Center for the Study of Yoga and Health

Evidence-Based Yoga

Researching the Intersection
Between Yoga and Health

About the Center for the
Study Of Yoga and Health

Researching the intersection between scientifically proven Yoga postures, series, and methods and optimum health

      At the Center we search out, examine, synthesize, and disseminate the highest quality research to support Yoga teachers in delivering exceptional health benefits through proven sequences and techniques. We are committed to educating teachers and students about the ways that Yoga can lead to healthier lifestyles with fewer symptoms and dramatically improved health conditions. We are dedicated to offering Yoga for an increasingly vibrant and healthy world.

      We believe that people can have it all – less prescription drugs, less symptoms, and a regular Yoga practice that serves the whole person.

      Every Yoga teacher knows that people typically leave Yoga classes feeling great. The academic research also bears this out time and again. On top of all the spiritual, physical, and mental benefits - Yoga is a feel-good practice.

      But, it is also practice that can support health through the elimination of specific medical conditions. Unfortunately, all too often students arrive at class with a condition that their teacher doesn’t know how to deal with. Or, treatment is based on inaccurate or only partially effective methods. And, of course, we're all familiar with people going to classes and having their conditions worsen.

      This is completely unnecessary. There are hundreds of scientific articles on Yoga detailing what does and doesn't work for many medical conditions. We use our scholarly skills and wade through the published research, critically examine what we find and narrow it down to the most rigorous studies and most effective sequences for teachers and practitioners.

      As scholars, we understand that all too often, brilliant information circles in the so-called 'rarified air' of the academy but never touches the ground. We are committed to bridging theory, practice, and action. We want this powerful information to get into the hands of Yoga teachers everywhere so that more people find powerful healing and are gifted by the practice of Yoga.



Kelly J. Larson, PhDc, MA

Center Director

      Kelly is an internationally recognized leader in the field of Yoga and health. She has been fascinated by the nature of human resiliency, healing, and change her entire life. Kelly is passionate about supporting people to create and sustain healthy life changes and has extensive experience worldwide helping individuals, groups, and organization to grow; as well as deepen their contemplative and physical practices.

     Kelly's work at the center pioneered the way for scholarly work on Yoga to reach the pubic. Prior to her work in this area,academic research on Yoga largely remained at the university level. It was very hard for the public, including Yoga teachers, to access; and even harder to figure out what research was and was't credible.

     Kelly received her initial certification training in Ashtanga Yoga in India, has studied under many major Yoga master/teachers, and has led countless types of Yoga and meditation over the years. She built one of the most successful nationwide private Yoga businesses in the United States, and is widely regarded and highly soughtafter worldwide for her teaching on Evidence Based Yoga and bringing the spiritual heart back into Yoga.

      Kelly holds a Master's degree in Integral Transformation from Prescott College. For her thesis she designed a comprehensive curriculum to support resiliency and change which has been implemented at the high school and college levels. She is currently finishing her PhD in the Transformative Studies program at California Institute of Integral Studies. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship of Yoga, the body, and consciousness.

Kelly can be contacted by email at or by phone at (720) 272-5743.



Advisory Committee


Allan Combs, PhD

     Allan is a Professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies.and director of the Integral Concentration of the doctoral program. His background is in consciousness studies, neuropsychology, and systems science.

     Allan also holds appointments at the Saybrook Graduate School and the Assisi Conferences, and is Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. He is Co-Director of the Integral Studies program leading to an MA in Conscious Evolution at the Graduate Institute of Connecticut.

     Allan is author of over 100 articles, chapters, and books on consciousness and the brain, including The Radiance of Being (2ed): Understanding the Grand Integral Vision; Living the Integral Life, winner of the best-book award of the Scientific and Medical Network of the UK, with a foreword by Ken Wilber; Changing Visions: Human Cognitive Maps Past, Present, and Future, with Ervin Laszlo, Vilmos Csanyi, and Robert Artigiani; Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences, edited with Robin Robertson; Nonlinear Dynamics in Human Behavior, edited with William Sulis; Synchronicity: Through the Eyes of Science, Myth, and the Trickster with Mark Holland; and Mind in Time: The Dynamics of Thought, Reality, and Consciousness, with Mark Germine and Ben Geortzel.

     Allan is a co-founder of the Integral Foundation and The Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences. He is a member of The General Evolution Research Group, the Integral Institute, the Forge Guild and the one-hundred member Club of Budapest. He is Co-Editor of the Journal of Conscious Evolution, Associate Editor of Dynamical Psychology, and serves on the Editorial Board of Science & Consciousness Review. Allan was the winner of the 2002-2003 National Teaching Award of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, and in the same year the held the UNCA Honorary Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship.

     Allan is a student of Swami Rama and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait at the Himalayan Institute and served as Chair of the Board of a public five county mental health center in the Midwest. His personal website is:



William Morris, PhD, DAOM, DOM

     Will is the president and CEO of the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin ( His mission is the acculturation of Chinese medicine in America.

     Will is the former president of the American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM), a national professional association of licensed Oriental medical practitioners. He led the merger of the AAOM with the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance, creating a single, national professional association: the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM).

     Will is responsible for the development of two doctorate of acupuncture and Oriental medicine programs, one at Emperor’s College and the other at SAMRA University. He has continually pursued education in order to further the field. He earned a certificate in traditional Oriental medicine in 1986, and a state approved doctorate in Oriental medicine from SAMRA in 1988. When the accredited masters in Oriental medicine became available, he obtained that degree in 1990. Morris also received an master of science in medical education from the University of Southern California in 2004, and his most recent doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine in 2006 from Emperor's College.

     With twenty-five years of focus on pulse diagnosis, his current work involves a synthesis of standard, family and classical systems of pulse diagnosis. In addition to leading the institution, Will periodically instructs special seminars in pulse diagnosis (



Brandy McCans, D.C.

     Brandy has been practicing and studying Yoga for 8 years. She had the amazing opportunity to study with and assist John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga. Brandy Graduated from Texas Chiropractic College in 1998 and has a deep understanding and interest in Quantum Healing and Energy Medicine. She holds Elite Master's status in Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.S.T.) and is certified in Body Restoration Technique (B.R.T.). Brandy's greatest passion is assisting others in stepping into their highest potential, breaking free of subconscious limiting patterns and experiences, leading clients to greater health, happiness and success. Brandy is president of Quantum Success Training, Inc. (



Jane Dobson, MA

      Jane is the director and co-founder of The Yoga Loft ( She has over 12 years experience as a student of Yoga, and 4 years as a teacher. Devoted to the life-affirming process of Yoga, she blends a traditional understanding of the practice with soft, creative sequencing to inspire aliveness in the body and quietness in the mind. Jane's foundational Yoga teachers include Patricia Walden, Barbara Benagh, Angela Farmer, Tony Briggs, and most recently Sofia Diaz. She holds a Master of Arts. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where her thesis was titled "The Yoga of Embodiment." Together with Hakomi therapist Kim Francis, Jane offers seasonal Women's Circles that weave therapeutic process with yogic technique.



Jeffery A. Martin, PhD

     Jeffery is a transdisciplinary scholar who specializes in how to credibly combine knowledge from multiple disciplines. He has actively researched alternative and holistic medicine since the late 1980's. An award winning educator, Jeffery has co-edited, authored, or co-authored over 20 books. He holds undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and applied computing, Master of Science degrees in technology and management, and a PhD in Transformative Studies. He is currently a graduate student in psychology at Harvard University and director of the Center for the Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness (