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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 143271, 16 pages
Review Article

Guidelines for Developing Yoga Interventions for Randomized Trials

1Group Health Research Institute, Group Health Cooperative, 1730 Minor Avenue, Suite 1600, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
2Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Received 3 May 2012; Accepted 5 July 2012

Academic Editor: Shirley Telles

Copyright © 2012 Karen J. Sherman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Little guidance is available to assist researchers in developing treatment protocols for research on yoga for health concerns. Because yoga is a complex multifactorial mind-body discipline historically developed for nonmedical purposes, numerous decisions must be made in order to thoughtfully develop such protocols. In this paper, a systematic approach is proposed to assist researchers in selecting an intervention that is appropriate for the condition under consideration and explicitly developed. Researchers need to consider the type or “style” of yoga, the components to include (e.g., breathing exercises, postures) as well as the specific protocol for each component, the dose to be delivered (frequency, duration of practice, and the total duration of practice), and issues related to selection of instructors and monitoring the fidelity to the intervention. Each of these domains and the key issues for the development of protocols is discussed. Finally, some areas for further research related to protocol development are recommended.