IAYT supports yoga research

For more than 30 years, the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) has been committed to supporting research, a crucial component of establishing the field of professional yoga therapy. The organization is pleased to be a stakeholder in new research with principal investigators Louisa Sylvia, PhD, and Lisa Uebelacker, PhD. The study, “Expanding First-Line Options for Depression and Matching Treatments to Patients: Hatha Yoga vs. Behavioral Therapy,” speaks directly to patient-centered care, an essential aspect of the whole health paradigm now being embraced by health systems worldwide. Within this integrative framework, yoga therapy has a meaningful role to play. 

This study will compare online psychotherapy with a group yoga program for the treatment of depression. Drs. Sylvia and Uebelacker explain, 

We want to find out if yoga can be just as helpful as [psychotherapy] for depression. We also want to understand why some people may benefit more from one program or the other. The results may help to strengthen evidence that yoga is an effective intervention for depression, thus expanding options for people who are suffering.

The study, known as COMPARE, is sponsored by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a nonprofit granting organization established as a component of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA HIPAA). IAYT is COMPARE’s primary yoga organization stakeholder.

If you know of someone with depression or depressive symptoms who doesn’t regularly practice yoga—and who lives in one of the study states of Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, or Rhode Island—consider letting them know about this research. Find more information on the COMPARE landing page.

Other ways IAYT supports yoga research include the organization’s significant work to produce the annual Symposium on Yoga Research; publish the peer-reviewed, PubMed-indexed International Journal of Yoga Therapy; and provide research literacy resources through the magazine Yoga Therapy Today. The Research tab on this site provides summaries and links to high-quality research on yoga therapy for specific conditions.