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, C-IAYT, SEP is a licensed clinical psychologist, researcher and an active leader in the biobehavioral sciences. 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. His clinical focus in the behavioral sciences has examined the intersections of neuro-psychotherapy, affect regulation, and psychophysiology. Dr. Walling is an Adjunct Professor of Somatic Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Past-President of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy, and an Associate Deputy-Editor of the International Body Psychotherapy Journal. He is a Clinical Supervisor at the Wright Institute of Los Angeles, a Clinical Associate at the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and is a Clinical Research Research Fellow at the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium located at Kinsey Institute at Indiana University where he and his colleagues are working to advance scientific insights from trauma psychology. Dr. Walling maintains a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

$149.00one-time payment

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  • Private EP Community
    Engage in conversation with other Embodied Philosophy Members!
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Wisdom School Membership

  • Access to This Course, PLUS…
  • LIVE Monthly Courses
    Top-quality education from premier faculty in both Yoga Philosophy & MindBody Studies.
  • 70+ On-Demand Courses
    Certificate of completion available for all courses (+ earn Yoga Alliance credits & CEs on select offerings)
  • EPTV Streaming Video Library
    Includes 250+ hours of our original series, lectures, talks & workshops—accessible on the website or through our App (Apple TV, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Roku)
  • Premium Web Content Access
    Premium articles, curated content, mini-trainings & practice resources.
  • Tarka Journal Digital
    Quarterly issues that include: original artwork and translations + scholarly, devotional, and introductory articles on contemplative studies, wisdom teachings & practices.
  • Private EP Community
    Engage in conversation with other Embodied Philosophy Members!
  • Minimum 3-month commitment
    Membership can be cancelled anytime after 3 months
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