Is yoga scientific?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Sparkofbliss, Oct 1, 2011.


Do you think yoga is beneficial to people?

  1. is beneficial.

  2. No. It is merely a much hyped physical excerise.

  1. Sparkofbliss Registered Senior Member

    Hi this is the place to discuss scientific nature of it appropriate to call yoga a science?views are welcome.
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  3. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    I don't have enough information for that, but I either do yoga or my back goes out.
    I've got a blown disc or two and two spinal spurs.

    Other people have surgery for this sort of thing, I hope I don't have of the non-endoscopic kind, where the vertebrae are fused, does not really seem to help as much or work as well as you'd like.

    Too, I've been in six car wrecks and rearended on a bicycle, and... other than the arm that did not get quite fixed because of insurance caps, I'm not doing too bad.
    Been doing basic yoga since my teens, and I credit it with helping me to avoid more permanent injuries in my life as a crash-test dummy.
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    There are different kinds of yoga, aren't there? Most forms of yoga aren't physical excercises, they concern meditation, ethics and so on. (I'm thinking of Patanjali's 'Yoga Sutra', and similar things.)

    Is yoga a science? No, I don't think so. Much of it is something that, like so much of Indian thought, probably best corresponds to a blend of what Westerners think of as the distinct categories of philosophy and religion.

    Just addressing hatha yoga, the physical exercises, I guess that there's an empirical aspect to some of it. But a lot of the lore that seems to surround it, derived from sources like the ayurvedic tradition, doesn't seem very scientific to me. The physical exercises might better be described as an art than a science, I suspect.

    I voted that yoga is beneficial in your poll. I think that it is.

    But beneficial isn't really the same thing as scientific. I'm much more doubtful about the idea that yoga is scientific.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
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  7. mrsmart Registered Member

    no it is not i am a yoga person and if science was involved i would remove myself from class

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  8. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    yes, it is a benefical much hyped exercise
  9. John99 Banned Banned

    Sure, it is as scientific as reading a book, tapping your finger, doing the macarena.

    oh, and sleeping too especially if you count sheep first.
  10. Pineal Banned Banned

    and for the slightly more curious.... (apparently I am too young and inexperienced to put links in my posts, but you can put these in your browser - that sounds insulting, but I am sure you know what I mean)
    and heck, there's just tons of supporting research out there.

    edit: i hit 20 then posted this.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  11. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    Is yoga a science? No, yoga is not a method for systematically gathering and interpreting data about the universe around us.

    Does yoga have scientifically verified benefits? Yes, it very much does.
  12. Shogun Bleed White and Blue! Valued Senior Member

    Yoga is definitely beneficial, it made me more flexible thus a better athlete. I'm not sure if it is scientific, but I would recommend it. Well, the only yoga I do is from P90X so...I'm not sure if that counts...
  13. murdoch Simply Psychic! Registered Senior Member

    In my knowledge it is based upon the working principles of body organs and parts etc. In yoga there are many specified postures to get rid of specific health problem. So in my view it is based upon science.


  14. Pineal Banned Banned

    It is certainly empirical. The carefully reproduced procedures and noted results, for thousands of years.
  15. wellwisher Banned Banned

    If you think about yoga, it is based on mind over matter. Traditional medicine makes more use of matter against matter using chemicals. For example, if someone was depressed, they can snap out of it using the mind via a postive attitude, or by taking a pill, since both can work; matter or mind over matter. It is a matter of business competiton.

    In medicine, there is an effect called the placebo effect. This is where the pill, as a sugar pill, can alter symptoms in a sizeable fraction the test group. The placebo effect demonstrates mind over matter, yet there is still denial, that mind over matter has any basis in reality.

    The reason for this denial is the placebo effect above also suggests the possiblity of placebo disease, where the power of suggestion, for the new syndrome, can create placebo symptoms ni a part of the population. This is useful if you are into selling pills since it can expand the herd for shearing.

    Since yoga is based on mind over matter, it has the potential to shear that part of the herd, with placebo symptoms, for next to little cost. This is why in the light of the placebo mind over matter, mind over matter can not exist. The backlash could be limitations in marketing which can sell more pills by inducing placebo mind over matter symptoms. We need to treat yoga as hocus pocus to hide hocus pocus.

    If we are more objective and can see mind over matter, the next question is how is this possible and what are the limits of this?
  16. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Is PT sceintific? Is it effective? How do you judge the sceintific natures of Yoga and PT? Not in one day please. Both require months of practice, under qualified trainers.

    Just one example. If you put a baby on its belly how soon does it take to lift to its neck? Why does a baby lift its neck at all, for longer and longer durations? Does it help the baby? Is it a sceintific move by the baby?

    This exact pose of a baby is called Nagasana, ie cobra pose. Helps strengthen your neck, spine and relieve spondolytis. Try it next time.

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    Nagasana strengthens the wrists and stretches muscles of the chest. The stomach and pelvic muscles are strengthened by maintaining a constant exertion. Displaced spinal discs can also be placed back in their original position by practicing the nagasana.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  17. Emil Valued Senior Member

    I think yoga has many parts.
    Question would need to be more specific.
    I am sure that levitation is not scientific.

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  18. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

    I tried it once and found it only a form of excercise just like walking, biking, swimming and so on.
  19. Emil Valued Senior Member


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  20. Asexperia Valued Senior Member

    The practice of yoga is very healthy, relaxes your body and clears the mind.
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Really? There is denial of the placebo effect??
    Can you provide evidence of this denial?
    Presumably you're unaware that psychogenic illness and psychosomatic illness are recognised categories of conditions - that basically are caused by "mind over matter" - i.e. no underlying physical ailment.

    And how would these be reasons for denying the placebo effect?

    Feel free to search for the scientific studies into the placebo effect... you'll be amazed at just how weird it is.
  22. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Sarkus, before placebo effect, would you care to explain why does a baby lift its head? Is it sceintific? If yes, why cannot an adult repeat it? If no, why parents are not being cautioned about it vis a vis babies?

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