A glimpse into yoga research, integrative medicine, and S-VYASA University

“We know yoga is a 5,000 plus-year-old tradition,” says Dr. Manjunath N. K., director of research at S-VYASA University in Bengaluru, India. “How do you make it as a socially relevant science?”

In this video, Dr. Manjunath N. K. speaks about the role of yoga therapy in integrative medicine and the yoga research carried out at S-VYASA. In the video, he emphasizes the importance of yoga research in India and through international research collaborations.

“The whole concept behind [integrative medicine] is to bring in the best of multiple medical systems together,” he explains. But how does one go about doing this?

“One way we understood this process of integration is through one of our collaborations with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston,” he shares. “They wanted to integrate yoga therapy along with the conventional cancer therapies.”

The research team, Dr. Manjunath N. K. explains, asked how they might use yoga as a complementary therapy along with conventional treatment for patients with breast cancer. They were interested in how yoga might improve cancer patients’ psychological health, side effects from chemotherapy and radiation, and quality of life. This is just one of many studies that investigates integrative care with yoga.

S-VYASA conducts various studies in the field of yoga research, maintaining active projects in psychophysiology, molecular biology, and genetics. “The whole idea is to have an integrative research facility whereby we can understand a human being in his, her, or their complete sense—not just understanding the brain in one part and other systems separately,” Dr. Manjunath N. K. explains. “[T]he whole purpose of understanding the scientific basis of yoga is the key essence of this organization.”

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