Scientific knowledge and yoga

This article may cause numerous concerns... Its title refers to two knowledges that for many are diametrically opposed... But in reality both reflect absolutely complementary knowledge and worldviews. Writes Elsa Beatriz Acevedo.

The history of knowledge immersed in the philosophy and practice of yoga is deeply rooted in the history of human development and corresponds to a number of disciplines such as philosophy, the history of cultures, Eastern psychology, especially valuable those that are handed down from generation to generation are part of the cognitive heritage humanity at different stages of its development.

For its part, science and its tangible and intangible derivatives embodied in knowledge, laws, research, experiments, theories, checks and results, as well as the dense arguments that underpin it, has traditionally been very elusive to this kind of knowledge, which occurs not in a laboratory or research and development centre, but rather sprout from the consciousness itself of the oldest generations of our civilisation project.

Yoga as a school of life, health, practice and thought has remained there in a millennial way, apart from any kind of patent-protected technoscientific secret; it's about a free, open heritage, easily appropriated by all and for all.

Yoga as a discipline does not invent, does not discover, does not generate scientific revolutions, is not selective in its contents, practices and philosophies; on the contrary it's there hoping appropriate by the restless minds looking deepen the true meaning of life and integral well-being.

The whirlwind of scientific productivity

Human beings live in a permanent search for material substitutes to the vacuums of a life based on the false satisfaction of increasingly unmet needs. In this quest he forgets his own being, his stability, physical, mental, spiritual health, and, worse, the control of his emotions whose lack of management produces any number of imbalances in his physical and mental health.

Of course, scientific practice does not escape these imbalances; on the contrary, the speed of its development becomes a gigantic snowball that drags scientists and researchers to push their own limits of stress resulting from accelerated competitiveness in all fields, especially among beings human architects of such enormous scientific and technological potential typical of our modernity.

In these conditions the true being and depth of its internal longings are minimized by a whirlwind of factors that end up passing their "collection account" to science workers. But these are subjects that are not talked about and are not part of the socialization that accompanies scientific production, and are not quantified in studies on scientific productivity, therefore they do not exist for many people in the scientific field.

In addition, the field of science is flooded by all sorts of measurements; bibliométricas, cienciométricas, evaluaciones de rendimiento, competitividad, de capacidad de producir resultados en el menor tiempo posible, así como pertenencia a redes nacionales e internacionales, publicaciones indexadas, asistencia a eventos científicos, conferencias, congresos, seminarios y todo lo que conduzca a la elevación de su categoría en el campo científico e investigativo así como a ganar y mantener a toda costa de su visibilidad.

La otra parte, aquella correspondiente a su mundo y inner peace nunca se tiene en cuenta como identidad y propósito de las instituciones dedicadas a la ciencia y a las innovaciones tecnológicas. Lamentablemente este aspecto tan valioso y sutil jamás se considera as a substantial variable in knowledge production processes.

The Inner Road, a Lonely Road

In these circumstances, anyone who wishes to overcome this archaic disintegrating landscape of the inner world of the human being, he must take this path on his own, on his own and in most cases in absolute silence.

For this reason, many academics, scientists, and researchers are increasingly looking find new experiential spaces that ensure their human well-being in an integral way by approaching new and better ways of thinking and living. The idea is to survive these narrow paradigms resulting from a high degree of ignorance of being and its infinite wealth and inner potential.

This step, which could be characterized as a paradigm shift, represents quite the opposite, as it is a valuable instrument of help and support, as well as meaning a letter of navigation towards thel balance, health, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, which is in no way at the same opposite to the capacity for productivity in the scientific field and does elevate it towards new theoretical, philosophical, cultural, psychological parameters, and certainly in terms of sustained mind-body health and balance.

Unfortunately, living together and, much more than that, coexisting in a medium signified by the Competitiveness así como por los índices de productividad y las bonificaciones económicas derivadas de los mismos, produce graves desequilibrios y rompe con la armonía de una vida sana, en paz, saludable y verdaderamente feliz.

Si nuestros trabajadores de la ciencia tuvieran la posibilidad de incursionar en las innumerables técnicas que ofrecen disciplinas milenarias como el yoga, no solo elevarían sus niveles de producción científica y tecnológica, sino que se convertirían en protagonistas de su propia vida e influenciarían de manera muy positiva en las futuras generaciones.

El alcance del yoga como equilibrador integral

Because yoga acts on the physical, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual planes through its different schools, models, styles and disciplines, leading as a result of its practice and lifestyle to what we might well call as a growing comprehensive healing.

Living in harmony in a world devoid of itself undoubtedly guarantees a great strength, which inevitably translates into comparative advantage for those who decide to break harmful and stressful paradigms. And just as it heals, balances and tones the body also has a favorable impact on the infinite potential of our intangible world through the mind.

An element as simple as calm breathing makes the seemingly impossible possible, because of our mental structure populated with false convictions that we cultivate and strengthen in the course of life. For this reason, when a stress-laden work situation is breathing accompanied by serene and calm self-exploration, our response changes radically becoming more assertive and purposeful people, making a big difference with an absolutely unbalanced environment.

And if we add to this conscious breathing soothing movements for only a few minutes, the world would be much kinder and we would be more balanced, healthy, happy and productive in any area.

But assify the mind when riding unscathed and aimlessly is no easy task, so it is necessary to quiet it, to calm it, to appease it so that it walks serenely through the paths of peace and harmony, which are so lacking for humanity. Because if the mind is calm, the breathing, thoughts, emotions and actions will be so, and of course the decisions that are made will be the right and right ones.

Transforming us changing the world

We are all part of the universal energy but we were never brought up to be it, let alone to understand it, to appropriate it and to practice it. We are children of fear, insecurities, anxieties of different kinds, irrational fears, because we are born and raised in environments that feed them and day by day strengthen them, making the human being a cluster of fears, personal, family, schoolchildren, affective and interpersonal, feeding and multiplying the implicit toxicity in them.

In such a deeply toxic environment it is natural that what we have been exposing from theory and practice, is out of focus or not least transcendent, but coincidentally that is where the core of many generational crises of our humanist project. So as not to go any further, the eternal dilemma of war and peace, of harmony and disharmony, of health, sickness, life and death.

If we recognize that life is a constant flow that takes us, brings us and faces numerous challenges and dilemmas, no one would hesitate even for a minute to recognize that sif we start by transforming ourselves, we will also be transforming our generalized context. Because the future of the world is also our task and the generations that follow us, hence the importance of a true integral human formation. But how to achieve it? The answer is key and simple: connecting with ourselves so that we can connect with the outside world in a truly constructive and balanced way.

Consequently, we must learn to live and live to learn; learn to grow and grow so that we can live fully, developing constructive and positive behaviors, living fully in a permanent self-discovery, fostering a deep vision and even projecting inner peace as part of universal peace in the most adverse circumstances. And on this long journey yoga, meditation and related techniques are teachers and guides down this path full of the complexities of everyday life.

Opening the mind to the integration of all knowledge

When we focus on yoga as a philosophy of life from the field of science and society studies, we are not talking about antagonistic, opposite and other fields of each other; on the contrary, our humanist approach, based on research and experience in both, allows us to recognize in the same complementary realities in the process of growth, strengthening and mutual feedback. Because knowledge is unlimited; we are the ones who strive to put irrational limits on it, and changing this paradigm is everyone's task through sustained mental openness.

The way, the way and strategy of achieving a integrative approach between scientific knowledge and yoga discipline and universal heritage is possible through the education at each and every stage. Because yoga, as well as other Oriental disciplines, knowledge and traditions, is regarded as a valuable in-depth knowledge of life; for this reason it currently has so high acceptance in the different branches of the health sciences, as valuable alternative and complementary support, recommended by doctors and psychologicals as well as by different therapies both traditional and alternative.

Yoga, by allowing knowledge of other philosophical, cultural conceptualizations in physical and mental health, acts as a support for the development of our scientific knowledge. And somewhere, at some point, yoga ends up intersecting with other disciplines of universal knowledge.

This requires a great deal of mental openness as well as the search for better ways of life, balance and comprehensive health in our time. Given this openness, it is worth remembering that yoga acts and leads to profound liberating effects, the first being to achieve its acceptance, appropriation and integral practice, as a social product of knowledge and heritage of humanity.

A new paradigm of well-being for all

Por otra parte, el ser humano, directa o indirectamente, en algún momento de su vida se cruza con el yoga, bien sea en la salud, la enfermedad, la alegría o el dolor, la vida o la muerte. Porque la vida va mucho más allá de las compensaciones de índole material, y el ser y su forma de ser están urgidos de un nuevo paradigma de bienestar, salud física, mental, quietud así como la sanación de su cuerpo y sus emociones buscando con ellas fluir al compás de la sinfonía universal del equilibrio.

Y en el caso concreto de la producción de ciencia y tecnología resulta obvio que no escape a esta búsqueda, porque the speed of the lives of science workers gives them a very high stress, which necessarily transfers to the functioning of your physical and mental health. Hypertension crises then come, sugar levels rise, diseases of the digestive system, weaken is immune system and a whole series of psychosomatic diseases that significantly affect their quality of life.

In these conditions and even if it costs to accept it, those who practice yoga and related disciplines not only acquire and develop obvious comparative advantages dentro de sus colectivos laborales, sino que se convierten en multiplicadores de las mismas así como ejemplos a seguir en diferentes espacios de su cotidianidad. Son personas relajadas, centradas, serenas, equilibradas con gran serenidad, claridad y aptos para tomar las decisiones más acertadas aún en los momentos más críticos. Traduciendo las mismas en un nuevo perfil de liderazgo sostenido muy inusual por cierto en un sistema que produce y reproduce todo lo contrario.

Además de lo anterior, es importante tener en cuenta que la ampliación de estos horizontes mentales toca todos los campos de la ciencia y de manera especial a la divulgación científica, ante la cual se abre el enorme reto de incursionar en campos que, aunque parecían ajenos, son complementarios como los saberes milenarios, porque el yoga y otras disciplinas afines también han entregado a la humanidad valiosos conocimientos.

Esta sería una novedosa forma de sacar al conocimiento científico de los estrechos marcos que siempre lo han caracterizado, y de manera muy especial, a la innovación como producto social, elevando la misma del marco productivo al psicosocial con sus múltiples aplicaciones, beneficios, enseñanzas y experiencias.

De esta manera la divulgación científica no solo propiciaría un interesante diálogo intercultural de saberes, formas de vida y de interpretación del mundo tangible e intangible, sino que realizaría una acción comunicativa y de apropiación profundamente transformadora.

Derribando barreras y prejuicios

Un proceso en tal sentido terminaría por aislar, cuando no a anular, falsos conceptos, dañinas dicotomías, cerrando abismos cognitivos que poco a poco pierden su razón de ser, lo cual implica intensificar investigaciones que conduzcan a nuevas formas de apropiación del inmenso aporte y valor de culturas milenarias al beneficio de la humanidad. Para nadie es un secreto que negar esas aportaciones ha sido una actitud arrogante y estrecha; romperla implica profundos cambios en las formas de pensar, analizar, estudiar y valorar todo este enorme bagaje de disciplinas milenarias que tantos beneficios han aportando al desarrollo de la humanidad.

En este sentido vale la pena preguntarse: ¿alguien se atrevería a incluir en las agendas de la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación, así como en sus actividades y eventos, una conferencia sobre las aplicaciones científicas del Mindfulness, del Yoga, o de los principios del Ayurveda en la producción científica?

En consecuencia, necesitamos ampliar las fronteras de la ciencia, de su producción, desarrollo, aplicación, apropiación, socialización y democratización, a través de nuevas formas de diálogo, reconocimiento y valoración de saberes, bajo nuevas cosmovisiones que indiscutiblemente exigen una gran apertura hacia el inmenso espacio del conocimiento universal.

Elsa Beatriz Acevedo Pineda. Investigadora, gestora y divulgadora Científica. Red de Estudios de Ciencia, Tecnología y Sociedad de la OEI. Colombia.

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By • 11 Nov, 2019 • Sección: Signatures