What is Yogic Science Today? - Yoga Instructor Blog

What is Yoga Science?

Yoga scienceBy Faye Martins

What is Yoga Science? In his classic book, Swami Vishnu Devananda mentions two aspects (physical and spiritual) of Yoga science within “The Illustrated Book of Yoga.” Paul Jerard has often mentioned four Yogic aspects (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual), which also mirror our planes of existence. Yogic science is an infinite subject, and that is why we love to study it so much. After all, science grows by measuring factors that may be unseen and once seemed to be fiction. Until the 20th century, planets beyond our solar system, rogue waves, and giant squid were considered fiction.


Now and Then

While different styles of Yogic methodology have evolved over the years, Yoga science also changes as new ideas become proven methods. We may not have time to practice like ancient Yogis, but we can incorporate Yogic practices and philosophy as a spiritual discipline into our busy lives.

Philosophy Behind Yogic Science

It’s easy to cite platitudes about the mind, body, and spirit, but how does the mystical tradition affect us? From the Vedic teachings in ancient India to 21st-century research, evidence shows that Yoga changes the way we think, feel, and act. It makes us happier, healthier, and better-adjusted, but that doesn’t explain the science behind the art.


Stress Responses

In “The Heart and Science of Yoga,” author Leonard Perlmutter says that Yoga provides “a blueprint for peace, happiness, and freedom from fear.” Simply put, Yogic techniques change our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, the mechanisms responsible for our “fight or flight” stress responses.

Sympathetic Nervous System

This system works well when we need the energy to react to dangerous situations. In today’s hectic society, though, we are constantly on the alert, and our panic buttons get stuck by what we perceive as threats. Our adrenal systems kick out stress hormones and our body’s overdrive. Our mind races, our heart beats faster, and our blood pressure rises. Soon, it affects our mental, physical, and emotional health.


Parasympathetic Nervous System

Yoga boosts hormones that make us feel good and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system restores balance and calms us down when we get upset by slowing the heart, lowering blood pressure, and increasing circulation.

Yogic Science and the Brain

Research shows that Yoga changes the way the brain works. Yogic postures can be considered moving meditation, but they also prepare the body for deep relaxation or Yogic sleep. Therefore, a regular Yoga training session reduces negative thinking, raises awareness, and increases compassion. In fact, daily practice changes one’s outlook on life, especially, when positive results are experienced.


Key to Wisdom

Yoga science improves our physical health, connecting our subconscious minds to our actions. When we become aware of our physical bodies, thoughts, and the world around us, we make better decisions and worry less. We live our lives with tolerance and understanding instead of fear and negativity. Yogic methods help us become our authentic selves.


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