Have you ever wondered what science has to say about the ancient practice of yoga? This month’s inspirational video is a short documentary that will give you a look at current research on the science of yoga in just twenty minutes. While short for a documentary, the video is a bit longer than the ones we usually share—but it’s well worth it for a fascinating look into what’s really happening in your body and mind as you breathe and flow through your favorite poses.
According to Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and practicing yogi, there are four parts that make yoga what it is: the physical aspect, including asanas and breathing; the cultivation of mind-body awareness; the idea of experiencing deeper spiritual states; and the idea of self-regulation. He argues that self-regulation is critical and one of the pieces that makes yoga so special. As we improve our self-regulation skills, we learn to better control our stress response and cultivate better resilience and self-efficacy.
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Michael de Manincor, longtime yoga teacher and Founder and Director of The Yoga Institute, agrees. As part of his ongoing research on mind-body therapies, Manincor has studied how yoga impacts mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. In this video he shares some illuminating findings, like that yoga can decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression in just twelve short minutes of practice! No excuse not to get on the mat now, right?
It’s fascinating to learn how science supports that which the body intuitively knows already. Watch the full Science of Yoga video below: