Given that longevity is linked to social connection and moving our bodies with greater frequency, there’s compelling evidence that yoga may play an important role in improving overall health and well-being.
Another intriguing finding is that improvements started with the self. One of my favourite meditations is called loving kindness. The loving kindness meditation is based on a Buddhist tradition of extending love, care and concern to all beings. The meditation technique follows a specific sequence: You first extend loving kindness to yourself, then to a loved one, then to someone considered neutral, then to someone “difficult,” and, finally, to all beings. The reason you start with yourself is that you can’t give away what you don’t have.
Yoga works by cultivating compassion for yourself, leading to enhanced compassion for others. Meditation, and the loving kindness meditation in particular, work in the same manner. Today’s research is supporting what ancient sages have known all along.