Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has been in the news for her testimony on Thursday, but she’s also a notable psychologist who’s published some very interesting research on PTSD, stress and yoga.

Her most recent research, published earlier this year in the journal Military Medicine, explored the effect that practicing yoga can have on PTSD. And the findings were positive: Veterans participating in a clinical yoga program experienced increased “psychological flexibility” as a result of their yoga practice, and psychological flexibility was associated with lower PTSD and stress symptoms.

The study is a small one, and its conclusions emphasize the importance of follow-up research with active comparison groups and more comprehensive data on frequency of yoga practice amongst participants. It does, however, suggest that those with PTSD, veterans or otherwise, might consider trying yoga as a tool for managing symptoms, and that those of us who struggle with stress, whether or not that stress is associated with PTSD, might give it a try as well.

This is far from the first time that yoga has been touted by medical research. But it’s another example of the science behind an increasingly popular practice.

If you’re struggling with stress, try busting out your yoga mat home, join a free class at your local community center, or find a studio where you can commit to taking a class each week. The effect might be more powerful than you expect. 


  • Nora Battelle

    Multimedia Staff Writer at Thrive

    Nora Battelle is a writer from New York City. Her work has been published on the Awl, the Hairpin, and the LARB blog, and she's written for podcast and film. At Swarthmore College, she studied English and French literature and graduated with Highest Honors. She's fascinated by language, culture, the internet, and all the small choices that can help us thrive.