As yogis, we know that makes us feel calm and less reactive. But the Oakland, California based non-profit Niroga Institute has taken this one step further with a study on their program called Transformative Life Skills, which brings yoga, breathing, and meditation to underserved populations.
In the study, researchers measured indicators of stress and self-control in incarcerated youth. Not surprisingly, they found a statistically significant decline in stress and an increase in self-control as a direct result of practicing TLS.
Niroga Executive Director Bidyut K. Bose writes in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy
"Reducing stress and increasing self control affect everything from academic potential and interpersonal relationships to emotional regulation, substance abuse, and psychopathology. In other words, our ability to self-regulate affects just about everything we do."
Last week, he elaborated on his vision:
"I believe that the beneficial effects of yoga will spill over and affect the generations to follow. This generational reshaping could create a tipping point, leading to lasting societal change."
To this end, Niroga is creating a Yoga Corps, systematically training minority young adults to become certified Yoga teachers "so that they can serve their own communities with cultural competence and linguistic sensitivity."
With science-backed research and visionaries like Bose on our side--let the yoga revolution begin!
We want to know: Do you think yoga can lead to a lasting societal change?
What is the specific way yoga has helped you lower stress and increase self control?
For more information or to donate, visit www.niroga.org.
Nora Isaacs is a Bay Area-based health writer and editor.