Yoga is all about supporting the body’s inherent biorhythms and a fascinating report recently on NPR supports this. The piece is based on the research of a circadian scientist who studies how changes in our biology are linked to time. A “circadian scientist” strikes me as being a particularly cool job description. Yogis for centuries have charted their biorhythms via the movement of the stars, ocean tides and sun-moon cycles. Chinese Medicine has long mapped the phases of metabolic activity for all the internal organs. The idea that not only do organs have internal clocks, but every cell in the body has its own timing, is profound. In states of meditation and yoga nidra (yogic sleep), yogis aim to support the inherent cycles of activity and rest in all tissues of their body in order to generate optimal health. Yogis sensed long ago that the body’s circadian rhythms are governed by the minuscule master glands—the pituitary and pineal glands—set deep within the skull. Perhaps the experience of timelessness celebrated in states of meditation really suggests a state where all the cells in the body operate via a unified field of time.
Chinese 24-Hour Circadian Chart courtesy of Jane Barthelemy