Science Behind Yoga

What is the science behind yoga? In the West, our medical community is increasingly investigating this topic.

There is something powerful that needs to be investigated: this is what our scientific culture believes about yoga as an aid in medical therapy (more and more studies are published by prestigious scientific magazines).

The US cellular biologist Bruce LiptonDr. Herbert Benson, cardiologist and founder of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine in Boston and his pupil Dr. John Denninger, Dr. Dharma Singh, Director of the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Elisabeth Blackburn, the President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, Sat Bir Khalsa, an assistant professor at Harvard, Michael de Mannicor, a psychologist who is the director of the Yoga Institute, are a few members of the international scientific community who deeply studied these disciplines and bear record.

Dr. Herbert Benson and his pupil John Denninger are among the most illustrious pioneers in studies on the powerful physiological effects of meditation, that Dr. Benson has called “Relaxation Response“. Dr. Dharma Singh in collaboration with many American Universities has studied the link between meditation, memory and brain for 20 years. Dr. Franco Berrino deepens these studies in Italy and showed how certain Kundalini Yoga meditations inhibit inflammatory genes and activate the ones that strengthen the immune system. The Nobel laureate Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn has shown that meditation itself stimulates telomerase, the enzyme of rejuvenation.

Experimental evidence of the effectiveness of Meditation training for management education

An international project has been led in 2010 on four multinational groups to evaluate the impact on a training approach based on Meditation on managers’ decisions and affect concerning Corporate Social Responsibility.
Market Type of intervention Scope of intervention N. of partecipants
Pharma 1 shot controlled 1 country: manager across all functions 10
IT-1 1 shot controlled 6 countries
worldwide: all CSR professionals
IT-2 2 samples, 2 step (crossover) between them 10 European countries: learning professionals 44
3 samples, 1 shot Passive and active control 1 country: young ‘high-potential’ managers 31
Total 93

Evidence – change %

The study also showed:

  • -0,1% of fatigue and sadness
  • -0,3% of upset and anger
  • -0,9% of nervous
  • -5% di preoccupazione riguardo la propria immagine
  • -10% of Dissatisfaction with Self


RESPONSE project, funded by the European Commission’s 6° framework Programme, conducted by a large group of scholars in four business schools with the collaboration of 20 multinational companies and about 180 stakeholders. Schneider, Zollo, Manocha, 2010

  • 430 in depth interviews were conducted with senior executives and with stakeholders
  • a web survey was conducted with a randomized sample of managers throughout the company
  • over 1000 responses

The effects of Kundalini meditation on the brain: a medical/scientific study

  • A study conducted in 2003 by the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, in collaboration with the Amen Clinic and the University of California.
  • 11 individuals were examined using SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography).
  • The individuals were examined before and after performing “Kirtan Kriya” meditation.

Before: the dimples in the frontal area indicate a lack of blood flow, the thalamus cannot be seen and the rear area is lumpy and asymmetrical.

After: the dimples have disappeared indicating better blood flow, the rear area is “fuller” and symmetrical and the thalamus (which controls the appetite, sleep cycles, emotional tone and sentimental attachments) can be seen clearly.

Kirtan Kriya meditation has been shown to:

  • Stimulate the frontal lobe (the centre of our will, attention and focus.) and the hippocampus (our memory store);
  • Significantly change the brain’s master glands that influence our mood, motivation and level of mental energy
  • Increase consistency in the nervous system.

Our brain is the manager of our performance

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