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’


136 responses »

  1. In regards to the film as a whole, I found that the different perspectives and voices presented in regards to scientific and historical research served to uplift the quality of the piece and emphasize the way yoga has been adopted (and in some cases, has adapted) over time. As a film student, I think it is worth pointing out how this film was structured in relation to its subject matter; since it is a documentary short, this is of extreme importance. Overall I believe that the pacing was appropriate for the themes and discussions analyzed in the film, and the simplistic tone helped to convey the calm that yoga and proper meditation carry with them as they are being practiced. As a documentary, it is minimalist in its structure, but this serves to cradle the message of the film and provide enough information without seeming boring or allowing space for distraction. In a sense, the combination of different elements in the film physically represents what it has at its core: the Eastern practice of yoga and its adoption and evaluation through the Western eye.
    However, while watching the film there were a few questions that came to mind. The main purpose of the film is to analyze how Western medicine has begun to scientifically analyze yoga and has nearly “caught up” to it. The film then transitions into the more black-and-white discussions surrounding neurology, circulation, and the like. These are all engaging and are explained with enough depth to keep the attention of the viewer without going off too far in one direction. But the main issue I had with this film was that in presenting a combined analysis of how Eastern and Western cultures have studied the physiological benefits of yoga, a more serious discussion was passed over. And that discussion is the inherent colonialism that is present in every culture on Earth.
    Now, I may be reading a bit too far into it: the film is only a half-hour long and the problems with appropriating Eastern practices could be an entire film in itself. But there were a few points that hinted at the possibility of this type of analysis, and it did not apparently have the time or the room to flesh it out (though I would argue that room should always be made for these types of discussions). This is all briefly touched upon; Laura Plumb, in the film, does note that the true core of understanding who you are cannot be “quantified by Western science” (at around 17:55). Yet, she does also mention how Western science is giving Westerners a language by which they can enter the realm of yoga, which could’ve been a segue into a more in-depth discussion about appropriation.
    There was an opportunity here to perhaps discuss the more damaging effects that Western culture tends to have on Eastern practices, specifically how yoga is seen as “new” and “trendy” in a lot of ways only because white Westerners have recently “discovered” it. This is an obvious example of how colonialism still pervades in the “adoption” of Eastern practices, whether or not it is entirely intentional. And don’t even get me started on the “new and interesting yoga trends” that regularly pop up on the Internet; I have seen “beer yoga”, “chicken nugget yoga”, and a few other insulting examples. And while some of these may be done as an attempt to poke fun at ridiculous health “trends”, the idea of it is still largely problematic. These serve to prove how Westerners are often only invested in a practice if they can bastardize parts of it to fit parts of their already-established culture, instead of making room for a practice that has a chance to generate positive reform. Or perhaps by merely touching the conversation instead of centering it as a core conversation in the film, this piece actually encourages later discussions about adopting practices from cultures that you do not inherently belong to.

    • Just excellent! You have raised several good ideas and I think you might want to share them with the video producers. The topic is vast, as you mentioned the media was short in time, so editing had to be difficult. I too have some reservations however, I weighed could this be useful for newcomers and I chose to share it, at least to start the conversation. I look forward to exchanging yoga and ideas with you this semester, Namaste

  2. I think there is a preconceived notion that yoga is healthy for you, and its just something we know, but don’t really know why it is. By watching this video I learned WHY yoga is so good for you not only physically but also mentally. Through yoga we are able to control our stress and emotional responses. Mentally its healthy for you because you’re able to observe your thought processes and let go of them for a short period of time in order to become one with your spirituality.
    In one study done people who did yoga for only 12 minutes a day, daily, for twelve weeks had been observed to have made such big improvements in their mental health and resilience to later experiences. Whats really interesting to me is how much we take our breath for granted. Everyone has the power to use their breath in order to cope with stress and use it for relaxation, but we believe its only used for one purpose, allowing air into our bodies.This video allowed me to realize how important breathing is, and how it can be used for more than maybe intended.

  3. I think it is interesting that modern science is only now getting behind the science of yoga. Yoga is a practice that exercises and benefits all parts of the human body, mind and spirit. Yoga is growing in clinical use. As it has many health benefits if practiced often and can heal and change the body in many different ways and is also very natural. Yoga also reminds us of our place within the universe that we exist in. Which I think is important for us to remember and keep in mind as we walk through life. Because it puts into perspective how much is actually around us and among us.

    I think over time, spiritual and mental health is becoming just as important to people as physical health. And yoga is a great way to exercise and take care of all three of those things. Especially with the rise of technology, I think it is important for people to reflect and become strong and healthy within themselves.

  4. For some reason, the layman does not often associate yoga with science. Some regard the practice as alternative medicine or even phony without actually understanding or partaking in it. However, yoga is deeply ingrained in anatomy, psychology, physiology, neurology, the list goes on. The short film ‘The Science Behind Yoga’ doesn’t necessarily fight to validate itself, since it already knows that it works.

    Still, throughout the almost 30 minute runtime, the documentary proves time and time again that yoga can have pretty much the same effect on the body as some forms of medicinal treatment, especially when it comes to mental ailments. The major difference and benefit between “western medicine” and yoga is that with yoga, the changes that occurs within the body are entirely within one’s control.

    Having a deeper understanding and control of the inner machinations of one’s self can prove to be incredibly powerful, curing aspects of stress and even depression. Creating a greater sense of ease within the body, both physically and mentally, is not only a more cost effective way of treating illnesses (not that that’s why people do yoga), but is a more personal and transformative practice; this is something that pills and the like cannot — and probably will never — achieve.

  5. I found this video to be very informative. I am glad to have learned more about the yoga practice because coming into the class because admittedly, I know little to nothing of it. I find it amazing how yoga can so drastically improve our physical and mental health. I think that being aware of our mind/ body is very important and something that many people tend to overlook. I find that the more time one takes to focus on themselves, the better and healthier life they will live. Since starting the class, I have been paying more attention to my breathing, my body and allowing myself the downtime from technology and the busy world that I need. I have also noticed that in doing do, I have begun to feel healthier mentally and have noticed a change for the better in my moods. I am looking forward to seeing what further self- improvement I can achieve!

  6. This was an extremely interesting video. I love when western medicine realizes eastern medicine was right the whole time and I hope researchers continue to look in to the physical and mental effects of yoga. I also think that its very interesting that the channels and flows align with veins and arteries.

    I feel western science may never fully understand yoga but the more they look in to it the more accessible to a western audience. Yes asanas is the entry point but as they mentioned in the video this leads to mindfulness and eventually spiritual awakening.

  7. Yoga helps with self regulation and resilience to stress and anxiety. People who practice at least 12 minutes per day receive around a 30% boost in positive energy and end up revitalized. The video spoke on how we shifted our alignment with nature to wanting to control nature.
    -Lawrence C (yoga tools for relaxation)

  8. The video first talks about yoga giving you the tools that guide you into a better mind set. I think that is a large truth to yoga. It gives you many ways for the mind and body to be one. This helps you become the person you would like to be, keeping stress at bay. The video talks about yoga being what has helped people keep their stress and emotions in control. It also talks about blood pressure and how yoga can help with lowering your blood pressure. I found that when they would incorporate the brain and what yoga does positively to the brain. It creates a consciousness and control for our physiology and the world. I find it amazing that they are doing medical research on what yoga is doing to the brain and body.

  9. When I signed up for Relaxation Yoga i expected the relaxation to be very little movement and very few stretches and physical activity and now understand why I was wrong. Relaxation is with Im the mind not necessarily the physical body. After the first class I felt more relaxed then prior which i thought at the time was just in my head or a placebo effect, but now I realize it’s very possible what I felt is very true and likely to continue. I am also now very interested in the long lasting affects of yoga with constant everyday use even it’s in small amounts. However I’m unsure how to do it on my own without an instructed and I hope this is something that will be taught or touched on in class because I would hate for my yoga experience to end once the class does.

  10. This video was very informative on topics within yoga that i would have generally overlook. The emphasis on movement and breathing becoming aliened with in the body makes sense for the promotion of improving circulation and cellular communication throughout the body. The information your body seems to spread thought i.e glucose and neurotransmitters was surprising precise this can effect you. Even more impressive was the claim that Yoga can effect the body on an epigenetic level, making changes to your overlaying DNA. I am curious to know what effect yogis believe yoga can do to your base DNA.

  11. I have always been told how yoga can reduce stress and become a positive outlet in your life but it es inbreeding to finally learn the scientific reasoning behind those statements. It was interesting to learn that your energy not only effects you but the people around you as well. If your energy is positive then so will the energy that surrounds the people you know. To understand the real concepts behind yoga has expanded my perspective and furthered my understanding on how I could improve my energy and mental health through yoga.
    -Samantha Diaz

    • Next time include in your essay a review of the subject matter, comparisons to other media or texts, and your own experiences. This was too short to be considered a college essay.

  12. I thought the film did an excellent job of explaining how the scientific reasons why many people find so much benefit in yoga practice. As a psychology major, I found the study of yoga’s effects on mental health to be the most intriguing. The study confirmed that practicing yoga greatly improved the mental health of people experiencing anxiety and depression and reported that people had had more positive experiences and fewer negative experiences since starting yoga. I believe that the reason people reported having more positive experiences was because practicing yoga has the ability to give us a more complete perspective of the things we experience in daily life. The fact that yoga had greatly reduced the effects of anxiety and depression in the lives of the people studied did not surprise me because in my own experiences, I have always felt that after yoga my thoughts are more clear and organized in my mind. As shown in the video, the benefits of practicing yoga have medical and scientific backings and I believe that yoga should be recommended more often as a tool for patients struggling with mental health.

  13. I honestly had no idea that yoga had all of these scientific and medical benefits to reducing stress. I always that yoga was a more spiritual method to reducing stress. But after seeing this, it has really changed my perception about yoga and its benefits for stress relief.

  14. This short film discussed the increasing acknowledgment and acceptance of the benefits of yoga in the western-scientific world of research. Since ancient times, people have been practicing yoga and meditation as a tool to facilitate a deeper awareness of the mind, body, and spirit.
    Studies proved the scientific health benefits including a reduction in depression, anxiety, and psychological distress. Also noted was with continued practice, brain health and resilience only increased. With today’s technological capabilities in western society, its most often accepted that medicines are the cure for illnesses although the research presented here is evidence that we possess the strength and ability not only to fight but also prevent the disease from the start.
    Through simple breathing techniques and asanas, one can cultivate a sense of mindfulness and presence within the body and ultimately stimulate a change at a cellular level.
    Something that resonated with me was the reiteration that practicing this art of mindfulness every day can transform our frame of mind which, at a societal level, has the capacity to shape our society.

  15. Yoga is my step into what I see as a more physical type of meditation. As a musician, I find practicing and performing to be meditative; I practice being physically still through being conscious of the amount of tension I use, along with being mentally focused on conveying a coherent message through sound. Yoga is another outlet for this to happen, in quite different ways of course.

    This video also projects that yoga could be something of a more naturally occurring practice throughout all of society. This hypothesis not only excites me to live in such a time of great potential for shifting the general conscious of humanity, but also affirms the practice for me even more, subsequently creating a desire to practice and spread awareness of yoga.

  16. What I experienced while following along with the video was a sense of calming and stress reliever. As soon as the video ended and he said to open your eyes slowly, I felt this weight lifted off. Also it felt like I had just woken up from this great nap and felt recharged. When I was doing the aaahhh for seven times I felt this weird sensation in my head like my brain was saying thank you.

    My question is does it matter whether you do it in a room with the lights off because in this video the lights were on? This video was another eveidence of how yoga can be self healing. I get very stressed nowadays with work, family problems and school so doing yoga four times a day will definitely help. I feel like for someone who has gone through medications and had so much drugs in their systems yoga is a great alternative financially and you can practice yoga anywhere in the park, in your living room etc. I am glad that science is changing and are finding all there different yoga that can help someone heal.

    • Wonderful that you were immediately able to feel the benefits of the Isha Kriya! You may chose to practice with lights on or off. You should strive to do the practice a maximum of twice daily, and our course requires just 4 times a week. If you continue to practice daily you will find that you will become more quickly adjusted to your yoga practice and the benefits will shower upon you more readily. Namaste

  17. This video surprised me. I always knew that Yoga was good for you but I didn’t know that it has the ability to even curb away very intense illnesses such as Cancer.
    Not only is it helping those will these illnesses but it is revitalizing your body, mind and it reduces stress. It’s just great for you overall!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s