Today, millions of dedicated practitioners across the globe practice Ashtanga Yoga and find it a rewarding life practice. Early Indian texts suggest yogic science was a divine gift revealed to sages in order for humankind to realize their inherent divine nature. These traditional teachings were passed on for centuries through an unbroken guru-shishya (teacher-student) parampara lineage.
Within the past decade, there has been a surge in yoga research, and in particular yoga practice in health and disease. Studies find that instilling patterns of yoga on a daily basis encourage emotional well being as well as physiological change. Repetition of the eight limbs of Ashtanga: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi builds new patterns for favorable physical and mental health.
Benefits to the body include improved cognition, respiration, reduced cardiovascular risk, body mass index, blood pressure, and diabetes. Yoga with correct absorption and distribution of prana advantageously influences immunity and joint disorders as well!
Our physical, mental, and emotional conditionings adapt to change relatively slowly. They need repetition to start building new patterns for optimal well-being. Instilling yoga practice on a daily basis is important in enabling growth towards beneficial physiological and cognitive change.