"The ultimate goal of yoga is to always observe things accurately, and therefore never act in a way that will make us regret our actions later."
- TKV Desikachar
“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” says Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany. “Other studies in different patient populations have shown that meditation can make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we are now investigating the underlying mechanisms in the brain that facilitate this change.”
In people who are meditating, MRI brain scans have shown an increase in activity in areas that control metabolism and heart rate. (Herbert Benson, MD, Mind/Body Institute at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.)
Recent studies show that meditation, along with diet and exercise, can reduce buildup of plaque in coronary arteries. Long term meditators experience 80% less heart disease and 55% less cancer than nonmeditators. (Psychosomatic Medicine 49 (1987): 493-507)
Long-term meditators who had been practicing meditation for more than five years were physiologically 12 years younger than their chronological age, as measured by reduction of blood pressure, and better near-point version and auditory discrimination. Short-term meditators were physiologically five years younger than their chronological age. (International Journal of Neuroscience, 16: 53-58, 1982)