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The Science and Art of Yoga
Yoga, meaning union, is a millennials long concept, I must say a culture, born in India.
Patanjali's 'Yogasutras' dated 400CE is the most organized collection of yoga mantras, theory,
and yoga practice, but the roots of Yoga go far beyond 3000 BCE. The present-day world
identifies yoga mainly as a form of physical exercise to keep the body healthy. In contrast, the
real essence of yoga lies in the complete well-being of a human comprising of not only physical
or mental health but also spiritual health. According to 'Shrimadbhagwat Geeta,’ being a Yogi is
the supreme goal of human life, including knowledge of Karma, Gyana, and Meditation. In the
simplest of words, yoga is the eternal balance of mind and body, and being a Yogi is to master
the art of this balance.
With the success of the scientific knowledge-making process and the ever-increasing curiosity of
the human mind, Yoga was also objected upon. Some claimed Yoga is just another form of
physical exercise, while others claimed it to be an ancient tradition of no use in the modern
world. Scientists started studying Yoga as soon as the 19th century. Though the beginning was
from a physiological point of view, Yoga has now become a scientifically proven way of
improving physical as well as mental health. And now the whole world has accepted this old
Indian tradition and is also celebrating International Yoga Day every year. Nevertheless, Yoga is
now studied in great detail by scientists. As a result, India now has not only Yoga training
schools but also Yoga research centers aimed at scientifically investigating this heritage of India.
Although a lot of research is still under process, the Indian art of Yoga, first introduced to the
Western world by Swami Vivekananda Ji, has now become a part of people's lifestyles across the
globe. What matters the most to an individual is the effects that the self feels. Some people find
Yoga a fast way of relaxation and attaining peace. For others, Yoga just doesn't work. The
difference lies in the art of doing it. Just as all other art forms like dancing, singing, writing, etc.,
Yoga has a rhythm. The serenity that 'Savasana' can provide requires a proper way of loosening
body parts and gradually slipping the mind into quietness. The same applies to other asanas and
pranayama. The rhythm of yoga shouldn't be disturbed, and discipline should be maintained
every time. Mastering it all is not a chilf's play; doing Yoga requires a lot of practice and
patience. That's where appears Yoga trainers or Yogagurus, the practice and teaching of the
modern form of Yoga was pioneered by Shri Yogendra Ji, which has evolved into many
branches, Iyengar Yoga being one of the famous names. Since then, Yoga has developed not only
as an art form but also as a viable profession with 1000s of Yogis involved. This art is flourishing
at an accelerating rate, and its charisma is now being experienced by all.
With the accepted success of Yoga as an exercise to enhance physical and mental well-being,
spirituality is also gaining momentum—organizations such as Brahmakumaris and Heartfulness
practice yoga to build character and connect to the self-being. Yoga is promoted as an effective
way of achieving inner peace. Meditation, especially, is highly practiced by all people,
irrespective of any differences. Yoga has also brought together people from different walks of
life, different religions, or different races. Yoga in its present form is epitome of the principle of
Yoga has a direct impact on the practitioner’s life. In the stressful and busy human life of the 21st
century, practicing Yoga gives you minutes of mindfulness and calmness. These few moments of
relaxation are enough to shape our meaning in life while providing physical, mental, and social
well-being. Knowledge from thousands of years ago is now transforming human lives in
different ways. This knowledge itself is evolving, and now the time is for us to grow into better
Art and Science of Yoga
Yoga is both art and science. Encompassed with beautiful movements ranging from
Shirshasana to Dhanurasana, it lets us explore the limits of our bodies and push our
boundaries. It does not just unite the body and the mind; but also merges science and art,
drawing on aspects of both in ways that cause the boundaries to overlap and blend. In other
words, yoga offers a range of benefits as science tells us but is represented as art as if
wrapping up all its advantages in its magnificent poses. It may also be said that yoga is built
on a scientific foundation, but presented as art, similar to the way an engineer and architect
collaborate on an elegant skyscraper. Without the science, the building might collapse, but
without the shape and beauty of the final form, there is only a little interest in the structure
that supports it.
The art of yoga
Yoga is a portable art form that is free from costly equipments. All it requires is a sense of
adventure and a willingness to explore the vastness of the Self.
Yoga manifests itself as art by letting you connect to nature and by expressing the beauty of
the human body. A blogger might use the internet as a medium to express their writings or
art, a yogi uses their body as a means of expression. Everything a human does is an
expression of who they are. Some might dance, some may sing songs or maybe paint
pictures. Yoga in a way is diametrically opposite to this. It lets you become whatever you
want to, perhaps a dolphin one day and a butterfly the other, changing the fundamentals of
one's very existence. What is it that you can't be in a yoga session? Chakrasana to be a
wheel, Dhanurasana to be an arch, Bhujangasana to be a snake or the naukasana to be a
boat, literally anything you want to be. The geometry of all these different asanas is indeed a
There is also an art to understanding and using yoga. Knowing what pose to do when, how
to assemble a sequence of asanas, is an art that is learned over time through experience.
Flowing from one asana to another to express something meaningful just like a painter might
assemble various shapes and figures to convey a meaning lies at the heart of yoga.
The science of yoga
The physiological benefits acquired from yoga have recently had radical scientific
understandings behind its workings. It moderates the surge and the production of chemicals
in the body that affect us mentally, physically as well as psychosomatically. So, let us
understand the science behind yoga and how is it beneficial for us.
Various studies and researches on yoga have shown that yoga reduces cortisol levels in our
body which is primarily responsible for stress and is often attributed as the stress hormone.
This helps in alleviating stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression. Excess amounts of cortisol
also dampens the effectiveness of the immune system. Yoga moderates the production of
cortisol, thus boosting immunity.
Yoga also is proven to reduce inflammation in our body, which is a normal immune response,
but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of pro-inflammatory diseases,
such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
The range of motions in yoga require an enormous amount of strength. Making certain
postures and holding them for some time helps us develop muscular strength which further
helps in increasing our metabolism and thus helping extremely in weight loss. Also,
incorporating yoga into our daily routine helps improve our flexibility which reduces the
possibility of muscle and bone injury.
Some research has shown that yogis have a bigger brain volume in the regions that contain
mental mapping of our body. After conducting MRI scans, scientists have discovered that
people practicing yoga have more brain cells than the non-practitioners. With more hours of
practice per week, certain areas were more enlarged – a finding that hints that yoga was a
contributing factor to the bigger brain size.
Emerging research suggests yoga can increase body awareness, or attention to the
sensations and things going on inside you. Researchers think heightened body awareness
can improve how well people take care of themselves.
The best evidence available on yoga and it’s advantages is about it’s effectiveness in
reducing the lower back pain. Yoga does seem to help alleviate lower back pain, in both the
short and long term.
While yoga may look like just a couple of body-bending exercises to our eyes, a lot goes on
under the skin when we twist our spine and consciously breathe. Also, yoga is not just a set
of asanas that one performs on the mat, but rather a way of life. With a healthy body and
calm mind, one is bound to live a happier and stress-free life.
The Art and Science of Yoga
The word 'Yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Yuj', meaning 'to unite.' Yoga unites the
body, mind, and spirit; and brings perfect harmony between them. So it merges science and
art, drawing on aspects of both in ways that cause the boundaries to overlap and blend. The
physiological benefit of yoga is to regulate the amount of chemicals in the body that affect us
mentally, physically, and psychosomatically. It is one of the fastest-growing and most
effective sports in today's world. Practicing yoga asanas has numerous health benefits, both
mental and physical. The minimalism of yoga also does away with the need for any heavy
equipment or large courts. As the activity of intellect becomes stronger in the world and
especially in academia, more people will shift towards yoga as it becomes the most popular
way of seeking well-being. Seeing a performance of exquisite yoga asanas is also quite
pleasing and desirable for an audience. It is an art of healthy living that brings emotional
The whole of yoga is based on the scientific approach, and It has not been recognized in the
past. As we move to the modern era, more and more people are trying to comprehend the
scientific principle and precise benefit. It has been practiced for a long time due to huge
medical benefits and interest. Practicing yoga can improve the immunity system by reducing
cortisol hormones. It can cure addiction by modulating dopamine concentration. It is
paramount to teach yoga to children for controlling impulsiveness, Obsessing and seeking
behaviour. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that maintains the stress and
anxiety levels in our body. It helps in secreting the antioxidants that are the best scavenger
for the free radicals that can cause untreatable diseases like cancer. It eliminates the
negative thoughts and brings positive energy that makes people more self-aware and self-
preservation. The popularity of yoga is increasing day by day, and it is also accepting
western culture. Many medical practitioners recommend yoga as a complementary
technique to cure illness and an alternative to surgery in some cases. The cutting-edge
research on yoga is also giving the underlying therapeutic value.
The aesthetic beauty of yoga can be considered an art. The geometry of different asanas
seems very exquisite, and its architecture gives the true nature of visual attractiveness. The
human body is the medium to represent various art forms. Artists and yogis have the same
idea of innovation to portray art. The way of practicing yoga, the timing of particular asanas,
correct posture, and good technique to reach special poses is an art. It can only learn
through practice and become a master over time. Both experienced yogis and artists teach
new learners with great zeal and zest. Yoga is a perfect balanced mixture of science and art.
It has to be understood correctly to take full advantage. We need to emphasize both aspects
to gain the full spectrum of yoga, physical, mental, social, spiritual, and yogic transmission.
Yoga is not just a set of asanas and meditation that we practice regularly but rather a way of
life to live. The key formula for a happy and stress-free life is a healthy body and a calm
mind. It is the time to spread yoga to all corners of the world and that will be helpful in every
The art and science of yoga
Yoga is often considered one of the best forms of exercise. But no focus is given to the
science behind it. This discipline is never seen as an art but just a form of physical activity.
In reality, art and science – together make the backbone of Yoga. This makes learning about
Yoga more interesting.
What does art actually mean? Art is the skill to perform a particular course. It is a technique
of creating things. Hence, Yoga in itself is an art. Art is represented in various forms, and
so is Yoga. Yoga comes in different forms like power yoga, restorative yoga, etc. Many
people practice Yoga but, a few follow the proper way of doing it. As a result, one needs to
have the expertise and guidance for practicing it as an art. It is believed as the best
creations of history. People all around the world come to India and learn this art. This art
helps one to attain inner peace and strength. It changes a person’s perspective of the world
positively. Pursuing it as a hobby improvises health and physique. One might look at Yoga
as an art of shaping oneself.
Nowadays, individuals seek for scientific basis in their surroundings most of the time. And
Yoga has been looked upon as an ancient Indian Science. Science always evolves. Yoga
has evolved from ancient to modern times. Anciently, it was considered a philosophical
science encompassing thought of great sages. It has changed from spirituality to fitness in
modern times. What is better in Yoga than other exercises? Yoga is believed to be anabolic
(energy-creating) whereas, some exercises are believed to be catabolic (energy-
consuming). This is because Yoga is slow and controlled body movements with coordinated
breathing. Each asana is supposed to serve a purpose. These purposes include improving
the muscular system, digestive system, blood circulation, circadian rhythm, metabolism,
mental stability, etc. Holding the asana helps the practitioner to attain constancy and to
build up muscle strength without needing exercise equipment. Numerous chemicals are
released that bring up the necessities to the body and mind. Thus, Yoga has a scientific
Nevertheless, one needs to have proper knowledge of the art and science of Yoga before
practising it, so that the best results can be obtained. Yoga serves the role of art and
science in a way that benefits us humans. It has made this universe full of optimistic energy.
The Art & Science of Yoga
Firstly, what do these words stand for? What do they mean to you? Can one ever settle to
any definition? If yes, you already know it! If not, then isn't it some random gibberish? How
can one know? Any definition one settles to, kills it! The word, the concept, the
understanding, the observation, etc. is nowhere close to what IT IS!
Art... Is it an escape from the so-called reality? Is it an expression? Is it illogical? Given a
text, can someone declare, is it a poem? Given a picture with random colourful patches, is it
not a painting? A song? Isn't language, art? Isn't it fascinating how we communicate! Isn't
science an art? Exactly what part of Life is not art?
Science... Is it a man-made web of connections between words or symbols? Suppose we
give into the narrative about "the body of human knowledge" & researchers being those who
keep adding to it, is that what science IS? Has science become a luxury only a few can
afford? Can it be limited to ones with acquired taste?
Yoga... It's one of the many experiences like Love, Insight, Wonder, etc. Being subjective,
one can only talk about what it's not! None can tell you what it is. No one needs to!
Rehearse for Verse
योग करैं सब प्रतिदिन प्रातेः
Arch your spine, lift your legs;
On gleaming polished woodfloor
I do yoga,
Capture Thy Posture