Center for the Study of Yoga and Health

Evidence-Based Yoga

Researching the Intersection
Between Yoga and Health

Evidence-Based Yoga

Scientifically proven Yoga postures, series, and methods

The academic research literature contains over 1000 scientific articles on Yoga covering its effects on a wide range of health conditions. Research began as early as 1920 and has been accelerating in recent years, thanks in part to the creation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in 1998.

Many studies have examined the effectiveness of specific Yoga postures and series. Scientifically significant results have been found for:

Chronic pain





Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Premature ejaculation

Prenatal health


Cardiovascular diseases


...and many more!

Because of its nature, scientific research on Yoga is published in a wide variety of journals. Over 80 journals of varying quality and accessibility in at least 15 countries contain one or more article. Just under 50% of studies are published in Indian journals. Another 25+% appear in US journals.

Study quality varies widely. Less than half of studies are controlled trials. Even within these studies there are wide variances on key validity metrics such as population, control methods, and statistical power.

In short, the state of the academic research literature on Yoga at this time requires examination by experienced scholars. Studies in areas such as cardiovascular disease are highly contradictory, and it takes a well trained eye to pull out the most effective information for further research.

Considerable information has been gathered through the scientific research process. This information is largely unknown at present among public practitioners and teachers of Yoga. Specific series of postures and other techniques have been indicated as being beneficial for specific health conditions and populations, and warrant dissemination to qualified Yoga teachers. Additional research is called for across the board to continue to uncover new findings, and deepen existing ones.