Courses

Yoga Therapy Research: Applications of Psyche & Soma

About the Course

Yoga has always been heralded for its therapeutic and healing properties.  Over the course of the last thirty years, it has evolved into specific applications of yogic tools (postures, breathwork, meditation techniques and more) to address individual physical, mental and emotional needs.  Today throughout the world there are thousands of providers who identify as yoga therapists, and nearly two hundred schools that train them in comprehensive clinical yoga therapy education programs that certify yoga therapists.  The incorporation of integrative healthcare into modern medicine is ever the more dependent upon a shared understanding of how these ancient traditions may help advance the clinical outcomes of a number of health challenges which creates an urgent need to help advance the findings of an evidence informed practice of yoga.  This endeavor is of course creating a need for research literacy within yoga practitioners who seek to serve within a more integrated continuum of care.      

This course will help introduce students to the fundamentals of contemporary yoga therapy research, explore guidelines for yoga therapy research and practice, and survey the current and emerging body of knowledge within the peer-reviewed yoga therapy literature.  Join us as Dr. Walling makes research inspiring and fun as we explore the intersections of scholarship and embodied practices.

Through a quest to help build a scientific evidence base for multi-disciplinary applications of yoga therapy, the student will compare and contrast the popular research methods employed by contemporary yoga therapy researchers, and evaluate the epistemic responsibilities of yoga therapy practitioners who seek to include often-subjugated types of knowledge into their research focus. This module will focus on redistributing epistemic power to agents that typically have been excluded from epistemic participation in contemporary yoga therapy research, while exploring the basics of research design and method.
Yoga based practices are multifaceted, multisensory interventions that involve a series of postures, movement sequences, breath regulation, deep relaxation and meditative techniques. This module explores the basic research behind the purported efficacy much of the theories that inform the yoga-based practices draw upon, and explores their impact upon allostatic and autonomic regulation of the human nervous system.
Findings from a randomized controlled trial of yogic meditation will be explored as part of a comprehensive insight into the compounding effects of yoga therapy interventions within an overall “yogic” lifestyle framework. Studies will also be examined that employ more sophisticated measures such as neuroimaging studies and genetic biomarkers for examining pre and post effects in pilot studies.
In this final module, students will engage in a summary dialogue of their first three modules, examine the numerous studies and journal articles read throughout the course, and discuss de-identified clinical case material.

Students who take this course will:

  • Compare and contrast the various research methods and challenges of contemporary basic research and clinical yoga therapy research.
  • Identify the ethical considerations of decolonizing interpretive research and the risks of cultural appropriation in clinical yoga therapy research.
  • Explore the common variables from psychophysiology of basic research yoga studies.
  • Identify the emerging experimental goals of yoga therapy research, and the new outcome measures in contemporary studies.
  • Explore complex randomized control trials within yoga therapy research and identify its integration within primary and secondary disease prevention strategies.

About Chris Walling

Dr. Chris Walling, PsyD, MBA is a licensed clinical psychologist and an active leader in the biobehavioral sciences. His work integrates the developmental, neurobiological, and somatic aspects of the lifespan. His work in academic medicine has included the administration of multidisciplinary leadership teams in hematology-oncology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and geriatric psychiatry at some of the top academic medical centers in the United States. Dr. Walling is the President of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy, the hub of somatic psychology, and Associate-Deputy Editor for the International Body Psychotherapy Journal. His clinical focus in the behavioral sciences has examined the intersections of neuro-psychotherapy, affect regulation, and body psychology. Dr. Walling is a Clinical Associate at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, California. He is currently a Clinical Research Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University where he is working with the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium on advancing the science of body psychotherapy and trauma psychology.

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  • Access to this course, plus…
  • Member Only Content
    Unlimited access to premium articles, special podcast series, and other member only content.
  • EPTV Streaming Video Service
    Access to EPTV Original Series and our video library of over 250+ hours of lectures, talks and workshops.
  • Wisdom School Courses
    Access to 60+ on-demand courses plus two new courses every month.