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Eddie Stern, yoga and science

April 18, 2012
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On the heels of the big Tudor Jones grant for a Contemplative Studies Center at the University of Virginia comes this bit of news bringing together yoga and science:

Volunteers are currently being recruited for “Effectiveness of Yoga on Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Patients With Pre- and Stage I Hypertension” study being conducted at Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York.

The study will compare an integrated yoga practice (postures/breath control/meditation) to a conventional exercise program in reducing hypertension to determine the effects of yoga on ambulatory blood pressure, psychosocial stress, and the autonomic system in individuals with pre- and Stage I hypertension. The information gained in this study will provide preliminary data to support a larger multi-ethnic randomized clinical trial on the effects of yoga on individuals with hypertension.

It’s worth noting because none other than Eddie Stern designed the yoga practice.

According to the announcement, the practice “includes instruction on yogic principles regarding moral precepts (yamas and niyamas); active postures requiring mild-moderate physical exertion; and conscious control of the breath in synchrony with active postures; and meditation.”

Sounds about right.

As I wrote earlier, it makes total sense to me that an Ashtanga-based yoga practice would marry with science. After all, Guruji integrated “research” into his teaching very explicitly.

On top of this study, we also have the one focused — via our friend Pam Jeter —  on yoga and the blind. Pam’s an Ashtangi at heart, so I’m sure that — like with Eddie’s sequence — her work has a decided Ashtanga flavor to it.

Posted by Steve

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