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Why is Sleep important – a Neuroscience Perspective

Why is Sleep important – a Neuroscience Perspective

Good quality sleep is vital to the health of the body and mind. Adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night while adolescence needs around 9 to 10. We are just beginning to understand through Neuroscience why we need sleep. Sleep deprivation or poor-quality sleep can lead to disorders. It can be as simple as irritability, fatigue, and loss of concentration in the short-term. Long-Term sleep deprivation can lead to immune system related disorders (like inflammation, autoimmune diseases),…

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Understanding the Basics of Breathing from a Neuroscience Perspective

Understanding the Basics of Breathing from a Neuroscience Perspective

Through this post let’s understand the basics of breathing. This will help the readers with future posts, where we will cover the influence of breathing in Yogasana and Pranayama techniques on high-level functions from a Neuroscience perspective. In Yogic texts, the mind is considered the master of the body (senses), and the breath is considered the master of the mind. Neuroscience now has evidence of this link between the body, mind, and breath. Now it is known that our breath…

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Neuroscience Evidence of Baroreflex in Yoga Inversions for Relaxation

Neuroscience Evidence of Baroreflex in Yoga Inversions for Relaxation

This is a continuation of the previous post titled “Baroreflex – the secret behind Inverted Yoga poses like Sirsasana”. In that post, we covered the role of a Neuroscience reflex called “Baroreflex” in making Yoga inversions effective in bringing relaxation and calmness. Many readers may find this post too technical, but this the intention. This is written on the requests from many readers asking for the background and scientific evidence of what we covered in the previous post – and…

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Baroreflex – The Secret Behind Inverted Yoga Poses like Sirsasana

Baroreflex – The Secret Behind Inverted Yoga Poses like Sirsasana

It is a popular belief that the secret behind inverted Yoga poses (like Sirsasana and Sarvangasana) is the increase the blood supply to the brain that promotes relaxation and calmness. But it is not true. Then, what makes inversions so effective for mental health? It’s a body-mind Neuroscience reflex called “Baroreflex”. Let’s look at it from a neuroscience perspective. Cerebral Blood Flow (CBF) is a measure of the blood supply to the brain in a given period of time. In…

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Yoga Stimulates Vagus Nerve to Induce Relaxation Response – a key to Emotional Health

Yoga Stimulates Vagus Nerve to Induce Relaxation Response – a key to Emotional Health

Vagus Nerve is the largest cranial nerve in the body. It starts at the base of the skull and runs throughout the whole body. It plays a central role in your emotional and physical health. It directly influences the nervous system – particularly the Parasympathetic branch of the Autonomic Nervous System (covered in a previous post). Our breath, heart rate, and digestion — as well as our overall ability to experience the world (particular how to handle the stress in…

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Neuroscience Evidence of Pranayama – Influence of Breath over Mind

Neuroscience Evidence of Pranayama – Influence of Breath over Mind

Neuroscience is now discovering what Yogic science has known for many millennia – the influence of breath over the mind. We not just inhale O2 and exhale CO2, but what we breathe (called “Prana” in Yogic science) is subtler than that. It has influence beyond the physical and physiological states of humans. Our breathing is linked to higher states of awareness – emotions, psyche, consciousness, and spirituality. Yogic texts suggest that the practice of Pranayama should not be considered as…

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Yoga – An excellent example of Neuroscience Biofeedback

Yoga – An excellent example of Neuroscience Biofeedback

Neuroscience has slowly started to believe in body and mind connection, which was formulated and practiced in India in the form of Yoga over thousands of years. Biofeedback is a modern medical science term coined to encapsulate the fact that the brain changes its function based on what the body is doing. And, this makes it is possible to influence (or control) various physiological and psychological functions that normally are involuntary. So far, Yogic wisdom of thousands of years (of…

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Understanding Autonomic Nervous System from Neuroscience Perspective

Understanding Autonomic Nervous System from Neuroscience Perspective

It is important to know the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) to understand the real effect of Yoga for healthy living. There is no other system of the human body where Yoga has a direct influence than the Autonomic Nervous System and hence it is of great relevance to the understanding of the effects of Yoga practice on the body, mind, and emotions. The autonomic nervous system is a part of the human nervous system that acts largely unconsciously and behaves…

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Why 20 Minutes of Cooling Down is Important in Yoga Practice?

Why 20 Minutes of Cooling Down is Important in Yoga Practice?

Let’s understand why the Yogic wisdom of “cooling down” is important from the lenses of modern Neuroscience. In any stressful situation during your normal daily routine (including fear, worry, and anxiety) or even a planned activity that challenges the body (like Sports, Exercise or an active Yogasana practice), the Hypothalamus (the control center for the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)) is aroused. To prepare the body for the threatening or challenging situation, the Hypothalamus directs the Adrenal Medullae to release a…

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How can I Alleviate Jet Lag and How Iyengar Yoga helps?

How can I Alleviate Jet Lag and How Iyengar Yoga helps?

Jet lag is a condition that results from changes to the body’s internal clock called ‘Circadian Rhythms’. This is caused by rapid travel across different time zones. The circadian rhythm influences the biological, physiological and behavioral processes in our typical 24-hour cycle. These processes include the sleep-wake cycle, eating habits, core body temperature, brain wave activity, hormone production, and other important body functions. When you travel across time zones, the rhythm gets disturbed which causes sleep disturbances, cognitive discomfort, fatigue,…

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