligible. Databases were searched up to November 2017, namely PubMed, MEDLINE (NLM), PsychINFO, and Scopus. An internet search (Google Scholar) was also conducted. The quality of the randomized controlled trails was assessed using the Cochrane Risk Assessment for Bias. The quality of cross-sectional studies, a non-randomized controlled trial and a cohort study was assessed with the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. We included a total of eleven studies; four randomized controlled trials, one non-randomized controlled trial, five cross-sectional studies, and one prospective cohort study. The studies included a total of 910 participants. Significant findings were reported in relation to the following outcomes: anxiety, depression, stress, subjective well-being, and psychological well-being. Two randomized studies were rated as high quality studies, two randomized studies as low quality studies. The quality of the non-randomized trial, the cross-sectional studies and the cohort study was high. Effect sizes could not be calculated in five studies due to unclear or incomplete reporting. After reviewing the articles and taking the quality of the studies into account, it appears that SY may reduce depression and possibly anxiety. In addition, the practice of SY is also associated with increased subjective wellbeing and psychological well-beng. However, due to the limited number of publications, definite conclusions on the effects of SY cannot be made and more high quality randomized studies are needed to justify any firm conclusions on the beneficial effects of SY on mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20160163
JournalJournal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Kundalini
  • mental health
  • mental silence meditation
  • Sahaja Yoga
  • wellbeing


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