A lot of people around the world turn to yoga for both physical health and inner peace. While its benefits on the body are visibly seen, what happens inside the brain? It is a known fact that regular practice of yoga can boost mental health, but how does it actually happen?
According to Rajesh Singh Maan, a spiritual yoga guru and sacred sciences teacher, popularly known as Acharya Advait Yogbhushan, the brain ages with the body. “The most natural cause of aging is the effect of gravity on our spinal cord. There are significant conditions that contribute to acceleration of the process like obesity or a poor immune system. Yoga practices work on the body and the mind simultaneously,” he explains.
The founder of Swamarpan Foundation and a Himalayan Yogi Institute goes on to say that life is so much more than an amalgamated series of events and happenings — that these events are created by our actions and reactions through our body and senses.
“In a holistic approach, the unification of body, mind and soul is the ultimate stage of well-being, which is more about the awareness of these systems. As the mind and soul reside in the body, everything that it goes through creates an impact on them both.
“Yoga practices are not limited to physical practices and their benefits go beyond healing the body or mind. The very first principles of ‘Ashtanga Yoga’ lay out ‘Yama and Niyamas’ to be followed for a happy and prosperous life. They redefine and revive the core nature of a human and develop the quality of contentment within oneself,” he explains.
The expert also says yogasana can help one develop and maintain a “healthy and disease-free body”.
“The sensory organs and bodily responses are controlled by the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and the spinal cord, and where neurons take messages through the spinal cord to the brain. Hence, the health of the spine and the spinal cord will reflect on the health of the brain and its thought process. Correct yogic practices have been effective to slow down the aging process and maintain a healthy immune system,” he says, adding that yoga’s acute and positive effects on cognitive mind have now also been assessed with MRI and CT scans.