the science behind yoga and the benefits of a unified mind, body and spirit
We recently took a deep dive into the mind-body connection and the importance of nurturing your wellbeing holistically. Today, we dive a little deeper, looking more closely at the benefits of a unified mind, body and spirit, and how the practice of yoga can help nourish and nurture this connection.
To shed light on this ancient practice, we’ve spoken to endota Retreat guide and neuroscience student, Paloma Ferretti. Experiencing the transformative powers of unity and oneness since the age of 17, Paloma has been guided by the principles of yoga throughout most of her life. Paired with her neuroscience background, Paloma has a deep understanding of the essence of yoga, its benefits, and the undeniable connection it nurtures between our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
“Yoga is how I experience life. It has given me an understanding that everything is sacred… It has elevated every single aspect of my life… Experiencing devotion and ritual in everyday makes [it] so much richer”.
Paloma Ferretti, endota Retreat guide and neuroscience student
the relationship between yoga and the mind-body-spirit connection
Originating from the ancient Indian language Sanskrit, yoga means ‘union’ or ‘to yolk’, or as Paloma eloquently puts it “the union of existence by experience”. Uniting the mind, body and spirit through movement, breath and awareness, yoga has always demonstrated that our mind and body are deeply intertwined - a philosophy that science is only just catching up on. “Scientists are now confirming the link between one’s thoughts, attitudes and emotions, and our physical health” says Paloma. This has been concluded by The University of San Diego, who found “numerous overlapping biochemical mechanisms that turn positive thoughts into healthier bodies and vice versa”.
This is a powerful concept to grasp. That by shifting our internal narrative we can change the way we feel. Or that by actively taking care of our physical health, we can experience a more positive mindset. But, this control over our wellbeing is possible, and it can be achieved through yoga.
“Yoga is a pathway back to homeostasis, as our breath offers a direct link to our nervous system. Something as simple as bringing your awareness to your breath and consciously slowing it down activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees the relaxation and restoration response, helping your body operate in a way that supports good health,” says Paloma. From this perspective, yoga is a tool that can help us maintain a stable internal environment, enabling us to enjoy a relaxed way of living well.
understanding the role of yoga in nurturing your holistic wellbeing
Science has shown that the benefits of yoga extend far beyond just physical, and that this holistic practice can have a profound impact on our wellbeing. Bringing our mind, body and spirit into harmony, yoga is a practice that can support us on our journey towards a balanced, centered and supported way of living well. Experience these benefits yourself by trying Paloma’s class below:
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Pantis, Sofia, "Demystifying The Mind-Body Connection: The Neuroscience Behind How Thoughts Impact Physical Health" (2023). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 107. https://digital.sandiego.edu/honors_theses/107