“A fundamental aspect of yoga is the awakening of the spine’s ability to undulate and twist”
We all know Yoga is good for us – but Why?
“What science is discovering is that through our increased ability to feel our own bodies, we increase our ability to empathically feel the world around us.”
Body Maps and Mirror Neurons are the key to understanding how the flexibility of our spine influences the resilience and flexibility of our minds.
Body maps are the parts of our brain (such as those found in the somatosensory cortex) that light up when a part of our body is stimulated – move your little finger and the corresponding section of your brain lights up and activates. Mirror Neurons are those same areas that fire even when we just SEE another person moving his or her little finger – they allow us to feel through observation and even just thinking about movement.
What scientists like Simon Thakur of the Ancestral Movement are discovering is that through neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to rewire and make new connections based upon what we practice and focus on – we are able to create more neural connections between BodyMaps.
As more neural connections are created we also increase the nerve fibers long the nervous system to the particular body part. The more we practice the greater the connection and the greater our awareness.
“If we take the spine as an example, and we practice movements that open up every segment of the spine, so the spine is free to undulate, rather than the spine moving as a rigid block, you’re going to experience empathy in the sense that you feel in your body as if you are doing the movement yourself whenever we see a moving spine.” – Simon Thakur
This increase in our awareness means that although yes – we are becoming more aware of our own spine and its movements, but more importantly, because of mirror neurons we are also increasing our awareness of others as well.
We actually increase our ability to empathically feel the world and those around us.
So when we do yoga we become more and more aware of our own body. And the more we practice the more we build connections in neural pathways and nerve fibers. This is great news of course. But what is most amazing is that we also build connections to those around us. And the longer and more dedicated our practice- the deeper those grooves of connection. Which makes me want to go to yoga. How ’bout you?