Yoga Research: How to find it, decipher it, and use it.

Field notes on Yoga Research. 

This will be a working document which I will continue to add to and comment on and grow... but my initial notes and sharing as I get a lot of questions about: aging, special populations, working with folks with x, y, z...and what's the best tool, technique, etc. 

We are all individual. Start with understanding not just anatomy but biomechanics. (Jules Mitchell is a great resource for that.) 

Then, work with understanding the brain and our body's systems. 

This is only the beginning. Look at where the information is coming from. Experience, research... and then, of course, there is our own bias and anecdotal accounts... begin first with study, practice and whatever you do and whatever capacity (or movement practice or modality) you work with individuals for healing or preventing injuries, know that they are an individual. It's a team effort (holistic approach). One method may work for one person, while it's not the best for another person... there are some basics (methodologies, practices), but we can only work from where we are within our own scope of practice. 

Alright... now to understand all the info that is floating out there... articles should not be your go to. Question everything. And... have fun. Don't be afraid to dive into research - the more you know, the less you'll realize you know. :)

ResearchIf you research yoga research or read yoga research or are interested or quote yoga research... let's learn more about it, eh?

Podcasts and Blogs

There are dozens, hundreds, and I'm sure soon to be thousands on yoga research. A few to check out are:Mindful Strength Podcast.

Ariana Rabinovitch has a wealth of info on her site (paid). Article / research reviews + a (free) podcast where she talks with experts/ experienced in yoga research. A sample article on headstands.

What am I looking for in research?

What is a metta analysis vs. systematic review vs. individual study?
This meta analysis shows the studies done on neuromuscular diseases and yoga are inconclusive. Therefore we need more research with better and more clear standards of measurement (IMHO).

What kinds of standards of measurement, you ask? Well, someone's come up with some psychometric properties for a yoga questionnaire that hopes to standardize and bring more cohesiveness to studies so we are not comparing apples to oranges.

Where do I find valid research?

IAYTIAYT journal of research/resources (paid with a few articles free).A sample review of study done on feasibility of restorative yoga vs. rigorous yoga with cancer patients. It shows that rigorous yoga is only slightly more effective-- however, the sample size, and many other factors such as, what is rigorous yoga? "Future studies for sedentary patients should focus on reducing time commitment and travel requirements to improve recruitment, and on using restorative yoga as a more feasible intervention for this population." ... so more research, please. 

Learn how to use PubMed/NLH (highly recommend).
A quick search on "clinical queries" (which brings up systematic reviews) for yoga (only pulls up the abstracts).
So then, how do you I get the full articles?

This will be a living document. I'll continue to add and grow the resources. Feel free to comment below, join the mailing list, or check out Restorative or Gentle Yoga Immersions

Let's keep stretching (pun intended) our biases and growing our knowledge base.

Time to move outside.

With grace,



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