About Our Yoga Research Section

Crab_NebulaFor the past four years, we have tried to monitor the publication of every major medical or research paper related to teaching yoga and related fields. The latter includes medical nutrition, reflecting the fact that yogic traditions in all periods of history have included some nutritional component — although none in premodern times based on scientific grounds.

Many of those papers don’t explicitly mention yoga, but deal with physiological and sometimes epigenetic changes (changes related to genetic expression) as well related to stretching and compressing the body, balance issues, neurohormonal and neurological sides of postural change, the downregulation of inflammatory processes, and similar topics.

After filtering those papers — a high percentage of studies on yoga and medicine are poorly designed or badly contaminated by publication bias, and are highly unreliable — we pass on the most important and rigorous of them to our Teacher Training students, often the same day those papers are published.

For years we have distributed these papers to our students through a private Teacher Training Email List we set up specifically for that purpose. We typically add some background information for those in the Program who don’t have a scientific background. (An increasing number of our current students do have advanced scientific training, which is one of the main reasons why they are attracted to our Program and not one of the many corporate-run or generic yoga teaching programs around.)

At this point we have sent on hundreds of papers to our students, but we haven’t made any systematic attempt to archive them. Due to repeated student requests, on our new Webpages we will begin to pass on a subset of those papers to the yoga community, whether or not they are associated with Avalon. The hope is that this will help accelerate the general shift now taking place in the yoga world from old-style guru-based or New Age/commercial forms of yoga, which are loaded with odd beliefs and historical myths, to its modern scientific forms.

We will begin initially by overviewing a few key papers that we give out to all our Teacher Training Students at the start of each term. We expect the Archives to grow quickly over the next few years, and updates of the section will be made often. All our news reports will contain links to original articles or at a minimum the abstracts to those articles, when copyright restrictions apply.

If you have any suggestions for improvements of this section, or if you think we should further expand this part of our Webpages, write us here.

©-2014, Avalon Yoga International, Inc.