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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Aug;1172:20-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04538.x.

Longevity: potential life span and health span enhancement through practice of the basic yoga meditation regimen.

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  • 1Anthropology Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


This chapter briefly reviews recent psychological, physiological, molecular biological, and anthropological research which has important implications, both direct and indirect, for the recognition and understanding of the potential life span and health span enhancing effects of the basic yoga meditational regimen. This regimen consists of meditation, yogic breath control practices, physical exercises (of both a postural- and movement-based, including aerobic nature), and dietary practices. While each of these component categories exhibit variations in different schools, lineages, traditions, and cultures, the focus of this chapter is primarily on basic forms of relaxation meditation and breath control, as well as postural and aerobic physical exercises (e.g., yogic prostration regimens, see below), and a standard form of yogic or ascetic diet, all of which constitute a basic form of regimen found in many if not most cultures, though with variations.

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