Scientific Evidence for the Health Benefits of Yoga
I’m a yogi. I’m also a scientist. Sometimes I’ve heard instructors claim that I can “wring the toxins” out of my organs with a twisting pose, or that baddha konasana/cobbler pose will relieve the pain of PMT. And I wonder if it’s actually true! After twenty years of practice, I know that Yoga has helped me feel calm, aware of my breath and body, strong and flexible. But is Yoga just as good for our health as many other forms of exercise? Does it really improve lower back pain and reduce inflammation in the body? Can it really help with anxiety and depression? And enhance our response to stress or correct bad posture, as often promised? Maybe our perceptions about yoga are biased.
Welcome to this public talk where we go beyond the frenzy of daily headlines to take a deeper look at the state of science around the health benefits of Yoga, the fastest growing form of exercise in the world with 2.18 million Australians practising regularly. I have read well over 1000 scientific studies about yoga, digested the findings and will present what I’ve learned in a fun and useful way.
Who will benefit from this talk?
- Anyone practising Yoga
- Anyone interested in starting Yoga
- Anyone training to be a Yoga teacher
- Anyone in the health care profession who may think of recommending Yoga to clients
- Any yogi who has ever tried to explain the benefits of Yoga to someone with phrases like “increases Prana flow”, “builds your flexibility” or “boosts immunity” and have been faced with a sceptical look or asked for the scientific evidence.
This is essential knowledge in our evidence-based era and will boost your confidence and enthusiasm for your practice and teaching.
My book “Does Yoga Work? Answers from Science” will be available at a reduced price.
Dr Mary Flaherty
Mary Flaherty, Ph.D. is a Psychologist, Researcher, Academic, and Yoga Teacher. For over three decades she has lectured in universities in Ireland, UK, USA, Japan and Australia, has given workshops and public presentations, and published widely in international journals. Her research on Yoga and male body image was featured in TIME magazine in 2016. Her talks are known to be entertaining, clear and easy to follow.