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Yoga is a science


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No, yoga isn't just sweating it out on a mat. There's a real science of the body, mind and soul that is laid out in hundreds of ancient sanskrit texts. In our yoga teacher training we've unpacked it and laid it bare for Modern yogis to take advantage of.

See our website for more resources on yoga (yoga sets, videos, audio lectures, meditations and music) that you can download for free and to take our teacher training:

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Yoga is a science

  1. 1. Science lectures <ul><li>From the beginning of time man has wanted to understand their place in the universe. </li></ul><ul><li>Where do we come from ? </li></ul><ul><li>How was the universe created? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are we? </li></ul><ul><li>What is consciousness? </li></ul>
  2. 2. Unfortunately we don’t know… <ul><li>&quot;We can admittedly find nothing in physics or chemistry that has even a remote bearing on consciousness. Yet all of us know that there is such a thing as consciousness, simply because we have it ourselves. Hence consciousness must be part of nature, or, more generally, of reality, which means that, quite apart from the laws of physics and chemistry, as laid down in quantum theory, we must also consider laws of quite a different kind.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Niels Bohr </li></ul><ul><li>1922 Nobel Laureate, Physics </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;It seems to me pretty plain that there is a third thing in the universe, to wit, consciousness, which ... I cannot see to be matter or force, or any conceivable modification of either ... </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas H. Huxley </li></ul><ul><li>Biologist and Humanist </li></ul>
  3. 3. Science lectures <ul><li>&quot;Physicists have found it impossible to give a satisfactory description of atomic phenomena without reference to the consciousness.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Eugene Wigner, </li></ul><ul><li>1963 Nobel Laureate, Physics </li></ul>
  4. 4. Are physicists getting closer? <ul><li>Do discoveries of modern physicists give clues to spiritual basis for creation? </li></ul>
  5. 5. The discovery of antimatter… <ul><li>Stockholm, Oct. 26, 1959-Two American atomic scientists were awarded the 1959 Nobel Physics Prize today for the discovery of the antiproton, proving that matter exists in two forms—as particles and antiparticles. They are Italian—born Dr. Emillo Segre, 69, and Dr. Owen Chamberlain, born in San Francisco.... According to one of the fundamental assumptions of the new theory, there may exist another world, or an antiworld, built up of antimatter. This antimaterial world would consist of atomic and subatomic particles spinning in reverse orbits to those of the world we know. If these two worlds should ever clash, they would both be annihilated in one blinding flash. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Antimatter cont. <ul><li>In this statement, the following propositions are put forward: </li></ul><ul><li>1. There is an antimaterial atom or particle which is made up of the antiqualities of material atoms. </li></ul><ul><li>2. There is another world besides this material world of which we have only limited experience. </li></ul><ul><li>3. The antimaterial and material worlds may clash at a certain period and may annihilate one another. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Vedas agree <ul><li>Out of these three items, we, the students of theistic science, can fully agree with items 1 and 2, but we can agree with item 3 only within the limited scientific definition of antimatter. The difficulty lies in the fact that the scientists' conception of antimatter extends only to another variety of material energy, whereas the real antimatter must be entirely antimaterial. Matter as it is constituted is subjected to annihilation, but antimatter—if it is to be free from all material symptoms—must also be free from annihilation, by its very nature. If matter is destructible or separable, antimatter must be indestructible and inseparable. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Vedic reference <ul><li>This antimaterial particle is within the material body. Because of the presence of this antimaterial particle, the material body is progressively changing from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to youth to old age, after which the antimaterial particle leaves the old, unworkable body and takes up another material body. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bhagavad Gita </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Matter is virtual <ul><li>No one, therefore, should lament for the loss of material energy. All varieties of sense perception in the categories of heat and cold, happiness and distress, are but interactions of material energy which come and go like seasonal changes. The temporary appearance and disappearance of such material interactions confirms that the material body is formed of a material energy inferior to the living force, or jiva energy. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Go beyond the virtual reality <ul><li>Any intelligent man who is not disturbed by happiness and distress, understanding that they are different material phases resulting from the interactions of the inferior energy, is competent to regain the antimaterial world, where life is eternal, full of permanent knowledge and bliss. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Or be trapped in virtual reality <ul><li>The finest form of the antimaterial particle is encaged within the gross and subtle material bodies. Although the material bodies (both gross and subtle) are subject to destruction, the finer, antimaterial particle is eternal. One's interest, therefore, should be in this eternal principle. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The goal of science… <ul><li>“ The perfection of science will occur when it is possible for the material scientists to know the qualities of the antimaterial particle and liberate it from the association of nonpermanent, material particles. Such liberation would mark the culmination of scientific progress.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bhaktivedanta Swami </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. So why god? <ul><li>Because a virtual reality presupposes a designer… </li></ul><ul><li>“ There are two worlds—the material and antimaterial. The material world is composed of inferior qualitative energy divided into eight material principles. The antimaterial world is made of superior qualitative energy. </li></ul><ul><li>Because both the material and antimaterial energies are emanations of the Supreme Transcendence, the Personality of Godhead, it is proper to conclude that I [God, i.e. Krsna] am the ultimate cause of all creations and annihilations.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bhagavad Gita </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. According to sastra… <ul><li>The presiding Deity of the antimaterial world is Sri Krnsa, who exists in His original personality as well as in His many plenary expansions. This personality and His plenary expansions can be known only by antimaterial activities commonly known as bhakti-yoga, or devotional service. </li></ul><ul><li>The post of Personality of Godhead is the absolute truth, and He is the whole antimaterial principle. The material principle as well as the antimaterial principle is an emanation from His person. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Should we accept sastra? <ul><li>Even from a logical point of view we must evaluate theories according to their explanatory value and their predictive quality… </li></ul><ul><li>The Vedic shastra is startling good on both counts </li></ul>
  16. 16. Example <ul><li>According to this text God is an infinite whole and his creations are also infinite wholes and yet even with the removal of all the infinite emanations, God remains an undiminished infinite whole </li></ul>
  17. 17. Infinitesimal is not a measure <ul><li>bälägra-çata-bhägasya </li></ul><ul><li>çatadhä kalpitasya ca </li></ul><ul><li>bhägo jévaù sa vijïeyaù </li></ul><ul><li>sa cänantyäya kalpate </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Actually, God is not formless, but His form is different. Everything has form. Without form, there is nothing. Even the smallest atom, it has got form. Just like in geometry, they describe a point has no length, no breadth—because the point is so small that our instrument, measuring instrument, fails to measure what is its length or breadth. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore they give it up, that &quot;It has no length and no breadth.&quot; But actually, it is not a fact. It has got length and breadth, but we have no instrument, we have no power to see. </li></ul><ul><li>So spirit soul is aëor aëéyän mahato mahéyän. Spirit soul is the greater than the greatest and it is the smaller than the smallest. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Mathematics of spirit <ul><li>Georg Cantor (1845 –1918) was a mathematician who was born in Russia and lived in Germany for most of his life. He is best known as the creator of modern set theory. He is recognized by mathematicians for having extended set theory to the concept of transfinite numbers, including the cardinal and ordinal number classes. </li></ul>
  19. 19. The nature of infinity <ul><li>Proof of infinity AND different degrees of infinity: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Click here please… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Infinity and God <ul><li>The Absolute Infinite is Georg Cantor's concept of an &quot;infinity&quot; that transcended the transfinite numbers. Cantor equated the Absolute Infinite with God. He held that the Absolute Infinite had various mathematical properties, including that every property of the Absolute Infinite is also held by some smaller object. </li></ul><ul><li>The actual infinite arises in three contexts: first when it is realized in the most complete form, in a fully independent otherworldly being, in Deo , where I call it the Absolute Infinite or simply Absolute; second when it occurs in the contingent, created world; third when the mind grasps it in abstracto as a mathematical magnitude, number or order type. [2] </li></ul>
  21. 21. Mathematics of spirit <ul><li>Today, the vast majority of mathematicians accept Cantor's work on transfinite sets and recognize it as a paradigm shift of major importance. </li></ul><ul><li>In the words of David Hilbert: &quot;No one shall expel us from the Paradise that Cantor has created.“ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>David Hilbert, 1862 -1943) was a German mathematician who is recognized as one of the most influential mathematicians of the 19th and early 20th centuries. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. String Theory
  23. 23. But first a warning… <ul><li>This material world is a transformation of the material qualities [sattva-guëa, rajo-guëa and tamo-guëa], yet no one could possibly explain it perfectly, even in a lifetime as long as that of Brahma. </li></ul><ul><li>No one in the material world is perfect, and an imperfect person could not describe this material universe accurately, even after continued speculation. </li></ul>
  24. 24. String theory <ul><li>Our current knowledge about the subatomic composition of the universe is summarized in what is known as the Standard Model of particle physics. It describes both the fundamental building blocks out of which the world is made, and the forces through which these blocks interact. </li></ul>
  25. 25. String theory <ul><li>There are twelve basic building blocks. Six of these are quarks--- they go by the interesting names of up, down, charm, strange, bottom and top. (A proton, for instance, is made of two up quarks and one down quark.) The other six are leptons--- these include the electron and its two heavier siblings, the muon and the tauon, as well as three neutrinos. </li></ul>
  26. 26. String theory <ul><li>There are four fundamental forces in the universe: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. </li></ul><ul><li>The behavior of all of these particles and forces is described with impeccable precision by the Standard Model, with one notable exception: gravity. </li></ul>
  27. 27. String theory <ul><li>Einstein spent the last 30 years of his life chasing after a theory that unified the four fundamental forces that govern the universe: gravity, electromagnetism, and the two nuclear forces (weak and strong. </li></ul><ul><li>He was searching for an equation that could explain everything from the Big Bang and exploding stars to atoms and molecules. </li></ul>
  28. 28. String theory <ul><li>In the last few decades, string theory has emerged as the most promising candidate for a microscopic theory of gravity. </li></ul><ul><li>And it is infinitely more ambitious than that: it attempts to provide a complete, unified, and consistent description of the fundamental structure of our universe </li></ul>
  29. 29. String theory <ul><li>The Superstring Theory </li></ul><ul><li>The physical idea of a superstring is simple. Instead of many types of elementary point-like particles, very small strings are thought to be the building blocks of nature. Like a musical string, this basic string can vibrate, and each mode of vibration can be viewed as a point-like elementary particle, just as the modes of a musical string are perceived as distinct notes. </li></ul>
  30. 30. String theory Supersymmetry between forces and matter, with closed strings only, no tachyon, heterotic, meaning right moving and left moving strings differ, group symmetry is E 8 x E 8 10 HE Supersymmetry between forces and matter, with closed strings only, no tachyon, heterotic, meaning right moving and left moving strings differ, group symmetry is SO(32) 10 HO Supersymmetry between forces and matter, with closed strings only, no tachyon, massless fermions only spin one way (chiral) 10 IIB Supersymmetry between forces and matter, with closed strings only, no tachyon, massless fermions spin both ways (nonchiral) 10 IIA Supersymmetry between forces and matter, with both open and closed strings, no tachyon, group symmetry is SO(32) 10 I Only bosons, no fermions means only forces, no matter, with both open and closed strings. Major flaw: a particle with imaginary mass, called the tachyon 26 Bosonic Details Spacetime Dimensions Type
  31. 31. String theory <ul><li>Supersymmetry </li></ul><ul><li>One very important part of Superstring Theory has to do with symmetry. The universe is filled with apparent and subtle symmetries. One of the most interesting symmetries is the one between the atom and the solar system. We see striking similarities between the nucleus and the sun, and also between the planets and electrons. Is this symmetry really just a coincidence or are these two phenomena both caused by one fundamental force. </li></ul>
  32. 32. String theory <ul><li>Is the metaphor of the upside down tree more literal than we think? </li></ul>Virtual Reality
  33. 33. String theory <ul><li>Our subtle anatomy is symetrical with the universe </li></ul><ul><li>In SB 5.23 there is the statement that &quot;yogés worship the Çiçumära planetary system, which is technically known as the kuëòalini-cakra.&quot; It appears that yogés in meditation would identify the central axis of the universe with the series of cakras in the spinal column. By moving their life airs up the series of cakras, they would prepare their subtle bodies to travel up the axis of the universe to Brahmaloka. </li></ul><ul><li>This basic idea appears in mystical traditions throughout the world and is and example of subtle </li></ul>
  34. 34. String theory <ul><li>Back to String theory and those extra dimensions… </li></ul><ul><li>a few years before 2000, researchers began to realize that those extra dimensions could be as large as the ordinary three dimensions. The reason why we cannot see extra dimensions is because all matter and electromagnetic waves (photons) are confined in a three dimensional sub-universe called &quot;braneworld&quot;.  (sub = subtle?) </li></ul>
  35. 35. String theory <ul><li>The relationship between our braneworld (three dimensional) and the whole universe (ten dimensional) is like a TV screen (2D) in our house (3D). Suppose there is a creature confined on the TV screen, he cannot see us even if we are only a centimeter away from him. </li></ul><ul><li>Similarly, if demigods lives in the ten dimensional space but outside our braneworld, we cannot see them even if they are only a centimeter away from us. </li></ul>
  36. 36. String theory <ul><li>Gravity is universal and then some… </li></ul><ul><li>It has been found that, in order to match particle properties with vibrational patterns, the graviton must be a closed string, while all other particles must be an open string with endpoints fixed in a three-dimensional brane . This predicts that all matter and photons must be trapped in a three-dimensional braneworld. The only thing that can escape from the braneworld is the graviton. </li></ul>
  37. 37. String theory <ul><li>What is the higher dimensional space (the “subtle realm”)? Their matter is likely to be made of the elementary particles with closed string, thereby free to go anywhere.  Their particles must not have any charge that interacts with photons, because the photon is an open-string particle which is unique to our braneworld. </li></ul><ul><li>The electromagnetic waves (photons) will pass through their matter without being reflected at all.  Therefore, even if their matter (including life) enters into our braneworld, it still cannot be detected by electromagnetic waves. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Vedic obstacle? <ul><li>Many Indian astronomers of earlier centuries were also unable to understand Vedic cosmology, and they were led to openly reject parts of it, even though their own religious and social tradition was based on the Puräëas. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, Bhäskaräcärya, the 11th-century author of the siddhäntic text Siddhänta-çiromaëi, could not reconcile the relatively small diameter of the earth, which he deduced from simple measurements, with the immense magnitude attributed to the earth by the Pauränikas, the followers of the Puräëas </li></ul><ul><li>Likewise, the 15th-century south Indian astronomer Parameçvara stated that the Puräëic account of the seven dvépas and oceans is something &quot;given only for religious meditation,&quot; and that the 84,000-yojana height of Mount Meru described in the Puräëas is &quot;not acceptable to the astronomers&quot; </li></ul>
  39. 39. Vedic obstacle? <ul><li>The planetary system known as Bhü-maëòala resembles a lotus flower, and its seven islands resemble the whorl of that flower. The length and breadth of the island known as Jambüdvépa, which is situated in the middle of the whorl, are [eight million miles]. Jambüdvépa is round like the leaf of a lotus flower. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Srimad Bhagavatam 5.16.5 </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. String theory <ul><li>What role does T-duality (an important aspect of string theory symmetry) play in explaining this seemingly huge Vedic contradiction </li></ul>
  41. 41. String theory <ul><li>T-duality has deep implications even at a level that beginners can understand: it says that there is honestly no difference at all between a &quot;circular&quot; universe that is very large and one that is very small. </li></ul><ul><li>That could even be relevant to the three dimensions that we actually see! </li></ul><ul><li>If it turned out that our universe wasn't really infinite but just too large for us to see it start repeating, then T-duality would tell us that we could just as accurately think of it as extremely small instead. </li></ul><ul><li>What we think of as momentum (expansion) could equally well be described as strings &quot;wrapped around the (tiny) universe&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>This is an extremely weird thought! (For physicists) </li></ul>
  42. 42. Mirror in the bathroom <ul><li>“ can I take you to a restaurant that has glass tables you can see yourself while you are eating…” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ska song lyric </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Last point on string theory <ul><li>Remember the infinitesimal: </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, as R  --> 0, (T-duality) states act more like our intuitive, continuous notion of momentum than momentum states do! That's the strange reversal of T-duality at work. As the &quot;familiar&quot; dimension of momentum shrinks away to nothing and becomes irrelevant, a new &quot;winding space&quot; dimension seems to appear to take its place. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a truly remarkable concept in string theory: there really is a &quot;smallest meaningful size&quot; for a dimension of the universe. And when we get close to that size, our familiar concepts of space and motion begin to completely fall apart </li></ul>
  44. 44. So… <ul><li>So spirit soul is aëor aëéyän mahato mahéyän. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Spirit soul is greater than the greatest and it is the smaller than the smallest. So we cannot see the smallest; we cannot see the greatest…” </li></ul><ul><li>We can think of the greatest, the whole universe… and the expansion of the universe —seemingly unlimited… </li></ul><ul><li>But, God is so great that innumerable, millions and billions of universes are within Him. </li></ul><ul><li>Now imagine that… </li></ul>