About yoga for schizophrenia

Stress and anxiety can detach us from reality; we can lose sense of the world around us, and indeed ourselves. Suffering from schizophrenia can make the world a scary place, so grounding and reassuring routines maintain stability. 

Yoga, breathing, and meditation return a scattered mind to the present moment, via the breath. They facilitate the relaxation response, which helps to filter out unnecessary stimulus from the outside world as well as reducing the misinterpretation of internal thoughts - which are key contributing factors in schizophrenia. 

Clinical studies suggest that yoga is a positive add-on treatment for schizophrenia because it can reduce both hallucinations/delusions and de-motivation/social withdrawal. 

The studies also show that yoga helps to counteract the side effects of antipsychotic medication, including weight gain and the associated anxiety and depressive symptoms. 

Intensive periods of meditation have been found to trigger symptoms in some individuals, so care should be taken when using meditation as a treatment. Always seek the guidance of an health professional.

What the clinical studies say


  • Can counteract facial emotion recognition deficits 
  • Improves physical health and reduces incidence of cardiovascular disease which is an associated risk factor of the disease 
  • Improves quality of life 
  • Is more effective than regular physical exercise for symptom reduction 
  • Reduces stress and anxiety

  • Creates connection to others 
  • Increases hope and purpose in life 
  • Reduces the distress resulting from psychotic episodes and the experience of hospitalisation