The Yoga and Psyche Project

Witness the unfolding of living research as the world’s cutting-edge trauma researchers, renowned modern yogis, and leading psychologists address a comprehensive integration of Western psychology and ancient yoga practice.

With the support of eight Masters and Doctoral students who are simultaneously studying psychology and yoga, we are birthing a body of new research involving the intersection of current trauma research, advances in somatic psychology and neuroscience, and the ancient techniques, scriptures, and practices that informed Classical Yoga.

Tier One of the research involved five years developing and teaching techniques to help yoga teachers integrate a psychological perspective into their teaching, and psychologists and psychotherapists to bring the benefits of yoga into their counseling practice.

Tier Two included several months of research surveying all the academic research that has been conducted in this field, as well as popular books written on the subject, in order to build a well-informed foundation of knowledge, and define the research we needed to conduct further.

Tier Three is this series of interviews, asking established leaders in the fields of yoga, trauma research, neuroscience, and psychology, to speak directly about how their research, teaching, and life experience impacts our study. In this way, the methods of Yoga & Psyche will become increasingly refined and effective, and participants in the dialogue series will witness fresh and unpublished perspectives from the leaders in these fields.

Tier Four involves creating and conducting a new quantitative research study, and publishing the results, based on the methods and practices being developed.

Tier Five will be the release of an academic article, popular book, and user- friendly workbook based on the research and practices of Yoga & Psyche.

Future Implications of this body of work include:
• A training for yoga teachers and therapists to support them teaching this work in schools, juvenile hall, and prisons, where trauma is so pervasive
• The availability of easily understood and accessible practices to help all of us digest anxiety, trauma, and multiple levels of emotional, physical, and
psychosomatic symptoms and stress in our bodies
• Psychologists and psychotherapists who practice yoga will be able to
integrate yogic perspectives and practices into their treatment; yoga teachers will be able to provide a deeper, safer and more effective environment for their students to heal and transform psychologically
• Refining the direction of future research for the integration of yoga and psychology, and training researchers based on the developments that continue to emerge in these deeply interrelated fields