Yoga Research and its Alignment with Stakeholder's Needs

Research in yoga and yoga therapy has proliferated in recent years, yet such research needs to be relevant and accessible by the medical community and community at large in order to translate into improved and best practice.

Go to the profile of Heather Mason
Sep 20, 2016
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27516361

This article provides some very useful food for thought. It poses the following, important question: is yoga research aligned with the needs of key stakeholders, particularly from a public health perspective? Research in yoga and yoga therapy has proliferated in recent years, yet such research needs to be relevant and accessible by the medical community and community at large in order to translate into improved and best practice. Research and evidence alone, whilst important, are brought to life through application; such application cannot happen if the research does not find its way into the hands of the people with the power to operationalise its findings, or if it is not relevant to their current level of understanding, agenda and evidence-based needs.

The paper looks at the following questions related to yoga research: Is it generalisable? Is it standardisable? Which yoga style should be used/recommended/paid for? Or will it be worth the money?

The article suggests that yoga-component analysis, development of a theory of yoga, adoption of a health-aligned functional typology of yoga, development and testing of a simple universal basic prototype of yoga intervention, emphasis on research about long-term adherence, and discouragement for mere proof of concept research might make yoga research serve the stakeholders better. We agree wholeheartedly and would add that the research likely to make the most impact is that which is carried out with compassion and in alignment with a clear vision of supporting and enriching people's physical, emotional, psychological and even spiritual lives.

Go to the profile of Heather Mason

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS

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