Effects of Sensory-Enhanced Yoga on Symptoms of Combat Stress in Deployed Military Personnel

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We examined the effects of sensory-enhanced hatha yoga on symptoms of combat stress in deployed military personnel, compared their anxiety and sensory processing with that of stateside civilians, and identified any correlations between the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory scales and the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile quadrants.


Seventy military personnel who were deployed to Iraq participated in a randomized controlled trial. Thirty-five received 3 wk (≥9 sessions) of sensory-enhanced hatha yoga, and 35 did not receive any form of yoga.


Sensory-enhanced hatha yoga was effective in reducing state and trait anxiety, despite normal pretest scores. Treatment participants showed significantly greater improvement than control participants on 16 of 18 mental health and quality-of-life factors. We found positive correlations between all test measures except sensory seeking. Sensory seeking was negatively correlated with all measures except low registration, which was insignificant.


The results support using sensory-enhanced hatha yoga for proactive combat stress management.

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