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Toward an Explanatory Framework for Yoga Therapy Informed by Philosophical and Ethical Perspectives

Context: Yoga Therapy is an emerging complementary and integrative health practice for which there is increasing interest from both clinical and research perspectives. Currently missing, however, is an explanatory framework for the profession that provides practitioners, clients, and the public with an understanding of how various yogic traditions and principles can be understood in modern health care contexts. Objective: This study proposes an explanatory framework for yoga therapy, informed by phenomenology, eudaimonia, virtue ethics, and first-person ethical inquiry. Conclusions: These 4 philosophical perspectives—phenomenology, eudaimonia, virtue ethics, and first-person ethical inquiry—provide a lens through which to understand how yogic practices support the individual’s transformation in the experience of illness, pain, or disability. We propose that this transformation occurs through facilitating a reharmonization of body, mind, and environment toward the experience of eudaimonic well-being.

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