Yoga originated as humanity’s first science of the mind, a meditative path honed through generations of Indian masters and disciples in pursuit of the ultimate: enlightenment. Several hundred years after the origin of yoga, an Indian prince not only achieved enlightenment in meditation but also shared his teachings with disciples who codified Buddhism.
Today, Western science is creating increasingly sophisticated ways of understanding the brain. We now have the capability of witnessing the inner workings of the brain through the advent of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Simply put, an immensely strong magnet reorients the magnetic components of the human body, allowing us to trace the flow of hemoglobin in blood. By watching the volume of blood flow within the cranium, neuroscientists infer which areas of the brain are demanding increased energy. In data analyses, these areas of higher blood flow look like “hot spots”, or areas that are activated by the experimental design.