Yoga and Science

A Beautiful Marriage

By Jelayna Da Silva

Yoga and Science are in a beautiful, fully functioning relationship. A perfect match. To wit; what practitioners have felt in their bodies and minds for millennia is now being confirmed by science. Especially within studies of meditation, breathwork, and the deepening understanding of anatomy.

Einstein wrote a letter encapsulating the natural blending of the mysterious and measurable world, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious — the knowledge of the existence of something unfathomable to us….it appears to me that the most important function of art and science is to awaken this feeling among the receptive and keep it alive.” The man who discovered the Theory of Relativity existed in harmony with mystery. He humbly acknowledged the limits of human intellect, and allowed the wonder of the universe to inspire the scientific process, rather than combat it. 

For example; all aspects of our physical body are connected. As we take a deeper look at our connective tissue we’ve come to understand that muscle morphs into tendons, which morphs into ligaments which alters to bone. All of which are innervated and connected to the nervous system. One part of us cannot be cleanly spliced from the other. We are so intertwined that if something happens in one place in the body, the entire system is affected. Through scientific exploration it would seem we have affirmed the very notion of the word Yoga – which when translated means “Union” or “To Yoke”. Everything within us is connected.

People are drawn to yoga for many reasons. For some it’s that ineffable sensation of calm experienced in the practice. For others it may be an intense, inexplicable moment of transcendence sometimes found in yoga. Spiritual mysticism finds a comfortable home in these esoteric realms. 

It’s important to note that so much about the human experience and body has yet to be fully explained. We JUST finished mapping the human genome in May of 2021. If something is yet to be proven by science, does it mean it holds no truth? Certainly not. A more helpful approach may be to let the aforementioned mystifying experiences lead to questioning and more intentional exploration.

Instead of pitting the mysterious aspects of yoga against the measurable, allow them to complement one another.  Lean into the science that provides safer, more effective movement like Functional Range Conditioning, Tensegrity, Histology, Kinstretch, while also leaving space for further discovery within the unknown aspects. 

Intuition and mystery provide initiative for questioning the status quo, while also honouring lived experience. These worlds are not in opposition to each other. They serve one another. They are married, and can raise beautiful children like Clarity, Wisdom, and Understanding. Our job is to support the union. After all….everything is connected. 

Jelayna da Silva is a well-certified, passionate yoga teacher, currently offering public and private classes online to practitioners from all walks of life.