Many of the benefits of practicing yoga cannot be explained by modern Western science—especially the mystical aspects. Nevertheless, an advantage of approaching yoga scientifically is that we can often identify elements of the practice that produce a benefit and then use our knowledge of science to amplify the effect.
In today’s post we’ll take a look at the neuroscience behind the way the brain “sees” the body. Our video illustrates the “motor homunculus.” This is a visual map of the proportionate representation of the body in the brain. It is derived from the work of Dr. Wilder Penfield, a renowned Canadian neurosurgeon. He developed this map by stimulating regions of the brain in epileptic patients during surgery and then documented what parts of the body were affected. Dr. Penfield’s work was a pioneering contribution to medical science. It was original, elegant in its simplicity, and has stood the test of time.