Yoga Research > Basic Research

Basic Research

This collection of research, “Basic Research,” includes research done on normal healthy individuals. The goals of this research are to discover, quantify, and reveal the benefits of yoga practices and the underlying biological and psychological mechanisms responsible for these benefits. This is very important because both scientists and policy makers have a need to understand the mechanisms by which these practices are acting in addition to the research that shows their efficacy.



Learn how yoga has an impact on changes in primarily physical/physiological functioning and mechanisms at the systemic, cellular, biochemical, and molecular levels, including the fields of:

  • Neurophysiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Neuroimaging
  • Gene expression
  • Immune function
  • Inflammatory physiology

Physical Health and Performance

Physical Health and Performance

Learn how yoga has an impact on changes in primarily physical/physiological functioning and mechanism at the gross physical, behavioral, and performance levels, including the fields of:

  • Musculoskeletal functioning
  • Neuromuscular functioning
  • Cardiovascular functioning
  • Neuroendocrine functioning
  • Respiratory functioning
  • Balance and coordination
  • Sleep
  • Sports performance
Cognitive and Emotional Functioning

Cognitive and Emotional Functioning

Learn how yoga has an impact on changes in primarily psychological functioning and mechanism, specifically at the level of mental, cognitive, and emotional functioning and performance, including the fields of:

  • Cognitive performance
  • Awareness/mindfulness/interoception
  • Stress regulation
  • Emotion regulation
  • Metacognition
Wellness and Disease Prevention

Wellness and Disease Prevention

Learn about the efficacy of yoga practices for wellness and disease prevention including studies on yoga and:

  • Disease prevention
  • Disease risk factors
  • Health-related behaviors
  • Wellness
  • Quality of life
  • Long-term practitioner health

Transcendence / Spirituality

Learn about the effects of yoga practices in generating and enhancing deeper psychological experiences, altered states of consciousness, and positive psychology, including prospective studies, the effects of yoga on the characteristics of long-term practitioners, and other research relevant to yoga and:

  • Spirituality
  • Transcendence
  • Flow state
  • Life purpose and meaning
  • Values
  • Life satisfaction
  • Transformation
  • Subtle energy
Yoga in Society

Yoga in Society

Learn about the research on characteristics of yoga practice as it is manifested in society and culture, including studies on yoga and:

  • Prevalence of practice
  • Practitioner demographics and characteristics
  • Reasons for practice
  • Barriers to practice
  • Practice frequency
  • Styles of yoga
  • Adverse events
  • Public and practitioner perceptions of yoga

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