Although yoga has been practiced in some form for millennia, from a Western scientific perspective we are just beginning to understand the mechanisms behind its effects.

Still, a growing body of research has begun to confirm yoga therapy’s promise to offer relief from a number of chronic and debilitating conditions. IAYT, which publishes this website, hosts an annual research conference, the Symposium on Yoga Research, and publishes a peer-reviewed journal, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.


Following are a few additional starting points for those interested in learning more.

Barrows JL & Fleury J. Systematic review of yoga interventions to promote cardiovascular health in older adults. Western Journal of Nursing Research 2016;38:753–81.

Bernardi F, et al. Acute fall and long-term rise in oxygen saturation in response to meditation. Psychophysiology 2017;54:1951–66.

Cramer H, et al. Yoga for multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One 2014;9.

Gard T, et al. Potential self-regulatory mechanisms of yoga for psychological health. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2014;8:770.

Khalsa SBS, et al (eds). The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care. Pencaitland, UK: Handspring, 2016.

Sharma M, et al. A systematic review of yoga interventions as integrative treatment in breast cancer. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 2016;142:2523–40.

Sherman KJ, et al. A randomized trial comparing yoga, stretching, and a self-care book for chronic low back pain. Archives of Internal Medicine 2011;171:2019–26.

Uebelacker LA & Broughton MK. Yoga for depression and anxiety: A review of published research and implications for healthcare providers. Rhode Island Medical Journal 2013;99:20–22.

Vizcaino M & Stover E. The effect of yoga practice on glycemic control and other health parameters in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients: A systematic review and meta- analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2016;28:57–66.