“Role of Yoga for Patients with Type II Diabetes” and Lack of Methodological Rigour in Yoga Research

If you have a copy of “Light on Yoga” by Iyengar, in it you will find a whole index of asana and pranayama suggestions for a wide range of ailments. For example, if you are suffering from diabetes, Iyengar suggests that you do inversions, seated and standing forward folds, backbends, and twists (Yes, that’s right! All kinds of yoga poses)*. The point is that traditional notion assumes yoga practice is healing for “obvious” reasons. Exciting as it may sound, I would say that unless such claims are supported by solid scientific evidence, they should be taken with a large dose of scepticism. Continue reading

Is Yoga Safe? Is Yoga Safer Than Other Types of Exercise?

I haven’t been doing yoga for a very long time therefore I wasn’t even aware of the very traditional notion that yoga poses are supposed to be healing and yoga cannot harm you. I’ve always assumed that yoga would affect one as any other type of exercise would for better or worse. It turns out that it actually is the case. Reliable studies indicate that yoga is a physical exercise that could cause injuries in the way that any other type of exercise would when one does not pay attention to safety. It is neither more or less dangerous or safe than other physical practices, so there can be no such assumption regarding the inherent safety of yoga poses or practice. Continue reading

Mindfulness-based yoga practice vs Daily Walks on Depression in Women

In yoga research, the most common research designs is to compare pre and post measures of a group of people completing a yoga programme. The second most favourite  design is to compare a yoga group to an inactive group. Both these designs are unreliable. The first one usually fails to produce similar results, thereby causing serious issues for generalisation of those results. And the second one carries the potential to exaggerate the results in favour of yoga and ignore the fact that other types of exercise have similar benefits. Continue reading