Watch ‘The Science Behind Yoga’


take-what-you-need-editTake a journey into the Scientific research behind the benefits of Yoga in this free-to-watch UPLIFT film.

Please share this video, just click the link below to view about 23 minutes long, thanks, Namaste

Source: Watch ‘The Science Behind Yoga’


64 responses »

  1. I really enjoyed the tone this video set for yoga practice. I thought it was interesting how they mentioned that it only takes a 12 minute practice a day to improve mental health. Movement, breath and mindfulness can all help in aiding the progression of a healthier state of mental health. I learned about how taking fewer more controlled breaths can greatly reduce stress and also reduce blood pressure. I certainly will be practicing breathing exercises more often. I thought it was interesting when the speakers talked about how the practice of yoga is finding the truth of who you are, and how western science can’t quantify that. There are things science can prove, but when it comes to how yoga affects one spiritually is not something that is a mathematical formula. It takes personal emotional practice for one to achieve. I really liked how the video spoke about how the general public perceives yoga and I really agree with their sentiment. Yoga has always been marketed in main stream media to portray health and fitness and slenderness of the body. It’s become a trend in our western society and neglects to really portray how yoga isn’t about appearance and crazy flexibility, but it’s about you and your own self evolution. The yoga classes I’ve taken have thankfully been unpretentious and really did focus on personal health, not appearance.

    – Lilah Tsudome

  2. I found this very interesting. I’ve always known that things like yoga and meditation make people feel better, this gave good concrete reasons as to why. There’s a lot of talk in yoga (and in similar spiritual dogmas) of energy and the paths they follow in the body, which I always found kind of silly, but to think of in terms of bodily function (i.e. the circulatory and limbic systems) makes it a lot easier to justify.
    I had also never considered the communal aspects of yoga. It makes sense though. If I’m thinking clearer and are less stressed that energy will transfer towards those I spend my time with, even more so if they are practicing the same things I am. And if everyone practices and gets on a similar wave length, how could we not live in harmony.

  3. A couple of things really stood out to me while watching this video. I was very interested in the many different types of yoga there are that people study and practice and how yoga can not only benefit the mind and body of myself but every human being but it can also benefit the environment. Yoga is becoming a larger populated practice as we move into different times, and hopefully with more people investing time and energy, more people can become aware of how it effects them and how they can better practice their daily lives in helping the environment.

    I found it very interesting how yoga is stated to be a way for people to cope with stress and emotion. I think that is very helpful for everyone in their lives because no matter what age there is so much to worry about. For me, I am stressed with my senior project, finishing classes and than thinking and deciding what I will do when I graduate. Taking time for myself to relax is hard to do with everything I have to do and think about. I like the idea that there are so many types of yoga and it can be practiced by people of all different levels, and abilities.

    Yoga is a union, of oneself and of others. It strengthens the power of the mind and controls the subconscious. A recent study showed and reveal that the mind is the ultimate control of health. That 10% of illness is genetic but 90% of illnesses are caused by stress. Yoga can bring change and focus to the mind. Yoga can change the neurons in the brain and potentially anything that is malleable. Yoga can lead from the physically mental realm to the energetic emotional realm to the physic symbolic realm. There is a deep mind to body connection and coordination that yoga can both help grow, heal and flourish in anyone that takes the time to practice and fully allow themselves to be immersed in.

  4. The mind is an incredibly powerful tool, muscle, database, organ… however you want to look at it. And we know that. But to admit that modern science has finally accepted that Eastern beliefs – yoga and other practices – has been right for centuries is an accomplishment in and of itself. To understand that yoga can have extremely beneficial mental health effects on someone as proven by modern science helps solidify the practice and bring awareness to more than those who are already understanding of its benefits.

    The part about yoga lowering levels of depression and anxiety within participants is something that really can have help millions of people around the world. Furthering the proclamation with evidence of neuro-scientific activity of positive brain reactions really puts into perspective just how effective yoga can be. To understand the importance of the brain as it pertains to both mental and physical health really becomes motivation to start and/or continue to practice.

    I was naïve to the idea that yoga extends far beyond the physical aspect of the body at first. However, this video may have provoked my interest in the practice more than any other material that we have gone over thus far and more than what little I had known going into the semester.

  5. As westerners, we are constantly skeptical of everything that does not have western science to back it up. We are in an era, as a society, where we are starting to accept ancient practices, specifically east Asian practices. Have done some physical body work called Rolfing (similar to physical therapy) which has not been backed up by western science. It is only a matter of time until western science comes around, because everyone who tries it feels a dramatic physical and emotional difference to it. I relate to the attitude in the video that, if western science makes you more open and willing to try it, by all means, use that as an excuse. At the same time, if certain cultures have been doing yoga for thousands of years for mental, physical and emotional health, that is almost better than a science experiment.

    The constant discussion of breath is very interesting to me. As an opera singer, breath is the root of the sound. If you aren’t breathing properly, you will experience tension and limits to the sound that you produce. Even professional singers with successful careers continue to explore their breath. Just like yoga, the breath is the root of the practice. Yes, we instinctively breath, but are we experiencing our breath as deeply as we can? Like singing, a more connected breath can lead to a more connected life. Alexa Rosenberg


    Journal Entry #3

    [watch] “The Science Behind Yoga”

    This video was one of the most beautiful montage of clips of yoga practicing people all over the world that I have ever seen. It was not only enlightening on a spiritual level, it was eye opening in terms of science. To see young children practicing yoga is heart warming because it makes me think about how the coming generations will be wiser, kinder, and healthier.

    There is so much to be learned by becoming a practitioner of yogic power, to realize the benefits of mind body awareness. There is a quote that I enjoyed from the video that said “The west is catching up with what the east has always known.” and that is so true. People in the east have been practicing yoga their whole lives and living long, and prosperously. The western people have always found comfort in the proof. This video is the proof. I personally have always known these benefits of yoga, that doing it can make you physically healthy, but that can not be said about everyone, some people just need to come out of their comfort zone as I did and discover the healing powers of yoga for themselves. Modern medicine is just beginning to get the word out there, giving the hard-fact, loving westerners the doorway they need. There was a bit in the video where a doctor said that it’s hard for people to believe in something that isn’t there, but thanks to the spreading of awareness we are now in “a practice of evolution.”

  7. I always considered yoga to be a difficult workout that I could never truly conquer, but I am learning that yoga has the power to affect people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities. Yoga is about conquering your mind and possessing an ability to flush out negative or distracting thoughts. I learned through this video that how the media portrays this practice is completely misleading and often turns people off from trying yoga themselves. Scientific studies are turning this stereotype around, however, and are proving to more and more people just how many mental health benefits yoga can have. These findings have been evident in the behaviors of the yogi movement for centuries, and science is finally catching up to their realizations. Yoga can become so powerful that it brings your self to a spiritual place of self awareness and acceptance. I also appreciated that this video connected yoga, something much of society finds as just a replacement for Zumba class, to the state of our planet, an issue our entire species must cope with. It is crucial, now more than ever, to care for this earth and undo to the damage we’ve caused. Practicing yoga brings about a sense of community which is our best hope in saving our world. We must look back at these ancient practices and value the unity, peace, and simplicity it brings about, growing together as a collective body with an awareness and care for the soil we walk on.

  8. I thought this article was interesting because it explains more about the yoga poses. I think compared to the yoga practices I have done, they are a little bit more easier and less painful.

  9. I have always been very familiar with the benefits of yoga. As I stated before, from my sisters and mother who do it very frequently. My mom has been using it to help with her arthritis. So the physical benefits are very prevalent and well known to me. But what really caught me about this video was when one man said that stress is the cause of 90 percents of illness. That is astounding. The idea that stress can cause illness almost stresses me out. I have always looked at stress as frivolous, when I feel it, I do best to tell myself that hey, worrying about this isn’t going to help it. All you can do is get something done. That being said, even saying that to myself doesn’t always help. The irrational side of my brain takes over and tells me the stress is too much. So the idea that yoga is a fight against that is pretty enticing.
    Science behind spirituality was always something I was skeptical about but this video definitely laid it out in a way that I can begin to understand it. You can hear from so many people about the benefits of yoga but to actually see studies conducted on the subject is comforting to me. I don’t wish to be skeptical but I feel that especially in this day and age of “Fake News” people want evidence more than ever.
    It was also interesting towards the end of the video when someone was talking about why the world is going crazy right now. While I don’t believe what he said about how we treat our environment and how we are living to be the only reason, I definitely think it contributes greatly to it. And there is no doubt a little yoga wouldn’t hurt.

    -Phillip Laskaris

  10. This video was extremely informative and interesting. I reflected back on my own thoughts of yoga before going into it, being encouraged by many to do it but being reluctant to take the steps to do so. Now that I think about it, was I reluctant because I was unaware of scientific evidence of its benefits? No that wasn’t it, but I was more concerned that I would never be able to become flexible enough to do it. During the part where media’s perceived image of yoga is being discussed, I was thinking, this was the biggest obstacle. Seeing images of people do yoga can be intimating. It is unfortunate that this is so seeing how many benefits for mental and physical health that it has. Although western medicine is starting to see the benefits of yoga, the benefits of it are not known to as many people as it should be. It was interesting listening to the results of the study on yoga and its affect on people with depression and anxiety. There were a number of impressive results but what caught my attention the most was that people were having an increase in positive experiences and a decrease in negative ones, in a matter of just 6 weeks. Furthermore, the scientific explanation behind how we can control our stress through breathing was intriguing because in my own practices I have been finding myself feeling less anxious and my worries are dissipating at a faster rate.

    In the end of the video, the discussion about how yoga can change and be a benefit to society made me think of a conversation my grandmother and I often have, the difference between “want” and “need”. The harmonious aspects to the practice can create a society that is less stressed and something that is extremely prevalent these days, less materialistic. Materialism, in my mind, has been poisonous to humans. The want for more and seeing these “wants” as “needs” is dangerous. I hear people talk about “needing” a new outfit for a party or “needing” the newest technology, even if what they have is still working. People replace the word “want” with “need” and with that, material items consume us. Perhaps it is the practice of yoga, where people are able to have a better sense of self, that feelings of insecurity, accompany the drive to have material goods, fulfilling nothing more than a “want”, could help mellow and bring focus to more important things for people, such as the “need” for healthy practices for a more wholesome life.

  11. I really enjoyed this video because it presented an alternative view of yoga and its benefits that makes yoga a much more palatable practice for people who may be skeptical of it. Recognizing that yoga has physiological benefits will likely encourage people who would normally shy away from yoga to try it, knowing that they can experience not only lower stress levels, but lower blood pressure as well. As the video stated, stress is highly associated with many diseases, so incorporating yoga into one’s life can serve as a powerful preventative measure for contracting illness. I was aware that practicing yoga could alter brain activity, but was really blown away when the video mentioned that it can ultimately alter brain structure.

    I never knew that yoga stemmed from a resistance to a change in human interaction with nature, but the emphasis on connecting to the ground and feeling in touch with your environment makes sense given this information. Yoga could certainly serve as an instrument for environmental awareness and actions that help preserve our environment and the organisms that inhabit it. As more people let down their assumptions about yoga and understand its physical and emotional benefits, they may develop a deeper sense of connection with their environment and find ways to work in unison with it instead of only looking to gain from it. I find yoga much more appealing knowing how crucial restoring the relationship that humans had with the environment before we began exploiting it is to the practice.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that the public opinion of yoga, formed by prevalent images of models, wearing very little clothes and assuming seemingly impossible positions, is a powerful obstacle when promoting yoga to a wider community. I have felt hesitant to try yoga in the past, thinking it would be too painful or uncomfortable. However, having actually practiced yoga, I realize that not only is it manageable for a novice like myself, but I have been utilizing elements of yoga for stress relief for a long time now. I often get very stressed out from work and school, and use breathing exercises to calm myself down. I have spent a lot of time slowing down my breathing, focusing only on each breath, and trying to shut out all my other thoughts. I felt foolish when I actually practiced yoga because I was hesitant about trying something I was already doing, but this helped me fully commit to the practice because I knew the many benefits of these techniques.

  12. It is quite comforting thinking of yoga in this different light. I have found it troubling during some practices to locate what path flow is active within my body. The explanations of channeling these bodily motions for the sake of physical and emotional benefit have helped to put this process in perspective for me.
    In yoga, you want to become closer to yourself and a vital step is understanding the process in which your body functions. Self awareness to a point where you can channel your bodily path flows will result in the knowledge of when, where and why your body may be acting in various types of ways.
    It is also an upside hearing that tests have been conducted proving yoga can help people emotionally. Hopefully, looking at the facts derived from yoga, western culture will begin to look towards its helpful practices more often.

  13. Breathing and thinking seem to be quiet simple tasks and yet it is so easy to let those simple tasks take control of our lives. As expressed in the video, yoga narrows your mind and helps you create space inside yourself so that you can reach a deeper inner peace. As a singer I feel as if yoga and singing are very parallel art forms. Yoga and singing are both based on breath, space, and control of the mind. As a singer I have to be constantly in control of phrasing and the energy that I am sending to myself and to the audience. If I feel at ease and confident with the music I am singing, it will allow me to express the music to my full capacity. This space is due to letting go of my anxiety and worries of what people think of me. This energy I feel while singing could be what yogi’s describe as prana.

    Watching this video has helped me realize even more the power of the mind and how as people we have complete control of our thoughts. Dr. Lipton mentioned that the mind is the ultimate control of illness. I know for a fact that this statement is true. Often times I can make myself feel sick by my thoughts. We are in complete control of whether we let ourselves react to these inner thoughts or quiet them by narrowing our overactive mind. The beauty of a narrowed mind is that you can control your reaction to life. It was so exciting to see evidence that people practicing yoga experienced less depression because of power in behavior.

    The last topic in the video really struck a chord with me. Western civilization has focused so deeply on looks and how people and things are perceived by others. What a disservice that most Americans don’t even realize all the benefits of yoga and how it can make you grow as a person internally. We are so focused on perfection and looking a certain way while practicing yoga, that we miss main lesson of what yoga teaches us. This video and class has shown me that although some positions may be physically simplistic, the work that you do internally is so much greater and benefits you so much more than a complex pose could ever benefit you.

    Cara Collins

  14. This video has showed me the different ways in which scientifically, research has shown that yoga can impact the brain activity and deeply and profoundly influence the way that we process information, feelings of stress and anxiety. However, since this practice has been ritual in places around the world for centuries upon centuries and continues to remain in place as a central part to their lives, this is mostly scientific evidence to combat western medicine or inform Americans who did not grow up with these practices that yoga is beneficial because of science in addition to the abundance of testimonies from people around the world.

    This video was interesting because it reminded me for the immense boundaries Western medicine has when it comes to eastern medicine which encompasses schools of thought in medicine such as Ayurveda which takes into account yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices as a practical part of maintaining physical, emotional and spiritual health. It reminded me that we have a long way to go in terms of understanding how to process stress and anxiety through mindful tools and practices in order to live more peaceful, comfortable and happy lives. It made me think about the yogic community and how it impacts these peoples lives and changes the way that they exist in the world, which is amazing.

    I did enjoy learn about neuro imaging and brain plasticity which was talking about the way in which your brain patterns change, when measured after/during practicing yoga as well as yoga physically having an impact on the brain makeup itself. These were very interesting points that were made, in addition to the reduction of blood pressure when breathing less frequently and more deeply. It reminded me to think about my breathing patterns outside of yoga and to work towards emptying the mind as they were saying. 12 minutes a day, as they said in the video, is incredibly doable and it helped me think about my practice in a terms of creating even more space in my life for yogic practice.

  15. I understood and agreed with the main premise of the video; yoga has and can be used to promote a healthy lifestyle beyond the physical movement of the body. It can create biological shifts in the body that can positively influence day to day human life. This video however seemed like it had to rationalize the practice of yoga through intense scientific research; the aggressive superimposition of western medicine onto an eastern practice. This process appeals to a specific margin of people and assumes that yoga has not been understood as such, previously. There are schools of thought that understand yoga as a tool for a “mind body awareness” outside of the immediate practice. Advaita Vedanta is a school of Hindu philosophy that understands that consciousness and awareness can be understood through a variety of practices, on of them being yoga. The practice of yoga, according to Advaita Vedanta, is a means to the same end stated in this video. There is an assumption here that modern medicine and western medicine are synonymous. This leaves little space for practices outside of the U.S. to exist as valid points of view that also incorporate modern technology into their understanding of medicine.

    My mom is an acupuncturist so I am speaking from my understanding through her and research. I am reacting to a common understanding that acupuncture is inherently spiritual and mystical. There is a misplaced exoticism onto the practice that stems from its inherent differences from our own. However, acupuncture is an informed practice that considers the biological reactions our body has to being punctured with metal. It understands neurology and the use of herbs and physical medicine in similar ways that the West does. This video seemed to place value on yoga, only after it was studied and analyzed using Western schools of thought. However yoga has been recognized for the same reasons the video states by philosophies and practices beyond a rationalization of it.

    I did get a lot from the video as well. I understood things I felt naturally through a scientific lens. For example, the workings of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems during yoga. The process and shift between tension and release is something always pay attention to while practicing yoga and understanding the biology was very interesting. I also very much liked the process of establishing connections in the body and creating pathways for intervention outside of the studio.

  16. Key points:
    -mind-body awareness
    -mental observations
    -transcendent states
    -creating that space for yourself through meditation (empty the mind)
    -need space

    This science behind yoga is something that I’ve always been interested in understanding further. Before we had our first class, I couldn’t fathom how I was going to be able to do this for 3 hours. After our second class, my entire outlook changed because I began to be much more aware of myself and my body. Something so simple as breathing, that often gets taken for granted since its something that my body just does, has now become this new experience through conscious deep breathing. When I’m in class and get to this point where I can actually notice my lung capacity increasing is really cool and satisfying. As the video mentions, when you begin to breath deeper from one breath to the next, and after class, I have this really great feeling and start redirecting my attention in other situations outside of class, which has been really great. It’s very pleasing to know that this class is having all of these background effects on my body in addition to the in the moment peace and healthy physical feelings that it provides during class.

    -Sebastian Jean

  17. I find it very interesting that Wetsern society needs the scientific explanation for what many have known for millennia! And even still it’s even more interesting that yoga proves itself to be a vital form of human exercise for the body and especially for the brain. The video notes 12 minutes a day most of the week is all it takes to help relieve anxiety and depression. Yoga, as much as it molds and shapes and extends the body does even more extending and molding and shaping to the brain and mind (brain plasticity!). Yoga forces concentration and mindfulness and literally changes the brain in ways that strengthen it and keep it healthy. I had considered yoga mostly as a means of stretching and working the body and I am beginning to appreciate how much more directed it is at the mind.

    Yoga has a perception, at least in this culture, as being foreign, hipster, pseduo mystic, or for soccer moms. It doesn’t help that yoga seems explicitly marketed towards women, with gear and advertisting, as opposed to men. As opposed to its health and mental benefits yoga is seen as a fad or a trend and that is unfortunate. I do however think that trend is changing and yoga is becoming more commonplace. I see yoga being practiced in numerous places from mallsto churches and schools. I certainly think we need it in this overstimulated, constantly running world we live in.

    • Good points you have mentioned, and this semester I have almost as many male as female students, I think the trend is changing. Interestingly, in India up until just recently yoga was mostly followed by men! Namaste

  18. It is so interesting to see yoga being practiced all around the world. It’s amazing that even through all of our differences we can still be unified, and connected by this practice. It’s incredible that it is said it only takes 12 minutes of yoga a day to improve one’s mental health. We need to take this into consideration more and put more time into ourselves. I believe if everyone did this, the world would feel better. I had previously thought that some of the benefits of yoga seemed a little exaggerated, but it is very relieving to know that there is scientific evidence to back it up.

  19. Yoga is more than just the physical aspect of it. It can change the mind and help us connect with the world. It can change one’s lifestyle positively while helping to find out one’s purpose in life. There are numerous benefits to yoga including reducing a large percentage of people with depression and lowering blood pressure. Movement and breath are what creates our life. They are powerful tools to use in and outside of yoga practice. I truly feel without it we’d be nothing. Something interesting I found in this video is when Dr.Bruce Lipton stated “The mind is the ultimate control of our health and our biology.” He then goes to explain that only 1% of illness is related to genes and 90% comes from the mind and stress. This makes complete sense because I will see in certain people who constantly get sick are those dealing with stress and other issues blocking their life. This video continues to show me how yoga can help with more than just flexibility. Flexibility and relaxation were the only two things that came to my mind when thinking of yoga, but after hearing this new information I am more open minded to the practice of yoga and how it can benefit my life in many ways.

    -Melanie Ramos

  20. Leah Ashton-Facin
    In the ‘Science Behind Yoga’ something that I found very intriguing to my own life but also generally was the focus on health and stress. This was something that they linked specifically to mindfulness and meditation. I have observed a change in my own mind as I have started to do these practices regularly. In the video they discuss the way that creating space within your mind can decrease stress and change your the way that your mind works but also the sense of self. There is a reconnection and clarity that is also a part of these practices. This can help you to reach a much deeper spiritual space. The reduction of depression and anxiety disorders also is also very important, especially in Western societies where the system of capitalism can result in a focus on materiality leading to these stresses and issues. In the book, Mindfulness and Mental Health: Therapy, Theory and Science by Chris Mace he discusses mindfulness, “foundation of the mental discipline is necessary to achieve concentration and subsequently the ‘right understanding’ and ‘right thought’ that make up wisdom” (Mace 9). I also think that the concept of helping the individual and then having that lead to a grander change in thinking and taking care of humanity and the earth is important. A shift in incentive and understanding of the world seems to be necessary always but particularly right now.

  21. Though I’ve only been practicing yoga for a few weeks now, I have found that yoga has significantly improved my life. The peacefulness I feel after your Yoga classes, or even when I practice the Isha Kyria at home, has been reflective on my emotions throughout the week. I’ve noticed how much more patient I have been since our first yoga class. Practicing yoga has brought in important things in my life into a clear focus. When I am struggling with a homework assignment, I like to practice the isha kriya to relax my mind and body. This week was a busy week for me with work, class and my internship, but I managed to practice the Isha Kriya four times. I am working on finding times for me to practice yoga more frequently. Practicing yoga eases my frustrations in life that come from work and school. Psychologist, Michael Manincor, talks about many scientific benefits of yoga. His research in the yoga field for depression and anxiety disorders has resulted in the reduction of depression. They saw a 33% in reduction in the group of people who doing yoga in the experiment. They also found that practicing yoga increases resilience and positive experience. I believe in the results founded by the researchers because yoga is a positive experience, and that positivity has been reflective in my life.

  22. In The Science Behind Yoga, Sat Bir Khalsa begins a dialogue on the cultivation of mind/body awareness. This resonated with me, as an unexpected factor of my experiences in most public meditation sessions has been an awareness of body that is usually self conscious or anxious in nature; I am more aware of the individuals around me and wonder if they are aware of me (if they notice my postures/poses and make judgements on my abilities, etc.). But more recently I have let go of this negative headspace and have become increasingly less aware of individuals in a room. Instead I try to think about the class as a collective working towards the same meditative goal, and this enables me to relax more and focus more on my own mind and body without comparison to others. Now I am trying to focus more on some of the qualities of yogic practice mentioned in the video: movement, breath, mindful attention and relaxation. The revelation that improvement can be made with only twelve minutes of practice a day allows me to feel more encouraged to work at my meditation.

    Whisper Blanchard

  23. I loved this video. It informs on everything that the popular culture has wrong about yoga. The obvious was the dress of the participants. The image shown of the thin, waif-like yogis in skimpy workout wear is what I was afraid of because it is something I’m not. I had some inclination on the real, scientific healing potential of yoga but no real clue. Also, had no idea that yoga can be traced back to a resistance of man switching from a hunter-gatherer existence to one of land dominance. That portion of the video was fascinating. It solidified the link between yoga and the stereotypical portrayal of yogis as hippies, but an accurate one. A connection to those who value the environment and the health of our mother earth over themselves.
    In terms of the healing aspect of yoga, this is something I plan on sharing with someone special to me. Several people in my life have severe back problems, one of this group even had to have an invasive surgery to correct the problem. The health benefits of yoga, not only the muscle and flexibility but the mental is something I wish to pass on.

  24. I found this video very compelling because it gave yoga a scientific validity that I believe has been lacking lately. I enjoyed the fact that the video discussed science behind spirituality as well. Spirit and mental wellness are directly connected to physical wellness and yoga is the perfect bridge between the two.

    According to the video, yoga is a way for humans to interact with nature and let their guard down. I appreciate this because people communing with nature is an important part of yoga and how it helps contribute to a healthy mind.

    -Rosie Evans

  25. After watching this very informitive piece, I must say that the section of video I found most intriguing had to do with building our breathing awareness outside of your yoga sessions. I’ve always known of the therapeutic side of DOING yoga and breathing exercises, but around the 9 minute mark of the video I came to learn and think about the mental muscle you can start using to breathe and calm ourselves effectively in real life.

    It’s interesting to think about, and I know breathing is a big fundamental to the art plus our class, but I must point out the science behind breathing provided in this video, especially with relation to stress levels. Although it is common knowledge, it’s still interesting to see HOW MUCH breathing effects any situation we ever feel not as peace with.

    -Garret D Patrick

  26. After watching this video I feel as if I have a much more concrete understanding of the way yoga benefits our lives in a physiological way. Before watching the video or taking this class I did not completely consider the ways that the benefits of yoga could intersect between our physical and mental well being and even benefit our nervous and lymphatic systems. The notion that yoga puts us more in touch with ourselves and our bodies, and thus, the environment and the world around us, is important for me to consider, as I believe that cultivating mindfulness and awareness to our surroundings is incredibly important.

    At the same time, it says a lot that westerners seem to be more skeptical of eastern philosophy and culture and need to hear a lot of other facts to back up that these practices have a kind of merit (in the western gaze) and I find this to be true with myself as well. Moving forward, I hope to find these practices a highly effective and positive way of enriching my everyday life.

  27. I found this video to be really interesting and insightful. The entire point that the West is catching on to Eastern practices including yoga is so important the way I see it. There are so many practices in the East that are so helpful to our health. Yoga is not just about the postures and breathing techniques but also about self-regulation and finding the ability to reach that somewhat transcendental state or full body and self awareness. It unifies our mind and body while also remembering to distance oneself from the limitation of simply thinking of oneself as only as the mind and/or the body.

    For example, the Isha Kriya has us repeat “I am not the body. I am not even the mind.” It brings the awareness that we have a body and mind but they do not define us. It is the union of these two things that is really important and has us heal internally. Again, the difference between the West and East are visible here as the Western world can be very materialistic and fast paced. Yoga helps us to realize that there is more to life than working and overworking ourselves and our bodies. Yoga relaxes us and helps our physical health translate into better mental health.

  28. This video give me more confidences of doing yoga as it shows the scientific aspect of mental health benefit. I used to thought that yoga is some kind of spiritual exercise with difficult stretching movement. Moreover, it seems like a cult for me. Nowadays, I realize it was all my misunderstanding of yoga. All the extreme hard flexibility movements are only the stereotype from different advertisements. Every age group have some movements, which are suitable for them to challenge. Therefore, we don’t have to worry about wether we are able to do it or not, since it is a exercise for “everyone”. It could provide not only the flexibility of the human body, but also improve our mental health.

    People who have done yoga daily have been prove to be able to release their stress easier comparing to people who have not done yoga from the scientific research. Therefore, there are more and more people who bring yoga into their daily task. I believe what the vide said, which the more people do yoga, the better our society will become. If people could all release their stress with yoga, the world wouldn’t have much disputes. It is our responsibility to share the goodness of yoga to more people.

  29. Western science is catching up with what Eastern philosophy has known for a very long time. Through this explicit research done by Western science Yoga is validated to the rest of the world. In my Art History class we talked about the concept of Orientalism and how Western culture has these patterns of taking practices from other cultures and re-contextualizing it and showing appreciation in a condescending way. I’m not saying this video does that overtly but I can’t help but think about the language that we use and the scope that we look at cultures categorized by “other”.

    When yoga is marketed in the West, you only see fit young people doing it. They are usually posed in hard flexible moves and it seems like you have to be a certain kind of person to do yoga. We are hooked on instant gratification and have idealistic views of reaching peace without putting any effort to get there. In the video someone mentioned Yoga as a coping method to deal with everyday stress and I feel for most people and for myself we only practice Yoga in a specific amount of time. How much does my practice reach all aspects of my life? How do I weave in my Yoga practice to all areas of my life?

    Sat Bir Singh Khalsa is an advocate in Yoga and a professor at Harvard who wrote a book about the connections between modern science and Yoga. he said something in the video that stuck with me : “we currently don’t have the instruments that measure this energy flow or these energy centers if they exist” How do you measure energy with science? How do you practice yoga and not believe in energy? Prana is the main aspect of Yoga. It is the life force that flows through everyone. Part of our practice relies on the belief of the energy that flows within us and generating it and regulating it through breathing. It seems absurd that he would say that.

  30. I found this film interesting. It made some very salient points.
    I certainly felt that the way they addressed society’s notions about yoga were accurate. The way it was and is marketed to Western audiences creates an almost exclusionary feeling, that yoga is reserved for people who are already fit and pretty. A friend of mine recently mentioned that she doesn’t like to carry her yoga mat with her on the train; she feels like other people will perceive that as a slight, a signal that she thinks that she’s better than them. The thing is, I understand where she’s coming from. In the past, I’ve seen people who are clearly coming to or from their class with their mat over their shoulder, and felt like they were looking down on me. Logically that’s ridiculous, and my intellectual brain knew it, but the emotional brain did not, in part, I believe, because of the advertising surrounding yoga.
    I do wish that they’d gone into slightly more detail on the scientific side of things. Saying that a study exists is not the same thing as citing it properly and making sure the audience can verify the information being given. It may not have served the atmosphere they were going for, but I think it would have strengthened their point.

    • Remember the video was made to engage large groups of people with different focus, you can surely find online the actual data from the yoga studies done in the US, UK and India(many are in Sanskrit, Hindi but enough are in English; see Lonalva Institute and Benares Hindu University, Varanarsi, India

  31. I thought this video was very interesteing, I enjoyed learning about yoga from a scientific perspective while I have mostly only ever thought of yoga as a energetic and spiritual issue. But, alas they are one in the same I suppose. One beauty of yoga, I find, is that anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter your body type, age, or athletic capability, as long as you have the ability to move, you can improve your yoga practice and therefore become more self aware and in touch with yourself. Becoming more comfortable in your body is another perk of yoga, when one can stretch out their body they are able to focus in on areas they may have never paid attention to before, stretching and being present in your asnas aligns your energy centers of the body, creating balance.

    My Isha Kriya is preformed in the mornings, usually, when I am on top of my game. Some days I let my mediation slip Ill admit it, and I know that if I maintained a routine I would significantly improve my sate of being probably throughout my weeks. In the morning i am able to set a tone for my day, a tone of peace and contentment, a connection with the almighty, knowing that there is so much more than me and that I am not my body, nor my mind.

    • This is a little better time that you have invested in this journal. Remember we cannot do meditation, but merely create meditative qualities with practices we choose. OM

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