Brandon Eggleston is a faculty member at the University of Southern Indiana, USA, who researches yoga practice.
He’s coming to New Zealand in December to conduct interviews with yoga practitioners to find out why they practice yoga.
The research will be done in partnership with a colleague of his who is currently working on her PhD at the University of Auckland.
The interviews, which will take between 15 and 20 minutes and can be done by phone, will be conducted between December 26th and January 7th.
Brandon says there have been many studies on the benefits of yoga, but few on how to get people to develop and maintain a practice.
If you’re interested in being interviewed, please see the end of this interview for Brandon’s contact details
1. What’s your academic & yoga background?
I have a bachelors degree in biology, a masters degree in public health, and a doctorate in health behavior. I am a registered yoga teacher (Yoga Alliance) after completing a 200 hour training and have been practicing yoga for over five years (I practice a Kripalu-Flow style of yoga with elements of Ashtanga yoga).
2. Why are you researching yoga practice?
I am researching yoga practice because of yoga’s ability to improve the health and well-being of a person’s mind, body, and soul.
3. What do you hope to gain by doing this research and how will the data be used?
Specifically in this study, I am exploring why people practice yoga and a little bit about why they may not. With all the knowledge and research about the benefits of yoga practice, understanding why specific people are able to maintain a yoga practice over time is important because yoga must be practiced over a lifetime (not just one time).
4. Have you done any research into yoga before and if so, what did you learn?
My previous research has identified specific barriers and facilitators of yoga practice (time in schedule; money; class times available; and feeling better).
I’ve also learned that social support has little effect on an individual’s yoga practice. Most people who practice yoga have trouble finding any disadvantages or negative outcomes of practicing yoga besides the possibility of injury. Overall, the most commonly held belief regarding yoga practice is that yogis believe that practicing yoga will always make them feel better no matter what other circumstances or feelings individuals are currently experiencing.
If people are having a ‘bad’ day and feeling tired, frustrated, angry, sad, and/or unhappy, individuals feel better after practicing yoga and/or attending a yoga class.
The data for this project will be used for an international survey that will explore the determinants of why individuals practice yoga. Once these determinants are identified and measured, future steps can be taken to ensure that barriers are removed and facilitating factors are increased to help more people practice yoga.
5. How important do you think it is for yoga that there’s credible research done on why people practice?
It is very important for research to be conducted on yoga practice because modern medicine is based upon evidenced-based research.
If physicians, nurses, and other health professionals are going to recommend yoga, there needs to be a good amount of credible research to support these recommendations.
All yogis believe that there are many benefits to yoga practice, but sharing that message with others requires different types of evidence.
My goal is that someday practicing yoga will be recommended by health professionals just as common as brushing one’s teeth. To quote Sat Bir Khalsa (Harvard Medical School Researcher and Yogi):
Yoga is like brushing your teeth for your mind.
If you’d like to take part in this research, you can get in touch with Brandon by email firstname.lastname@example.org