Yoga & Meditation: Two Profound Tools For a Healthy Mind and Life
BY DR. SHUVENDU SEN
Meditation and yoga have come a long way since their primordial moments in the deep recesses of a forest, where ancient sages practiced this art as a way of life. From the teachings of Buddha to the research-laden laboratories of Ivy League institutes, they have taken a groundbreaking journey, offering one blessing after another. Scientific tests run by the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard Medical School, among many others across the globe, are both testimony and tribute to the endless potential of these holistic practices.
Modern medical management appropriately follows strict, evidence-based findings. Nothing is considered standard unless it is held in our palms and felt. Any proposed advance must follow formal research protocols. Very intriguingly, considering its philosophical origins, meditation has successfully gone through identical research routes.
The screaming headlines from various universities, much of which has been published in various journals, thus cannot be ignored. Meditation is being increasingly recognized as a powerful and yet a profound management tool for a well rounded healthy life. With its potential to create new neurons (neuroplasticity), infuse tranquillity through relaxing alpha waves, and preserve those areas of the brain responsible for heightened awareness, both meditation and yoga become our guardian angels when pursued diligently.
In many instances, the taming of stress — considered the quintessential point of entry for many diseases — has been the major triumph for meditation and yoga.
As triggers of relaxation response, the effects are physiological, involving the lowering of blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen consumption, and stress hormones. This is the essential strength and beauty of yoga. It takes a step beyond external calming resources. With its integral, inherent potential, it quietens the storm from within and converts the rebel into a rational, thinking mind with a mastery that has neither the adverse effects nor the resistance of a commercial compound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Shuvendu Sen is the Director of Medical Education and Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Raritan Bay Medical Center, Meridian Hackensack University. He is the author of the new book, “Why Buddha Never Had Alzheimer’s: A Holistic Treatment Through Meditation, Yoga and the Arts.”
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