Yoga & Neurosciences
Over the last decades scientific inquiry has revealed much about how our brain works.
Researchers have asked important questions about the neural processes of learning,
memory, language and well-being. The more we investigate the more we realise that the classical divide between body and mind, physical and psychological is nothing but an illusion. Our physical health, emotions, thoughts and manifest behaviour are so closely related that we can't talk about one without touching on the others. Yogic wisdom recognised this to a certain degree throughout the development of the discipline, which is how the "eight limbs of yoga" came to be. The eightfold path or "ashtanga" (ashta - eight, anga - limb) offers us a philosophical system that that can help us develop physically, mentally and spiritually. As much as an ascetic lifestyle was part of many Hindu transitions, overtime it became clear that body and mind are intrinsically connected and, therefore, we cannot reach spiritual enlightenment without taking care of our body, and vice versa. Scientific studies showed us that physical exercise creates physiological changes not only in the muscles and joints but in the brain, which affects memory, learning and emotional states. On the other hand, meditation creates physiological changes not only in the brain but throughout the body. Neurosciences provide us with a wealth of evidence for the benefits of the different yogic practices, and it provides us with an increasing body of knowledge about the mechanisms that deliver these changes in our body and mind.