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Yoga-Related Scientific Studies Increasing at Historical Rate

in Science, YD News

Biology sketches on school board. Vector illustration.

When we’re not writing about wacky yoga style mashups or the yoga pants biz, we tend to post a lot about yoga-related scientific studies. And there seems to be a lot more to write about lately, which is a good thing. But it’s not just us, there actually are more scientific studies involving yoga now than in the past 60 years. Not even Marilyn Monroe’s foray into the practice had scientists jumping on board quite like they are today.

The science and study of yoga has existed in pockets of the yoga world, and especially in India, but we’re seeing even more doctorate level research being done by scholars and scientists removed from the center of the yoga scene. And the world outside of yoga is taking notice. (We can thank a few things for this boost including, in part, last year’s William J. Broad-influenced yoga injury frenzy, celebriyogis flaunting their yoga love, the proliferation of yoga pants, the domino effect of previous scientific studies finding positive results and, of course, yoga’s plain old awesomeness.)

Troy Cellmer PhD, Chief Editor of Active Life DC, also noticed this spike in yoga studies and decided to do a search on Pubmed, an enormous database of over 22 million citations for biomedical literature, using the keyword ‘yoga.’ What he found was that all our hunches were correct, there has been a big increase in yoga-related studies in the past 10-15 years. Lucky for us, Cellmer plotted his findings on this handy dandy chart. YogaStudiesPerYear

Cellmer breaks it down:

As the plot above shows, there has been roughly a factor of 10 increase in the number of yoga-related scientific papers per year since the late 1990’s. In fact, there were 41 more papers published last year than in all the 1990’s combined.

And we could be in for the biggest year yet. There have already been 74 studies published in 2013, which sets a pace for 380 yoga-related studies this year.

THIS would be making yoga history.

Further Reading: This chart was included in an article titled, “Yoga at the Intersection of Research and Service – Part 1, Experimental Foundations,” written by Dr. Stephanie Shorter in the first edition of the published by the Yoga Service Council which just held their annual conference at Omega Institute in NY. The Journal of Yoga Service is available for free online for your perusal and edification. We encourage you to have a read.




Marilyn Monroe Gets Her Yoga Close-Up (Photos)


1 comment… add one
  • Miki

    As the total number of scientific papers is also increasing, it would be interesting to study the evolution of the proportion of papers about yoga. I am sure that it is also increasing, but it could give a better idea about it…

    Anyway… really nice!!! 🙂

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