Yoga is a way of life. It’s so much more than the asanas most people do. It’s even more than pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation and all three of them together. It’s a day to day routine. A scientifically day to day routine, because yoga is science. It’s no religion, no new age ‘thing’. It’s evidence based science.
Nowadays there is more and more research into yoga in the West. Finally yoga is embraced by the west. The calming and positive, changing effects of meditation on the brain have been proven. Pranayama and asana (the yoga poses) are also subject of research.
The sceptic attitude towards yoga slowly fades. In India people have been convinced of the healing and changing powers of yoga for thousand and thousands of years. They had proof all along. The problem with ‘the West’ is that ‘we’ want prove according to ‘our’ standards. In ‘the East’ they believe in the law of large numbers. If something works once it can be luck, if it works ten times your on to something. If it works a hundred times it’s serious and if it works a thousand times and over its evidence.
We in ‘the West’ want to measure everything. But some things are not measurable. Or at least; not with the technology we have so far. That doesn’t say it’s not working, maybe our technology isn’t up for it yet.
Take acupuncture. If you put a needle on a meridian (nadi) at your thumb and you put one on the same meridian close to your elbow you feel energy, electricity, a current flowing between the two. One person can feel that, ten can, hundred can, thousand can, everybody can. So there is something there. For somebody in the East that’s proof. That’s evidence, in the West we deny what’s there if we can’t measure it. That we feel it, that we experience it, is not good enough for our scientist.
The other problem with ‘our’ Western vision is how we measure. If somebody has back problems most of our Western doctors will research the back. If that’s where you feel it, that’s where the problem is. In the East they look beyond. Our body functions as a chain of movements. Where the problem shows up doesn’t have to be the same place as the problem is caused.
For example: if your watering the garden and somebody steps on the hose at the beginning of the hose, there is no water coming out at the end. A Western doctor will look at the end of the hose, research it, throw a whole lot of pills in it, maybe even operate on it and if that doesn’t work tell you to live with it. An Eastern researcher will look at the whole hose, will walk to the beginning, see that somebody is stepping on the hose and will remove the foot, so water is coming out again.
It’s a different way of looking, a different way of collecting evidence and a different view on what evidence is: the need to measure everything versus the law of large numbers.
Yoga is science. Yoga is a path to unlimited happiness. A path to discover the real you. A path millions of people have walked before, a path that have lead thousands and thousands of people to bliss. A path thousands and thousands of people have acknowledge to work, by their own experience. For the East that is proof. The ultimate proof. And the West? The West is still stuck on finding ways to measure this path instead of walking it, like all those millions people did.