Blog on Scientific Research and Yoga
Welcome to Yoga Alliance’s Scientific Research and Yoga Blog. We created this blog as a member-focused resource to support and create conversation around The Scientific Research on Yoga (SRY). Well before the world was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, our Director of Yoga Research Dr. Sat Bir S. Khalsa curated a growing collection of research on yoga’s effects on the body, wellness and disease. Within the site section, you’ll find studies categorized and organized so that your own research is easier as you bring the science of yoga to life in practice and teaching.
To unpack the research citations, we launched in April 2020 a series of Continuing Education Webinars with Dr. Khalsa and longtime Yoga Alliance member Kim Weeks. These conversations are a continuation of a series of video conversations, also with Dr. Khalsa and Ms. Weeks, that explain how to read and interpret research papers and highlight topics on the SRY site that are most important in yoga research today.
Through this SRY blog, you can continue reading and learning, and also now commenting. We welcome your feedback and engagement! Our goal at Yoga Alliance is for this impactful content, shared across different media, to benefit Registered Yoga Schools, Registered Yoga Teachers and the broader yoga community and public.
About the Authors and Contributors
Research on breast cancer and yoga is one of the fastest growing areas of research in yoga. Yoga Alliance hosted five separate conversations to unpack the latest scientific research, and to host three teacher conversations on best practices for teaching both breast cancer patients and survivors in the yoga classroom.
Yoga provides socio-emotional, socio-economic, and health benefits to students of all ages and levels.
A growing body of scientific literature suggests that sleep habits can be changed through yoga and mindfulness practices; there are others, including a consensus statement from The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society, showing the ravaging effects that sleep restriction, including self-imposed sleep restriction, has on the body.
The tricky terrain of the mind-body complex can be soothed through the physical, cognitive, and emotional effects of yoga. Its whole-bodied approach can bring us back in to the body from that anxious place in which we are lifted out of the moment (and ourselves) with worry and dread over whatever might happen next.
While acute major life events, such as divorce or the death of a loved one, or even COVID, can be predict depression, chronic stresses are stronger than acute ones as predictors of depression.
Scientific research shows that yoga affects the aging process. During COVID-19, we’ve all thought about our elders: how to care for them, how to protect them, and, as yoga teachers and practitioners, how we might even use yoga as a way to ameliorate or improve their experience of life in lockdown.