Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Fit

4 Intriguing Insights from the Yoga & Science Conference

Brilliant minds in yoga and science shared the latest ground-breaking research on how mindfulness practices can cultivate individual and societal well-being.

9
Author Image
Yoga Advisor
SHARE:

The worlds of yoga and science may not seem inherently compatible, but the recent 2019 Yoga and Science Conference made the connection between the two not only clear but also intriguing. Over two days in January, nine experts from various disciplines in the natural and social sciences presented insights about the physiological mechanisms underlying yoga practices and their implications for individual and societal healing.

The event’s goal was to help attendants “leave with a better understanding of why yoga is so effective for so many people, and also how they can use specific yoga practices to achieve the effects that they are looking for,” conference founder Eddie Stern said. One consistent, resonant theme woven throughout was that through cultivating individual well-being, yoga practices also have the ability to promote social interconnectedness and thereby societal healing. Here is a brief recap of the conference’s top takeaways.


Social Connectedness Promotes Health

According to Stephen Porges, PhD, when we experience positive social connectedness, it triggers a sympathetic nervous response called the “polyvagal state”. This state of increased vagal tone not only coincides with tremendous health benefits, it triggers “co-regulation” in which positive feedback occurs between two or more individuals. In other words, the experience of connectedness promotes health and well-being. On the other hand, a chronic disruption of connectedness is the definition of trauma, according to Porges. Listening and witnessing—some of skills developed through yoga and meditation—are therapy, he says. But in terms of yoga as therapy, someone’s increased polyvagal tone only occurs when they are attentive and listening to another’s pro-social cues.


Yoga Can Heal the Wounds of Racial Distress

Based upon her clinical work, Gail Parker, PhD, observed that “race-based traumatic stress injury” occurs when people are continually marginalized. Over time, the experience of ongoing, recurrent exclusion and subtle hostility results in maladaptive responses, including intrusive thoughts, irritability, and overall stress. All of these have been directly correlated with so-called “life-style illnesses” such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Parker called on individual yoga practitioners to acknowledge their own unwitting participation in exclusive communities marked by racial and economic homogeneity and to strive to create inclusive environments within yoga. Resonating with Porges’s talk, she emphasized the need for face-to-face eye contact as a vital component of social connectedness.


Related: A Conscious Reflection on Racial Tensions in America



Yoga Teaches Survival of the Wisest

Drawing on the classical Indian system of non-dualism philosophy (Advaita Vedanta), Deepak Chopra, MD, led the audience on a thought experiment proposing that what is ultimately real is in fact pure consciousness or “a field of infinite possibilities”. “Biology is an experience of awareness, not container of awareness,” he said, and the notion “I have a body” is merely a perceptual activity of an experience that shifts every moment. The higher brain functions and emotional potentials of metacognition and empathy that are cultivated in yoga practices are themselves evidence of how our everyday awareness represents only “limited bandwidth” of an infinite spectrum, he said. What the science is demonstrating, he explained, is that the cultivation of self-awareness through yoga and everything entailed by that (heightened empathy, compassion, health, resilience, etc.) proposes an alternative to the materialist model of “survival of the fittest”. Instead, Chopra advised, the science of yoga teaches us “survival of the wisest”.


Science on Yoga Serves a Larger Purpose

During a Q&A, moderator Erich Anderer, MD, chief of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Hospital, asked the panelists about the purpose of hard scientific data on yoga, given that “we already know yoga is good for you.” Sat Bir S. Khalsa, PhD eloquently summarized the collective views, explaining that mainstreaming yoga to societal systems like schools and hospitals will only happen with the backing of hard science. Furthermore, given yoga’s limited reach beyond a relatively small, privileged part of society, facilitating the greater mainstreaming of yoga is, in fact, addressing widespread social injustice.

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • No one likes needles—until they've tried acupuncture! 
In this article (linked in our bio) we take a closer look at how this ancient Chinese practice works and why it's giving new meaning to healthcare. 
Curious? 
Read the full article in our bio link. 📍
.
.
.
.
.
#painfree #painfreeliving #acupuncture #acupunctureworks #acupuncturelife #mondaymotivation #mondaymornings #focusonwhatyouwant #healingenergy #bodytransformation #mindmedicine #mondayinspiration #mindbodyconnection 
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #alternativemedicine #tcm #healthylifestyle
  • This weekend try these gluten-free Vegetarian Fajitas with guacamole! .

Our wellness expert Amie Valpone @amievalpone shares another healthy, detoxifying recipe to make your body feel good.

Simply sauté a few vegetables, mash avocado with fresh lime juice and garlic to make guacamole, and if you like, thin some hummus for a flavorful drizzle to add on top. 🌮
.

Find the full recipe and ingredient list on our website. Follow our bio link! .
.
.
.
.
#amievalpone #cleaneatingrecipe #cleandiet #detoxdiet #eatingclean #thehealthyapple #resetyourbody #antiinflammatorydiet #flightinflammationwithfood #eatingcleanrecipes #vegetarianrecipes #veganrecipes #veganfoodlovers #veganfood #vegetarianmeals #healthyrecipes #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #balancediet #mindbodyconnection #vegetarianfajitas #veganmexicanfood #veganfajitas
  • Today is the second Thursday of November #gratitudemonth2019 - “Home is where the heart is.” 🙏🏽 On this Thankful Thursday we are grateful for what makes us feel at Home. 
Those spaces and places where we can relax and unwind. The faces of those who make us laugh and love. All the people that we share our joy and sorrow with, because home isn’t just a place, it’s the people who fill your heart. 💗

To really be present and enjoy your home, it’s  important to learn how to truly leave work at the office and create a more balanced, and conscious life with the ones you hold dear. ✨

This week we share an article to help you set boundaries and more clearly define your different roles, so that you can get the most out of the time you have in the home you love. .

Click on the link in our bio! 
We look forward to seeing your thoughts on Home for #thankfulthursdaysonima in our November #gratitudechallenge co-hosted by @malasbyemma 📿
.
.
.
.

#malasbyemma #gratitudegiveaway 
#nationalgratitudemonth #gratitudechallenge #gratefulheart #gratitudeattitude #gratitudedaily #thankfulgratefulblessed #thankfulheart #gratitudepractice #attitudeofgratitude 
#gratefulforlife #gratitudemonth 
#attitudequotes #attitudeofgratitude #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #homeiswheretheheartis #homesweethome #loveyourhome
  • It’s World Kindness Day! Feel good. Practice random acts of kindness today. 💞

Recently, a Harvard University study demonstrated that even witnessing acts of kindness can produce a positive physiological response in the observer. . . ✨Meaning, when you act with compassion you improve the health of others as well as yourself! 
Do one of these 3 things today:
.
🔸 Compliment a stranger .
🔸 Give abundantly: Pay It Forward .
🔸 Call on your inner child and spend some quality time with your children

Let us know how it goes in the comments below! . . . ✨Read the article linked in our bio for more ideas on other acts of kindness and for more details on the Harvard University study. .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#worldkindnessday #worldkindnessday2019 #randomactsofkindness #kindnessmatters #bekind #compassionateliving #compassionovercruelty #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection #introspection #meditatedaily #meditationinspiration #actsofkindness #lovewins
  • Today, Sonima is five years old! 🎂🎉 We are so happy to celebrate this day with all of you, and look forward to sharing another fantastic year of yoga, meditation, fitness, and food with all our friends and readers! 💜
.
.
.
.
.
.

#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife #fitnesstransformation #workouttips 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection #fitnessgoals #healthgoals #wednesdaywisdom #mindfulness #happybirthdaytome
  • Today, take a few minutes to sit in silence and remember those who gave up so much to ensure that we can enjoy many of the freedoms we have. 
We are grateful everyday for our veterans. 
Thank you for your service. 🙏🏽🇺🇸 .
.
.
.
.
.
#veteransday #remembranceday #veterans #remembrance  #mondaymeditation #mondayquotes #motivationmonday #lifeisbeautiful #choosehappiness #attitudequotes #attitudeofgratitude #yogalifestyle 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #gratefulheart #gratitudejournal #gratitudeattitude #gratitudedaily #thankfulgratefulblessed #thankfulheart #gratitudepractice 
#gratefulforlife #gratitudemonth
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!