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.
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.