I am a general member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and receive their annual research journal, “International Journal of Yoga Therapy”.

Over Holiday and Christmas I read the 2019 journal, and contents cover:

  • iRest Meditation for Older Adults with Depression Symptoms – a pilot study, and 6 and 12 months follow ups
  • Empowering a Community from Inside Out: Evaluation of a Yoga Teacher Training Program for Adults in Custody
  • Peace Building through Yoga?  Qualitative Assessment of a Yoga Program in a  Social Housing Complex in Santa Marta, Columbia
  • Effect of Yoga Based Cardiac Rehabilitation on Heart Rate Variability: Randomised Controlled Trial in Patients post MI
  • Enhancing Problem and Emotion Focused Coping in Menopausal Women through Yoga
  • Bridging Body and Mind: Case Series of a 10 week Trauma Informed Yoga Protocol for Veterans
  • A Five week Seminar of the BioPsychoSocialSpiritual Model of Self Care Improves Anxiety, Self Compassion, Mindfulness, Depression and Stress in Graduate Healthcare Students
  • Changes in Non-motor Symptoms Following an 8 Week yoga Intervention for People with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Psychosomatic Associations Between Thinking Patterns and Parkinson’s Disease from A Yoga Philosophy perspective – A New Zealand Cross Sectional Study
  • Yoga: Theory and Practice – A course that illustrates Why Yoga Belongs in the Academy
  • Yoga Kernels: A Public Health Model of Developing and Disseminating Evidence Based Yoga Practices
  • Secularity: Guiding Questions for Inclusive Yoga in Schools

Phew!  I’m not going to comment further on each individual paper, as that would be a herculean task, but some key themes can be pulled out around the usefulness of a Yoga or Yoga Therapy intervention in many situations and conditions, and that in general Yoga can add value whilst, if practised and taught with care, remaining safe.

Its good that there is much valuable research coming out on yoga. 

It should be acknowledged there are a few papers on the dangers of yoga as well, and its useful to review these dispassionately and see if there are key themes.   Generally yoga is safe, although some studies have reported a rise in reported yoga injuries – its not clear whether this comes from home practice, a proliferation of online “how tos” or from dangerous teaching, but its worthwhile noting everything – even staying in bed – carries a risk, and practised sensibly with guidance from an experienced teacher, the risk / reward ratio of yoga is quite favourable.  I wanted to touch on this, as it can otherwise be levelled that there is a selction bias in reporting on yoga research.