Dr. Shirley Telles Aligns Science and Yoga

Dr. Shirley Telles

Dr. Shirley Telles

By Manu Shah

HOUSTON: In her calm measured manner, Dr. Shirley Telles speaks of plasma cytokines and yoga in the same breath, explains the concepts of dhayana (meditation) and dharana (concentration) to an extremely interested Dalai Lama and shares an interesting study at a yoga camp which found the side effects of chemotherapy for cancer patients reduced by chanting OM during the treatment!

One of the most prominent researchers of yoga, Dr. Shirley’s credentials is of the highest order.  She holds an MBBS and PhD in Neurophysiology and is the Director of Research at Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar.  A much sought after speaker at national and international conferences, she has been the recipient of several awards such as the John Templeton Foundation Award and a Fulbright Fellowship to study “Functional magnetic resonance imaging in meditators” at the Department of Radiology, University of Florida.

She has also published many papers and books and is the principal investigator on several funded projects such as the Indian Army Project which found that yoga and meditation improved “skilled activities requiring coordination and concentration as well as muscular strength and endurance.”

Dr. Telles stumbled upon yoga quite by chance.  She took up a yoga course and was pleasantly surprised to find that her hypertension stopped. Analytical in her approach, she decided to conduct more research on yoga and meditation to see if she could clinically prove that it had a positive impact on cognitive and physical changes in her body.

During this time, a yoga revolution was sweeping across India and the world.  A simple, saffron clad, plain speaking Swami  was singlehandedly teaching an entire nation to stretch, bend and breathe correctly through yoga camps and curing blood pressure, diabetes and a host of other diseases.  Within a short time people realized the benefits of yoga and began to take to it in a serious way.

Dr. Telles could not have found a better ally and mentor for her studies than Swami Ramdev who has constantly emphasized the need for scientific research on Yoga to prove its effectiveness in the cure of diseases.


As Director of the Patanjali Research Foundation, Dr. Telles was able to align science with yoga. Having spent her growing years outside India, she learnt Hindi and in the words of Swami Ramdev “dedicated her life to the research of yoga.”  Using the most modern equipment, she directs research and scientifically documents the physiological effects of yoga, different types of yogic breathing, yoga for rehabilitation and health, and higher states of consciousness induced by meditation. At a yoga camp with Swami Ramdev, she spoke of her research stating that clinical studies done on students and senior citizens proved that if safely practiced, breathing exercises such as Kapalbhati and Anuloma Viloma could improve memory and attention and reduce obesity and blood pressure. What’s more, it can even reduce snoring!

The Patanjali Research Institute is also working with top universities and medical institutes such as Harvard and MD Anderson Cancer Center to authenticate the benefits of yoga.

Patanjali Yogpeeth, USA has invited Dr. Shirley Telles to talk about her research on yoga and meditation and its benefits. She will be in Houston on Sunday, August 31,  at 3 pm at India House, O.P. Jindal Center and Thursday, September 4, at 6:30 pm at the Museum of Fine Arts.

For additional information, visit www.pyptusa.org or call Shekhar Agrawal @ 281-242-5000.