Abstract It is common ground that the practice of hatha yoga will yield many health benefits, both physical and mental. Much of the recent research on hatha yoga has focused on Bikram Yoga, which differs from other forms of hatha yoga by virtue of it being practiced in an elevated ambient temperature which occasions profuse sweating, and is generally referred to as ‘hot yoga’. Much of the recent research tends to be negative about this form of yoga, for instance Bikram yoga doesn’t assist in removing impurities from the body, doesn’t increase aerobic fitness and doesn’t yield any more benefits, physically or mentally, than other schools of hatha yoga.
Sufficient is now known from neurophysiology and electroencephalography to pinpoint the part of the brain that operates during sleep. It is the purpose of this article to review Hindu Philosophy (as expounded in the Upanishads) on the subject of sleep and ask the question whether the part of the brain that operates during sleep is the part of the brain where the Self resides. It will be shown that the Scriptures abound with clues as to the precise location of the Self and just a basic knowledge of neurophysiology and electroencephalography is sufficient to interpret these clues, at which stage they become veritable signposts pointing in the right direction.
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Abstract This paper presents an original interpretation of the Upanishads that the inner self is located in the embryo brain region of the brain. This is the part of the brain already present in the embryo and consists of the brainstem, hypothalamus, thalamus, and midbrain. It is also the part of the brain that operates during dreaming and deep sleep and causes the transition from sleeping to waking states and the Upanishads state unequivocally that the self is responsible for these mental states. With the self-located in the embryo brain region, an entirely new interpretation of Aristotle’s De Anima is presented which parallels the Upanishads in every respect; the inner self and Aristotle’s 'soul' have identical functions and attributes. An Aristotelian First Principle is presented: Biology is the source of Consciousness; DNA is the source of Biology; Ergo DNA is the source of Consciousness. It has recently been discovered that our long-term memories are stored in the putamen during deep sleep. The putamen is located in the embryo brain region along with the pineal gland that secretes melatonin during deep sleep. Descartes famously located the soul in the pineal gland, and there is a high probability that the secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland during deep sleep is an unconscious operation of our soul involved in storing our long-term memories in the embryo brain region.
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