Research of Yoga and TLS Programs

Transformative Life/Leadership Skills (TLS) is a multi-modality intervention including Mindful Yoga, Breathing Techniques and Meditation, and an immersive experience in dynamic mindfulness.

Independent researchers in educational psychology, neurobiology, social welfare and youth development are investigating the effects of Transformative Life/Leadership Skills (TLS) on vulnerable youth. This Research Council is headed by Niroga Institute Research Director Jennifer Frank, PhD, who is a Research Associate Professor at the Pennsylvania State University Prevention Research Center (PRC). Read about Dr. Frank and her work with Niroga.

Findings and implications of independent research reports are compelling. For example, Dr. Jennifer Frank's report on a randomized control trial of in-class TLS in a challenging urban school; the findings and implications are compelling, and span three interconnected domains of social function: education, mental health and violence prevention. Summary of what researchers have found: "Students showed lower levels of perceived stress and greater levels of self-control, school engagement, emotional awareness, distress tolerance and altered attitude towards violence."

Rebecca Matthew found that TLS lowers stress and increases self-control in youth detained in a Juvenile Hall, as well as in students in a large inner-city high school. These results have far-reaching prevention policy implications in education, violence prevention and behavioral health, as evidence of an inductive connection is established by related research such as that from Martin Seligman and his team at the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, showing that self-control predicts academic achievement (PDF 101kb). June Tangney and her colleagues at George Mason University and Case Western Reserve University have shown that high self-control predicts good adjustment, less pathology, better grades, and interpersonal success (PDF 240kb).

Additionally, Niroga is investigating the applications of Yoga Therapy for prevention and intervention of many common chronic conditions. In conjunction with other research organizations, we would like to answer three questions:

  1. Evidence Base: Is Yoga/TLS effective for prevention and treatment of common chronic conditions, and for special populations?
  2. Underlying Mechanisms: If Yoga/TLS is effective, how and why is it effective? (neuroscience, trauma research, somatic psychology, etc.)
  3. Social Impact: What is the impact of Yoga/TLS in major domains of social function, including education, health care, violence prevention, and more

There are several organizations currently working on Integrative Medicine generally, and Yoga Therapy in particular. The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine (OCIM) as well as the Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF, along with the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center at Summit Hospital, are interested in studying the effects of our Healing Yoga protocol and its impact on stress as well as endocrine and immune systems of cancer patients.

Kaiser Permanente Division of Research recently completed a study of our Healing Yoga protocol on heart failure patients. Furthermore, Niroga Institute is independently engaged in single-subject studies on several common chronic conditions such as arthritis, asthma, back pain, depression, diabetes, insomnia, osteoporosis, and more.


Complementary Medicine Research Organizations