The Science of Yoga
The ancient yogis and Ayurvedics were the original scientists along with traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. The theories and practices passed down through these traditions survive today because they were very accurate. While they didn’t possess the advanced technologies we take for granted and weren’t able to examine biological function on a cellular or microscopic level, they did perform autopsies and investigate the biological, physiological, and psychological functions of the human body and mind. While much of the language used differs from our modern, latin-based terminology, much of their findings and practices were scientifically sound and, in fact, mirror present-day teachings.
One example is the Chakras. In Ayurvedic teaching, there are 7 primary spiritual centers of the body that are responsible for specific function. These spiritual centers, called chakras, not only align with the spinal nervous plexuses, but also with the plexuses of the vagus nerve - the 10th cranial nerve responsible for much of our autonomic organ function.
Previously, I posted a brain-Kosha comparison. While that infographic highlights the anatomical comparison between the brain and the Kosha system, the pyramid in the “Kosha - Maslow Comparison” infographic in this post highlights the Kosha as they relate to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow was a 20th century American Psychologist whose theory, The Hierarchy of Needs, postulated that one must meet more basic needs before being able to fulfill our highest need - self actualization, or the realization or fulfillment of one’s potential.