“I think there’s four components that really make Yoga what it is.
One of these is of course the most obvious, which is the physical postures: the stretching, the exercises, the movements, the breathing techniques, the relaxation techniques. These are an important component. That’s working the body to affect our global function.
Another critical area is the idea of self-regulation. The ability to control our internal stress response, our internal response. This is basically reflected as resilience to stress and equanimity in the face of emotions. And that leads to a psychological self-efficacy.
Another really key area is the cultivation of mind-body awareness. The sense of being able to feel and experience what’s going on in the body. And also to experience what’s going on mentally. To be able to observe the flow of thought. This kind of cultivation of mind-body awareness leads to increased mindfulness that can change behaviours in a very positive way.
And then the final component, which is really reflecting the traditional origins of Yoga is the idea of experiencing these deeper states, the spiritual states, if you will, the transcendent states. Even if they’re short term, these kinds of experiences that you get in deep meditation can really be transformative to people and bring them to a positive lifestyle to have them gravitate towards positive goals in life and to improve and enhance their life meaning and purpose.”
Source: Uplift Documentary “The Science Behind Yoga”