International Association of Yoga Therapists Receives $30k Scientific Conference Grant From National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Grant Provides Funding for the Symposium on Yoga Research at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and Closely Follows the Inclusion of International Journal of Yoga Therapy Articles in the PubMed Database

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| Source: International Association of Yoga Therapists

PRESCOTT, Ariz., Aug. 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) announced today that it has received a scientific conference grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in support of its upcoming Symposium on Yoga Research (SYR). This award closely follows the recent addition of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy (IJYT) to the PubMed/Medline database of biomedical literature, which is managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)—part of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These milestones, combined with IAYT's upcoming annual conference for practitioners, the Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR), reflect the growing popularity of yoga as a therapeutic intervention for health conditions.

"We are grateful to receive this grant from NCCAM to expand the opportunities for both researchers and research trainees to attend SYR," said Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, chair of the Scientific Program Committee for SYR.  "Although yoga has been used therapeutically by more than 6% of the U.S. population, we are in need of more high-quality, scientific research on yoga therapy to document and evaluate its application and efficacy in healthcare and preventive medicine. SYR provides a forum for leading yoga therapy researchers to promote and share their work, to develop effective and advantageous collaborations, and to advance this new but rapidly growing field of scientific research."

"We are pleased and privileged to co-present and host SYR at Kripalu," said Stephen Cope, director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living. "We are committed to a rigorous scientific inquiry into yoga's effects on a broad spectrum of human behavior and development, and we look forward to continued collaboration with the IAYT across our teams of experts in the science of yoga."

The grant from NCCAM provides funds to support international travel for some of the world's top researchers in yoga therapy to present at SYR. The funds will also be used to assist qualifying graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in attending the conference. The 2011 SYR is being presented in partnership with the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living (IEL) and will feature keynote speakers Luciano Bernardi, M.D., professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Pavia, Italy; Sara W. Lazar, Ph. D., associate research scientist in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School; and Lonnie Zeltzer, M.D., professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry, and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Yoga therapy as a profession has gained significant momentum over the past decade as more people in the West have discovered its health benefits—not just for preventative purposes but also to improve health and well-being. PubMed is the most widely used and respected research tool for finding journal articles in the areas of health and medicine.

"Since 1990, the IJYT has covered yoga therapy in practice and research, and we are thrilled that IJYT will now be included in the PubMed database," said Kelly McGonigal, editor in chief of IJYT. "This not only lends credibility to the field of yoga therapy, it also extends the reach of our authors' contributions significantly."

"We are excited for the recognition and expansion that the field of yoga therapy is experiencing through our membership, conferences, and publications, as well as through the rapid growth in the number of training programs available for yoga therapists," said John Kepner, executive director of the IAYT. "This is truly a pivotal moment in the history of healthcare as yoga therapy is now becoming more formally recognized in the West, thanks to the pioneering work of so many of our long-term members, partners, and researchers.  The NCCAM grant and the addition of IJYT articles to PubMed reflect the momentum that yoga therapy has gained over the past decade."

About NCCAM

The mission of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions and their roles in improving health and healthcare. For additional information, call NCCAM's Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM website at nccam.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation's Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

About Kripalu

The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting the art and science of yoga to produce thriving and health in individuals and society.  For more than 30 years, Kripalu has been teaching skills for optimal living through experiential education for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. It is the largest and most established retreat center for yoga, health, and holistic living in North America. The Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living (IEL) sponsors the largest and most influential team of yoga researchers in the West, including a team of Harvard Medical School faculty and research assistants who are studying the effects of yoga on a wide spectrum of human functioning—from mental and physical health to the development of extraordinary states of consciousness.

About IAYT

The International Association Yoga Therapists (IAYT) supports research and education in yoga and serves as a professional organization for yoga teachers and yoga therapists worldwide. Founded in 1989, the IAYT has consistently championed the cause of yoga as a healing art through its conferences, publications, and online communications. Membership is open to yoga practitioners, teachers, therapists, researchers and healthcare practitioners who utilize yoga in their practice.  Its mission is to establish yoga as a recognized and respected therapy worldwide.

IAYT's professional conference, SYTAR 2011, will be held September 1–4, 2011 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California.  This multi-track professional conference attracts many notable yoga therapists and healthcare providers in the field. For more information, visit www.sytar.org/SYTAR2011.

IAYT's academic and scientific research conference, SYR 2011, will be held September 23–25, 2011 at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, in western Massachusetts.  This single-track academic research meeting is co-presented with the Kripalu Institute of Extraordinary Living (IEL) and will include keynote speakers, oral presentations from other senior researchers, multiple poster sessions, and ample opportunities to interact with other scientists, experts, and professionals in the field. Funding for the 2011 SYR conference was made possible (in part) by R13AT006674 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. For more information, visit www.sytar.org/SYR2011.

For more information on IAYT, visit www.iayt.org.

Media Contact:     
Tammy Lee, Ayurdata Communications
(PR for International Association of Yoga Therapists)
tbl@Ayurdata.com
(207) 416-9533
                    
Reader Contact:
John Kepner, Executive Director
International Association of Yoga Therapists
jkepner@iayt.org
(501) 661-1121

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