MindBodyGreen readers likely are familiar with the vast array of positive effects a regular yoga practice can have on the body and mind, but backing up that knowledge with scientific evidence can be daunting. In the past, many conventional researchers have dismissed yoga's possible benefits, but it seems as though they're finally catching up to the rest of us. In a big way.
On Tuesday, Active Life DC posted a graph showing the exponential explosion of published research papers on yoga. Even a casual observer can tell from the chart that yoga-related research is a booming business, but Active Life DC gives a bit more analysis:
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 is great news for yoga lovers around the globe, because more research means more knowledge, and more knowledge means better, more effective applications for yoga practice. A seasoned yogi might point out that everyone could benefit from a regular practice, but could the same yogi riff on, say, "The effect of yoga therapy on selected psychological variables among male patients with insomnia"? We think not.
The source of the chart, PubMed, makes many of the papers available for free, giving you a fantastic resource to rely on as part of your mission to share with the rest of the world the power of yoga. As an added bonus, the next time a skeptical friend asks why you practice yoga, you can point her in the direction of a scientific research paper. It may not change any attitudes, but it should keep her busy for a few hours!