This paper examines the role of yoga therapy in comprehensive integrative pain management (CIPM). The pain crisis is described, and how yoga therapists can contribute to its solution is explained. Yoga therapy can be an essential component of the multidisciplinary undertaking that will be required to improve patient outcomes and alter the trajectory of the global public health crisis constituted by an epidemic of poorly understood and inadequately addressed pain. Additional context and evidence are presented to document the effectiveness of yoga therapy interventions to support people living with pain. The white paper concludes by listing recommendations to providers, consumers, payers, and legislators, who together can address systemic and structural barriers to CIPM, as well as suggestions for enabling the yoga therapy profession to more fully participate in these solutions.
Note to readers:This is the first white paper by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). Unlike research articles, literature reviews, or perspective pieces, white papers are intended to inform specific groups, inspire future behaviors, and enhance relationships among various stakeholders. The piece is therefore not an objective scientific paper; it is heavily cited but written in a less formal tone to increase accessibility to a wide range of audiences. A version of the paper will be made available to the public as an important next step for IAYT and yoga therapy to be a recognized part of the collective solution to the current pain crisis. We also offer this material as encouragement for future writers to contribute additional white papers on yoga therapy.