Yoga Medicine Research Institute

The Yoga Medicine Research Institute (YMRI) is a non-profit research organization focused on the application of yoga, meditation and mindfulness to improve health and the human condition.

The Yoga Medicine Research Institute (YMRI) is a community of highly trained teachers who have a deep understanding of the body from an eastern & western perspective. Our teachers are specifically trained to provide individualized, therapeutically based yoga practices to their students as well as to understand the nuances of conducting participant research. For our research projects, YMRI utilizes our community of highly trained Yoga Medicine® teachers to deliver purpose-driven yoga, meditation and mindfulness instruction as a way to examine its effects on various health outcomes.

Our Vision

Educate & empower our global communities to use yoga therapeutically based on a deeper understanding through purposeful and well-designed research.

Our Mission

Conduct purposeful and well-designed research examining the effects of using yoga in a therapeutic context to improve health and the human condition.

Our Values

  • Integrity
  • Intelligence
  • Innovation

Purposeful and well-designed research initiatives have the capacity to change the landscape of
how we view and utilize yoga as a therapeutic modality in our medical communities.


YMRI is led by:
Tiffany Cruikshank, L.Ac., E-RYT, Founder
Valerie Knopik, PhD, E-RYT, Director of Research


For more info email

Tiffany Cruikshank, LAC E-RYT

Tiffany Cruikshank is the founder of Yoga Medicine and began practicing yoga when she was in her early teens. She is internationally acclaimed due to her ability to fuse the two worlds of eastern & western medicine together and apply it to the practice of yoga in an accessible and relevant way.

She has been teaching for over 20 years, has a premed Bachelors degree in Medicinal Plant Biology and a Masters in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine with a specialty in Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Tiffany began leading informal teacher trainings out of her home to local teachers in her area in 2003 and began leading Yoga Alliance approved 200hr teacher trainings in 2008 and Yoga Alliance approved 500hr teacher trainings in 2009 as TiffanyYoga. Her teaching methods combine the western knowledge of the body (anatomy, kinesiology & physiology) with the eastern tradition of yoga.

Tiffany was previously the Acupuncturist & Yoga Teacher at the Nike World Headquarters in Portland, Oregon and has worked with over 25,000 patients. She has graced the cover of over a dozen magazines including: Prevention, Yoga Journal, Om Yoga Magazine, Mantra Yoga & Health Magazine, Origin Magazine, Thrive Magazine.  She has been a contributor to many major publications including: The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Forbes, Yoga Journal, Prevention, Dr. Oz, Self, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, Glamor, Shape, Fitness, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, More, Well+Good, MindBodyGreen, Triathlete, Organic Authority, American Fitness, Yoga Magazine, AOL Build, Cosmopolitan, Natural Health and more.

You can take class with her on or check out her books, Meditate Your Weight and Optimal Health For A Vibrant Life.

Valerie Knopik, PhD E-RYT

Valerie Knopik is a Senior Research Scientist, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and E-RYT in Providence, Rhode Island. Formally trained in classical ballet, as well as a former runner, Valerie has always been a believer in staying active but yoga is the perfect marriage of her work in mental health & her love of movement & anatomy. With a PhD in Psychology, Valerie is extremely active in mental health research, focusing on how our internal biology and our external physical environment (including yoga, mindfulness, and meditation) can interact to positively change our mental health landscape. Valerie’s sincere hope is that, while the physical asana practice might be the introduction to yoga (as it was for her), her students can utilize the asanas as a tool to find cohesion of body, mind, and spirit in order to experience fullness & purpose in their lives. Valerie lives with her husband and their two children (and a big, loveable Great Dane named Justice) in RI.

In 2016, Valerie became the Director of Research and will facilitate upcoming research projects and oversight within the Yoga Medicine community.


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