First Annual Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on May 01, 2007

Larry Payne, PhD, founding president of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), Richard Miller, PhD, co-founder of IAYT, and 800 participants in the growing field of yoga therapy met in Los Angeles, January 18–21, 2007, to kick off the first annual Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research. The symposium provided a forum for yoga teachers, therapists and researchers to experience the breadth of the field, to showcase important new research and to address public-policy issues stemming from the emergence of yoga as a complementary healthcare discipline.

Major program topics included an examination of what yoga therapy is; yoga therapy as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) profession; yoga therapy and research; how yoga therapy addresses structural, physiological and emotional challenges; and how to keep the yoga in yoga therapy. A group of speakers noted, “Yoga therapy is in the process of being integrated in the U.S., and as agents of that process, it is critical that we be discerning participants. Let’s decide what yoga therapy is and practice it. Let’s not allow ourselves to be watered down, stuffed full of nonyoga ideas and perspectives, and thereby lessen our important, essential contributions to medicine in the U.S.”

To learn more about the event, see

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© 2007 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at