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The Science of Yoga

A 3-Part Blog Series on the Healing Power of Yoga

Table of Contents: The Science of Yoga

Introduction The Origin of Yoga (Part 1 of 3)

Yoga Can Enhance Your Brain (Part 2 of 3)

      • Four Common Brain Patterns in Spiritual Experiences
      • Brainwaves and Hormones
      • Yoga Builds New Neural Pathways
      • Neuroplasticity – Your Brain Can Grow
      • Neural Pathways

Health Benefits of Yoga (Part 3 of 3)

      • Yoga Improves Strength, Balance, and Flexibility.
      • Yoga Prevents Cartilage and Joint Breakdown
      • Yoga Promotes Longevity
      • Yoga Relieves Arthritis Pain
      • Yoga Relieves Back Pain
      • Yoga Improves Heart Health
      • Yoga Improves Sleep
      • Yoga and Hormone Balance
        • Yoga Balances Metabolism
        • Yoga Boosts Your Mood and Manages Stress

Introduction: The Science of Yoga (Part 1)

science of yoga

Have you ever wondered why yoga and meditation make you feel so good? Modern neuroscience research reveals just what is happening in our brains when engaging in yoga and mindfulness practices. 


Did you know that yoga can lower your blood pressure, decrease inflammation, and prevent age-related atrophy of the brain? Yoga affects more than just your muscles and bones; it positively impacts every system of your body. Yoga builds muscle strength and improves flexibility, agility, and balance. It helps to handle challenges with grace. Practicing yoga philosophy can also help you find purpose and meaning in your life.  

What is the Origin of Yoga?

The ancient art of yoga has been around for over 5,000-years. The origin of the word ‘Yoga’ is from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj,’ meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite.’ As per Yogic scriptures, the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of ‘Universal Consciousness,’ indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and the body.

Yoga Today

Studies are also increasingly documenting how yoga works. Advances in technology are revealing that the healing power of yoga can transform the entire body. Yoga research has expanded exponentially in the last 20 years thanks to funding from The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a division of the National Institute for Health (NIH).  These studies have documented yoga’s efficacy for: 

Learn more about the Health Benefits of Yoga in Part 5, Coming soon.

science of yoga book
Image courtesy of Ann Swanson from The Science of Yoga

“Yoga doesn’t just affect your muscles and bones; it affects every single system of your body. Yoga is a complete way of considering the world and being in it. The practice of this ‘lifestyle technology’ includes poses known as asanas and breathwork known as pranayama, meditation and philosophical teachings. ” —Ann Swanson,  author of Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect Your Practice, 2019 

Read more about Yoga in our next installment: Yoga Can Enhance Your Brain (Part 1 of 3)