We are memory: a yogic insight on memory & karma
According to yoga science, mind and body are in constant interaction.
There isn’t a point where the body ends and mind begins. They are considered as a single, integrated entity.
In yoga, health is not considered just as a form of freedom from diseases. It’s the perfect equilibrium of body, mind, intellect and soul.
Yoga practice, balancing the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, hormonal, digestive, excretory and reproductive systems, brings mental peace and enhanced intellectual clarity. Usually, most people look at yoga as a pure physical activity, but the reality cannot be further from that. Yoga aims at overcoming the limitations of the body; The physical well-being achieved through yoga strengthens and calms the mind. 
Ancient yoga texts highlight the importance of maintaining a state of homeostasis, or balance, within the body, mind and spirit.
In yoga there’s a strong focus on āsana (physical postures), prānāyāma (breath control), meditation (concentration of thoughts), mantra (recital repetition of phrases) and diet (a nourishing plant-based diet).
Also important to yoga is the practice of identifying one’s emotions and the thought patterns attached to those emotions, and modifying those thought patterns as needed. , , , , 
We are memory: a yogic insight on memory and karma
However, in yogic philosophy karma can also be interpreted as memory since past actions exist in the present moment only in the form of memory. This means that karma is composed by those actions that leave a residual impact upon our system.
Hence, the memory and chemistry of those actions remains and live within us.
Asanas influence the chemical balance of the brain.
They strengthen the body, restore stamina and increase the circulation of fresh blood through out the body, purging it of diseases and toxins generated by unhealthy lifestyles and habits. 
According to the Upanishads (one of the most important collection of hindu philosophy texts) there is always a possibility to transform memories.
The Upanishads tell us that personality is composed of five sheaths:
1) sheath of the physical body (Annamaya Kosha)
2) sheath of vital energy (Pranamaya Kosha)
3) sheath of the mind (Manomaya Kosha)
4) sheath of discriminative intelligence (Vijnanamaya Kosha)
5) sheath of bliss (Anandamayakosha)
– every cell in our body possesses memory on a physical level but through the influence of the higher sheaths the cells of the physical structure can be transformed;
– on the vital energy level, basic instincts can undergo change;
– transformation in the thinking patterns and emotions is possible on the mental level;
– on the intellectual level, one experiences the recollection, remembrance, reconsidering, reverting, and forgetting of various values. For example, a value in life to amass wealth will be changed to do good to others.
– on the level of bliss one experiences the complete freedom of memory; in that moment, you simply see things unconditionally for what they truly are. 
What’s memory for modern science?
Memory is the ability to recall and retain past events or previously learnt information or skills. The process of concentration and the power of recalling (memory) are the two major factors influencing the learning process.
Studies have found out that yogic exercises and lifestyle benefit both these concepts. , 
Especially late in life, memory function is particularly sensitive to the effects of ageing because the function of the human hippocampus declines over the life span. 
Human research suggests that hippocampal-dependent memory impairment may accompany stress-induced hippocampal volume reduction, and that the negative effects of stress on the structure and function of the hippocampus may increase with age. , , , 
However, many studies have indicated that yogic exercises and lifestyle may be effective in protecting against the negative impacts of stress on cognitive function, improving concentration and memory. , , , , 
In the next article, we are going to get deeper in the relationship between yoga and memory.
We will explore the effectiveness of yoga in improving the learning process and how a yogic diet can boost your cognitive functions.
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