Experienced researchers know it takes patience, endurance, and concentration to see a research project to fruition. These hallmarks are shared by yoga practitioners worldwide, whether one practices Ashtanga, Vinyesa, or simple sun (Surya Namaskara) salutations. In what other ways might the research process be compared to or benefit from yoga?
Upon commencing a meaningful research study, you’ll want to put your expertise, career objectives, and passion to work. Finding the right study will depend much on the need and its contribution to the field. At this exploration stage it’s just you and your yoga mat. But like any structured yoga practice your research agenda will start with meditation to all applicable boundaries of mind and spirit.
While searching for the right project, be sure to validate studies that support it. You know the strength of any meaningful project will be determined by the depth of a rigorous literature review (EBSCO, ProQuest, ERIC, to name a few). If there is a literature gap, that might provide justification to move forward. Consider starting with some simple stretches or Pigeon pose. After all, you’ll likely be the first to conduct such an investigation. Yogis often say the future is uncertain, but what one does today can impact tomorrow. “Today is a gift that’s why it’s called the present.” Thus, be sure you take time right now to explore rigorously.
Still stuck? Explore the Center for Leadership Studies and Educational Research (CLSER) Present & Publish page. Many of our faculty have majored in leadership and just knowing the types of conferences and publications available can be an inspiration. Perhaps you will explore women and leadership with Dr. Lynne Devnew. How about managerial theory? Or how action research impacts the learning process? If you need more assistance step up to Chair pose via CLSER Center Chair and Interim Dean of Research & Scholarship Mark McCaslin, Ph.D.
Once you come back down to Earth, consider a Seated Forward Bend to develop your proposal as it can be a lengthy process. You’ll want to stretch all the resources available. Have you considered applying for funding? If yes, terrific! If not, follow that link to see which type might be best for you. Now you’re starting to breathe a little deeper, so important to the strength you’ll need to develop your inner core.
Fortify Inner COR
To be considered, you’ll need to prepare for the Committee of Research (COR), the University’s project approval board and the Institutional Review Board (IRB), for the final project authorization. This will require the establishment of an account with IRBNet via the School of Advanced Studies. You’ll pass through Bridge pose that will test your research prowess and yoga balance. Don’t be afraid to fall. The requirements for IRB are based on research ethics; the type each accomplished yogi possesses. Gaining IRB approval will be due in larger part to the significance of your study and in a smaller part to following the application process. Do you have a valid instrument? Is your informed consent valid?
Breathe & Balance
At this stage, you may opt for a relaxing Child’s pose. After completing any of the applications, one must wait for all parties, COR, and IRB, to make their decisions. If corrections are needed, no problem. You’ll get back on your feet for an Upward Dog (or Cobra) and eventually end up on the front of your mat ready for Tree or Mountain pose to rise for the next iterative occasion.
If you receive approval, you’ll quickly move to your next pose Namaskar letter A. If you receive approval with changes, no worries, you’ll prepare for Namaskar letter B. And all throughout remember to continue breathing deep. I’m talking about a slow but controlled full yoga inhalation from the top of your lungs to the bottom with a complete exhalation.
You’re about half way through your yoga practice but more than a year might have accrued conducting your study. And once you finally collect data you can revel in other poses like Warrior, because that is the type of stamina you’ll need. Or, how about Hero pose? The results of your study just may transform a whole industry. You may or may not use Child’s pose again (taking a break when you need it) but you’ll feel reinvigorated during the summary and recommendation phase. Here you might benefit from tools like being certain your submittal does not end up in the hands of predatory publishers.
When you finally start submitting your paper for publication we wouldn’t blame you if you positioned into Happy Baby. But do not celebrate just yet; you’ll want to begin to immerse yourself in Shavasana, the final resting stage. This phase can take a while as you await a review. Upon successful publication, it will be time to say Namaste, “the belief that there is a divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.”
Namaste is symbolic of the successful transformation of meaningful knowledge many colleagues and the industry may gain from your study. Thus, embracing popular yoga poses can help one develop and complete a rigorous research agenda. At minimum it will alleviate so much stress!