Smart Safe Yoga

The incredible growth of yoga during the past 25 years has made "yoga" a household term rather than some oddity. Such growth has also brought with it challenges to maintaining the first principle of yoga, ahimsā (non-harming). In Western society, yoga has been mostly a practice of asana (postures), which in many cases has evolved to be just the latest exercise craze. The adoption of a physical, often fast-paced practice, led by relatively novice instructors with limited training puts participants AND the instructor at risk of harm.

This is where Smart Safe Yoga becomes necessary. Dr. Taylor has made yoga safety and medical appropriateness his priority since beginning to teach in 1997. His extensive training, research, teaching and publications have created a wealth of resources that need to be understood by both yoga proponents and the legal system.

If you have concerns or questions beyond what is offered here, please contact us. Yoga can be safe, if it’s smart, for every one and every body. Together let’s make it so!

Our Mission

To educate and inspire yoga students, teachers and studios to make the practice of ahimsā the top priority by being more aware and proactive in minimizing the well-being risks and potential liability of Yoga, while creating a channel of safety communication that does not disrupt the freedom of Yoga practice or student/teacher relationship.

Dr. Matthew Taylor

Matthew J. Taylor, PT, PhD, C-IAYT

Dr. Taylor leads training programs and creates resources to incorporate smart, safe yoga for the international yoga community. Smart Safe Yoga fosters intelligent, creative and mindful sources of information and tools for yoga teachers, students, yoga therapists and conventional medical professionals who want to incorporate yoga principles into their practices and studios. His leadership in the field of yoga safety and science has made him an expert in yoga safety and injuries. Personally, he can attribute yoga to both changing his life and easing chronic back pain.

What People Have Said About Dr. Taylor

rachel krentzman

Rachel Krentzman, PT, CYI, CPI, Director / Therapist, Equilibrium Therapeutics - http://equilibriumtherapeutics.com

Matt is a pioneer in the evolution of physical therapy as a science and art that encompasses body, mind and spirit. He has shown us that it is possible to create a new model that respects both patient and therapist in their journey towards creating optimal health and well being. His knowledge and expertise is grounded in personal experience and a sincere desire to promote true healing on all levels. I have learned so much from Matt.

joseph le page

Joseph Le Page, M.A., Founder of Integrative Yoga Therapy - http://www.iytyogatherapy.com

Matt Taylor began his Yoga Therapy study with an intention of finding a more effective way to relieve pain for physical therapy patients. Through extensive professional study and a process of deep personal reflection, he has broadened this understanding into the creation a whole new paradigm for his field that has enriched Yoga Therapy as a whole. Matt has taken his Yoga Therapy practice and teaching to the highest professional level.

Are you in need of a yoga expert with years of proven experience and insight?

Dr. Taylor’s Yoga Experience

Yoga Training

  • Levels I & II of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy 1996
  • Integrative Yoga Therapy 1000 hrs “Masters” 1998
  • PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies, based on Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga philosophy; Dissertation: A Yoga-based Back School for People with Chronic Spine Pain 2006
  • Every Symposium of Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR) by IAYT.org since 2007.
  • Extensive workshop participation since 1997.
  • C-IAYT (Certified Yoga Therapist) Nov. 2016.

Recent Publications

  • Taylor, MJ “Yoga Therapy as a Creative Response to Pain” London: Singing Dragon. 2018.
  • Taylor, MJ “Yoga Therapy: A Pleasant Surprise” In S. Jones, 30 Years of Social Change, 1st ed, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018.
  • Taylor, MJ, Wheeler, A, Schmalzl, L “Licensed Healthcare and Yoga Therapy: Let’s Talk”  Yoga Therapy Today, International Association of Yoga Therapists, Summer 2017, pp. 44-46.
  • Taylor, MJ, McCall, T (2017) “Implementation of Yoga Therapy Into U.S. Healthcare Systems” Intl J of Yoga Therapy, 27: 115-119.
  • Taylor, MJ, Wheeler, A, Schmalzl, L “Licensed Healthcare and Yoga Therapy: Let’s Talk”  Yoga Therapy Today, International Association of Yoga Therapists, Summer 2017, pp. 44-46.
  • Taylor, MJ, McCall, T (2017) “Implementation of Yoga Therapy Into U.S. Healthcare Systems”Intl J of Yoga Therapy, 27: e-pub.
  • Taylor, MJ, “Yoga Therapy as a Creative Inquiry into Pain and Suffering” Yoga Therapy Today, International Association of Yoga Therapists, Spring 2016, pp. 32-33.
  • Taylor, MJ “Yoga Therapeutics: An ancient practice in a 21st century setting.” In C. Davis, Complementary Therapies in Rehabilitation:  Evidence for Efficacy in Therapy, Prevention, and Wellness, 4th ed. New York: Slack, 2016.


  • April 2016 - April 2018 Consulted with the IAYT Task Force for Licensed Health Care Providers relationships.
  • November 2017 Appointed to the international Yoga Alliance working group on the new “Scope of Service” for registered yoga teachers.
  • September 2017 Released the free graduate healthcare student 15 wk online course for Integrating Yoga Therapeutics Into Rehabilitation with over 500 students from 5 continents and over 100 schools represented.
  • August 2017 Appointed to the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium TaskForce for Chronic Pain/Opioid Abuse as the yoga representative.
  • YA consultant, SYTAR plenary 2016 www.yogatherapyfuture.com and LHCP w IAYT and CIC’s
  • June 2016 Plenary Speaker at the Symposium for Yoga Therapy and Research, Reston, VA, The Future of Yoga Therapy: Let’s Stretch Our Vision www.yogatherapyfuture.com (full talk)
  • December 2015- Appointed to the 5-person editorial board of the PubMed indexed International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
  • 2012-2013 National Osteoporosis Foundation Online and Conference presenter for “Safe Yoga with Osteoporosis.”
  • Advisory Board Member, Australian Association of Yoga Therapists, 2011-present.
  • Co-Administrator of the 700+ yoga/rehab professional closed Facebook group 2011-present.
  • SYTAR Rehabilitation Common Interest Community director/co-director 2009-13, 2015.
  • SYTAR Planning Committee 2007-2009.
  • 1999 bought the URL for the Yoga Alliance and built the first Yoga Alliance website.
  • Advisory Board of the International Association of Yoga Therapists since 2001.
  • Board of Directors of the International Association of Yoga Therapists 2007-2009.
  • President of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Yoga Therapists 2008-2009, during which time priority and funding were established for making the journal PubMed recognized, initiating the school and credentialing processes, and the online journal resource library.


  • Dissertation: A Yoga-based Back School for People with Chronic Spine Pain 2006.
  • Chaired the first research committee for IAYT which has now become the annual Symposium of Yoga Research (SYR).
  • Publication research for his authored publications in peer-reviewed journals/textbooks.
  • 2007-2009, Courage Center 2-yr study for Organizational Change through Stress Reduction in collaboration with Matthew Sanford and Mind-Body Solutions of MN.
  • One of five editorial board members and peer reviewer for the International Journal of Yoga Therapy and numerous other publications.
  • Member of the 2012 University of Otago Delphi Project: Yoga for Musculoskeletal Conditions.

You can find Dr. Taylor’s full curriculum vitae and publications here.