Intentionality and Hatha Yoga: A Research Study Exploring the Theory of Intentionality, the Matrix of Healing

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 10:50 AM

Lauri Deary, RN, RYT, CBS
Professional Development, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA


Hatha Yoga is a healing practice to increase self awareness and well-being. A case study subject reported improved physical symptoms, and an overall improved sense of well-being following a yoga routine. He attributed his personal changes to the focus on intentions in his yoga practice. Zahourek (2005) described a theory of the healing matrix of intentionality. This case study and theory were the foundations of this new research study.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore elements of intentionality in the narratives of adult participants in a Hatha Yoga class as part of a one year lifestyle modification program.

Methods: This qualitative narrative analysis study described participants’ perceptions of intentionality during the course of weekly Hatha Yoga sessions over one year. Fifteen participants wrote in a journal for two minutes at the beginning and end of each class. The journals were analyzed using narrative analysis to identify themes and clusters. The nurse Yoga instructor was the primary researcher. An academic nurse researcher was the methods guide; an established nurse theorist was a peer reviewer and theoretical consultant. There will be a discussion of the dynamic process through which the researcher analyzed these results within the context of the theory of intentionality, the matrix of healing (Zahourek, 2005).

Results: The results supported this theory with new insights into the nature of intentionality. The new insights describe intentionality as a dynamic field, including four states of a transformative awakening process.

Conclusion:  All theory development is an evolutionary process. Theories in Nursing can be explored, tested, supported, expanded and redefined, using qualitative methods with diverse populations.     

      Zahourek, R. (2005). Intentionality: Evolutionary development in healing. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 23(1). 89-109.