Yoga Research Foundation

People ask if yoga must receive endorsement of modern science for its universal acceptability, or whether it should be left alone. In my opinion both yoga and modern science stand on their own footing. To explain yoga we use the language of yoga and to explain science, we use the language of science. There are people who say, "Don't judge yoga from the standpoint of science – leave it alone." There are others, equally adamant, who swear by modern science and say, "Science must accept yoga before we accept it." However, it is like saying, "Prove religion by politics" or "Prove yoga by miracles and psychic powers."
I do feel that yoga must be scientific, but it can only happen when we develop a yoga terminology flexible enough for scientific research.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Activities of Yoga Research Foundation in 2012

The years 2011 and 2012 were assigned for scoring, data-entry, analysis and reporting on research carried out in Bhopal, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Chennai, Tamil Nadu and with the children of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal, Munger. A paper is to be published for the World Yoga Convention, held in Munger from 23rd to 27th October 2013.

Sadhana Questionnaire Analysis

Sadhana of yama and niyama was always a part of ashram life for the students of Bihar Yoga Bharati and participants of the sannyasa courses. Yoga Research Foundation took a keen interest in monitoring the sadhana and from 2001 onwards developed spiritual diaries for each yama and niyama to facilitate the students.

In 2004, YRF realized that the benefits of the sadhana needed to be quantified. With the help of the then Head of Department of Yoga Psychology, the process of developing a Psychological Disposition Questionnaire was initiated.

Over 200 students practising the yama-niyama sadhana were subjected to the questionnaire. It underwent Item Analysis, Reliability and Validity tests and rating by a group of eleven experts in yoga and psychology.

In the years 2011 and 2012, the process was completed and the questionnaire finalized. It consists of 80 questions: 25 to test the level of awareness, 25 to test discriminative faculty, and 30 to test simplicity.

The concept behind the questionnaire is to assist a sincere sadhaka in his journey. A person participating fully in ashram life or living in a family environment first develops the quality of awareness, then starts applying his discriminative faculty in his day-to-day life, and finally becomes a simple pure person whose rough corners have been smoothened out from the personality through the effort of sadhana.