THEHatha Yoga and its birth are lost in the mists of time, and it has always been considered a blessing from heaven upon men. You can practice it to get one better health e delay psychophysical aging.
But also - and above all - for conquer the peaks of spiritual realization, to which the spiritual masters and the saints of all times have always aimed as the most important and superior achievement compared to any other.
Although this superior purpose of the Yoga remains valid even today, if you feel more pragmatic and want to take advantage of the benefits that the practice of this discipline offers, there is a recent research - among numerous others - that stimulates curiosity, because it is linked to the possibility of improving cognitive performances with the Yoga.
The techniques of the Hatha Yoga include the Asanas (physical positions), exercises of breathing (Pranayama) concentration e meditation. These practices can bring about a positive change in the inner emotional and psychic life.
In fact, with Yoga the inner sphere is appropriately rebalanced, until it reaches, with time and practice, theintegration.
Integration is theequilibrium of the cognitive, emotional and volitional sphere of man, all completely permeated by the awareness. That is the consciousness - in the state of integration - it becomes mistress of a balanced trio made up of will, thought and emotion.
This is also referred to as the state of Buddhahood. The Buddha in fact it is in a state of perfect balance and totally aware (blissfully aware).
Um, ok, interesting, but my plans in the short term were to give my brain an extra push, to make it perform a little more if possible, I had no plans to become a Buddha. Sorry eh ...
Excuse me for the philosophical digression, but when I touch these themes I tend to go on a tangent 🙂… Let's go back to the scientific study on Yoga. This study reveals a significant difference between practitioners of Yoga and the control group.
Practitioners of Yoga show a greater volume of gray matter in the frontal area, limbic, temporal, occipital, and cerebellum. While the control group consisting of non-practitioners of Yoga showed a lower development of these areas.
In addition, the Yogi (as the disciples of this discipline are traditionally called) in the controlled study they passed with most successful the test called "CFQ" (Cognitive Failures Questionnaire) demonstrating a 'mental efficiency higher than normal, and thus also confirming the results of the first brain mass test.
The results related to the increase in volume of gray matter are directly correlated with the duration of the practice, Then the more you do Yoga the more your brain benefits.
In addition to these really interesting results, another study (always reported in the bibliography below) confirms how after 6 months of practice it also improves memory and other psychophysiological parameters related to mental health and general well-being.
... mmmh, maybe Yoga will not be the blessing sent to the men we are talking about, but it sure could be useful for me to put up some memory and stop covering the house and office with post-its! and who knows, maybe even for back pain.
And after having gathered all the benefits for the body and mind, perhaps you will also have the desire to move towards the true goal of this ancient discipline: the Kaivalya, the ultimate evolutionary purpose of man on this earth according to the discipline of Yoga.
Ok, great, really! but now what should I do ... I don't have to put my head down or twist my legs around my neck? no because if so, friends as before, but my relationship with Yoga ends here, before starting ...
Remember that Yoga - the authentic one - it has nothing to do with physical performance and contortionism. As it has nothing to do with the spirit of competition (typical of sports). In fact, recently someone in America had the pleasure of inventing i Yoga championships, a real sporting competition that is played only on the physical execution of asanas (positions).
The physically better, precise and resistant one wins the Yoga championship. Too bad this Yoga championship it has nothing to do with Yoga! instead it is only the expression of a misunderstanding born in the head of the creator and of those who participate in it.
You can do Yoga sitting in one of the simplest positions there is (siddhasana or half lotus) as shown in the photo on the side. master Iyengar, becoming aware of your breathing movements: you are already doing Yoga.
Because as my Yoga teacher says: "The work that is done with Yoga is internal, the position is just an excuse to practice this internal work".
The inner work that is done during the execution of the asanas (positions) is a work of mindfulness, self-observation, awareness. If you perform any of the simpler postures of Hatha Yoga e watch out for the movements you perform or your breathing I assure you that you are already doing Yoga, even if your feet are not behind your head.
To then move on to practice e try (cautiously I recommend) some positions, start with the simplest - but equally beneficial - like janu sirsasana, that you see in the illustration on the side (first one leg and then the other).
I too started my experimentation with Hatha Yoga with this simple position, many years ago!
If you want to learn more, take a look at the bottom of the article for the recommended resources to continue your journey with Yoga, or of course choose your own Yoga class and throw yourself into the fray!
See you soon,
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The science of Yoga - Commentary on the yogasutras of Patanjali by IKTaimni ed. Ubaldini.
Theory and practice of Yoga of BKS Iyengar ed. Mediterranee
"Yoga meditation practitioners exhibit greater gray matter volume and fewer reported cognitive failures: results of a preliminary voxel-based morphometric (VBM) analysis" by Brett Froeliger et al.
"Improvement in physiological and psychological parameters after 6 months of yoga practice" by KKF Rocha, et al.
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