The Science of Yoga

Exploring the Health Benefits of Yoga: A Science Research Guide

by Louise Fecher

As a yoga enthusiast and instructor, I often tell students about the ways that yoga practice can help improve health and well-being. When practiced safely and with dedication, a yoga practice can be a powerful tool for both calming the mind and strengthening and healing the body.

Through scientific study, health and medical experts across various disciplines have explored and demonstrated the benefits that yoga can offer. This handy Yoga Science Research Guide, which I am compiling on an ongoing basis, puts data at your fingertips. Published studies, as well as pertinent articles from health-related websites, are organized under health topic headings.

For easy reference, I have written a summary for each entry in the Yoga Science Research Guide. Click on a title in the contents list below to go to that study’s summary. From the summary page, you can follow a link to the original source material if you wish to learn more. (Links will take you either to the published studies themselves  or to abstracts of study papers that are not currently available online.)

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter, ignorance.          


In this guide, I am also including articles that offer anecdotal evidence of yoga benefits. These articles may include interviews with physicians and other healthcare providers who have seen patients in their care benefit from yoga. Whenever possible, links are included.

Most studies on yoga typically involve small groups of subjects and are of short duration, but the results have been promising and positive. So if you think your yoga instructor stretches the truth when she touts the benefits of yoga, don’t take her word for it: read what science has to say.

Yoga King Dancer illustration: © Linda Bucklin |

anatomical dance






Back Pain


Cardiovascular Disease




Stress & Well-being

Top of Page