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From the Editor
From the Director
• Trisha Lamb's Forthcoming Departure
• Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., Editor in Chief
• Pam Byard, Ph.D., Associate Director
• Find a Yoga Therapist
• 501(c)(3) Letter of Determination Received from the IRS
• Support IAYT
• Yoga Research and Education Center’s Beautiful Retreat Site for Sale
On Chikitsâ-Krama: Some Notes and Observations from a Course by Srivatsa Ramaswami, including Application to Bronchial Asthma, by
Pain Management for Injured Workers, by Julia Payne
Effects of a Yoga Intervention as a Supportive Therapy in Arthritis, by Manoj Sharma, M.B.B.S., C.H.E.S., Ph.D.
Annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium Acknowledges Yoga Therapy, by Amy Weintraub, M.F.A., R.Y.T.
Yoga Therapy Programs
From the Editor
What wonderful news we have for you this issueour search for a new editor in chief and a new associate director was extraordinarily successful. We could not possibly have imagined finding two such wonderful and accomplished yoginîs to join the IAYT teamJohn will introduce you to Kelly McGonigal and Pam Byard in "From the Director" below.
Kelly has already begun working with me on the forthcoming 2005 issue of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, which she will take to peer review in 2006. She also wrote the research summaries for the present issue of Yoga Studies. When you read John's introduction to Kelly, you will see that she is imminently qualified to advance both publications, and she runs circles around me as an editor. During our interview, she told me she recently had envisioned her perfect joband this is it. What a blessing for both her and IAYT.
Kelly resides in San Francisco and will continue to do so, but new associate director Pam will relocate to Prescott August 1, my date of departure. In the meantime, we will spend the first two weeks of June working together in Prescott, going over the never empty and always interesting list of associate director tasks. Pam runs circles around me in the website management domain and has already helped out tremendously with our new site. IAYT is twice blessed!
I continue to work on getting everything ready to hand over when I leave, including updates of the forty or so bibliographies currently at the IAYT website, plus c. fifty additional bibliographies I've been working on for the past ten years. Both the updated and the new bibliographies will be uploaded to the "Members Only" area of the site in June. If you ever have a question about what resources exist for a given topic, please be sure to check the list of bibliographies before beginning your research. It may possibly save you significant time. If there are any among you who would like to "adopt" and assume maintenance of one or more of the bibliographies, your assistance would be most welcome. I would be happy to pass on all our sources of information. (If interested, please email me at email@example.com.)
In this issue we are bringing a wonderful set of notes taken by David Hurwitz at a recent Yoga therapy workshop by Srivatsa Ramaswami, Julia Payne's wisdom on pain management for injured workers, a report of a pilot study on Yoga for arthritis by Manoj Sharma (which illustrates potential problems related to sample size, attrition and compliance, duration of intervention, etc.), and a report on Yoga's shining presence at the recent Annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium by Amy Weintraub, along with news, reviews, and research summaries.
As I have begun to make arrangements to leave the world of externally oriented work and service and enter the internally oriented world of retreat, I have been studying various dharma texts in preparation. One of the most unique and thought-provoking is Thinley Norbu Rinpoche's Magic Dance: The Display of the Self-Nature of the Five Wisdom Dakinis (Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1999). Thinley Norbu Rinpoche is the eldest son of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, and is revered both in the East and the West as a scholar, teacher, and meditation master. Magic Dance is the first of his books I have studied, and I look forward to studying others.
In the Five Buddha Families of Vajrayana Buddhism, the Five Wisdom Dakinis are associated with the five elementsearth, water, fire, air, and space. It is these five elements in their gross and subtle forms that combine to create the "infinite illusory display of phenomenal existence." Through his creative use of language, in Magic Dance Thinley Norbu Rinpoche conveys how the energies of the elements manifest in our everyday world, in relationships and solitude, in medicine and art, and so on. He also communicates how, through the practice of visualization and meditation, we can recognize the pure essence of the elements, which is "our vast, unobstructed wisdom mind."
Of particular relevance for those of us in the healing professions is his chapter entitled "Healing." Here he discusses how imbalances in the five elements contribute to physical and mental disorders, and the limitations a healer will necessarily face if he or she does not understand all three dimensionsgross, subtle, and pure essenceof this elemental interplay. He concludes the chapter with the following:
"Experienced doctors [and therapists] understand that the best way to balance the elements is through appropriate subtle medicines, such as visualization, yoga breathing exercises, and meditation. Meditation, or watching the mind, is especially effective for diminishing pain and curing sickness. Through watching, the basis for pain and sickness dissolves because pain and sickness are [mental] conception and are within the gross elements. Through this watching, gross elements dissolve into subtle elements, and subtle elements become lighter and lighter until there is only clear space and the five elements pervade inconspicuously and inseparably beyond any conception of sickness or pain. Then, selfless clear space mind, balanced from the beginning, is free from all distinction between pure and impure elements."
Sitting on my cushion for the next three years, I will have the good fortune of being able to spend much time watching the mind. May whatever I learn be of benefit to others.
This is my last issue as editor of Yoga Studies, and I am delighted that Kelly's expert hands will assume its care. I will say my final good-bye in the forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, but would like to acknowledge here what an extraordinary privilege it has been to work on Yoga Studies and interact with all of you over the years.
From the Director
Trisha Lamb's Forthcoming Departure
As most of our members know, Trisha Lamb will be stepping down as Editor in Chief and Associate Director on July 31, after serving IAYT and so many of us for so long. In September she will enter into a three-year retreat at the nearby Garchen Buddhist Institute and continue to serve us all in a different manner. We will miss her greatly.
As Trisha departs, we are proud and delighted to announce our new staff members: Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., and Pam Byard, Ph.D. Since April, they have gradually begun taking over Trisha's responsibilities, and they both bring a tremendous depth and range of skills and experience to IAYT.
Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., will be assuming the role of Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy and Yoga Studies. Currently based in San Francisco, Kelly is dedicated to integrating the Yoga tradition with contemporary medicine and psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology and humanistic medicine at Stanford University, where she completed research in the Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory. She continues to study and practice Buddhist meditation, vinyâsa Yoga,
restorative Yoga, and Thai Yoga therapy.
Kelly teaches Yoga and meditation at Stanford University, where she is also a health educator for the Stanford Prevention and Research Center and a consultant for the Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning. She is the anatomy and physiology trainer for the Avalon Yoga Center teacher training program in Palo Alto, California.
Kelly's editing and writing background includes a B.S. in Communication from Boston University, and professional experience as a website editor, news editor, academic/scientific editor, and freelance writer. She also directs Open Mind Open Body, an online community and resource center for Yoga students and teachers (http://www.openmindbody.com).
She brings to this position a strong understanding of both research and application, and looks forward to serving the community of Yoga professionals and practitioners.
Pam Byard, Ph.D., will assume the role of Associate Director, with an initial focus on member services, website development, and operations.
Since 2001, Pam has served as Business Manager of Integrative Yoga Therapy. She is very familiar with the need for ongoing professional support for Yoga therapists and the discipline as a whole. In addition, she is well experienced with the requirements of a small office serving members around the world.
Pam earned her Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology, specializing in Human Biology, from the University of Kansas in 1981. From 1983-1995 she was Assistant/Associate Professor of Anthropology and Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. She has authored or coauthored over 50 scientific publications, served as principle or co-investigator on numerous major grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and served as peer reviewer for several scholarly journals as well as the NSF and NIH.
Pam has been practicing Yoga since 1972 and teaching since 1997. She holds a Master's program certification (1,000 hours) from Integrative Yoga Therapy and is registered with the Yoga Alliance as an RYT500. She also is a certified Hellerwork practitioner, with extensive coursework in Upledger Craniosacral Therapy. From 1995-2001, Pam was the owner and director of Body Wisdom, a successful bodywork practice and Yoga studio in Hudson, Ohio.
Pam will be relocating to Prescott in August and looks forward to serving our mission, our members, and the public in accordance with the principles of Patanjali's Yoga-Sûtra.
Find a Yoga Therapist
Long requested by members and the public, we have added a new explicit link at our website that utilizes the Find a Member search function launched earlier this year. We also have added a brief explanation of how to use this function. This, of course, still begs the questions, "What is Yoga Therapy?" and "Who is a Yoga Therapist?" and "How do I Choose a Yoga Therapist?" and the consideration of the answers is ongoing.
Our professional member profiles allow professional members to display their qualifications and professional interests in an in-depth and credible manner, with plenty of room to describe unique aspects of their backgrounds. The public can thus search for Yoga therapists and other Yoga professionals with the education, training, and experience important to them. Many of our members are pioneers in this emerging profession, and their profiles will contribute to IAYT's standards development effort. The profiles also are a useful member networking tool.
501(c)(3) Letter of Determination Received from the IRS
Having once again become an independent organization in July 2004, IAYT filed with the IRS (United States Internal Revenue Service) for tax-exempt status in late December and promptly received our letter of determination from the IRS in February. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, all contributions to IAYT are tax exempt.
We wish to thank our nonprofit advisor, John Matthews, for guiding us so expertly through the entire process, including the creation of our new Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, as well as assisting us with the IRS filing. This was not a pro forma filingJohn helped us think through and consider every aspect. He is a longtime Yoga practitioner with a Buddhist background, which he combines with extensive experience helping large and small nonprofits. I have worked with John for many years, and it is always a pleasure and an education.
We also wish to thank Kathy Qualls, CPA, for supporting IAYT since the beginning of 2004. She helps us prepare accurate and meaningful financial statements that serve our internal needs as well as external requirements. In addition, she serves as a sage nonprofit business counselor. I also have worked with Kathy for many years, and she makes accounting fun!
Please join us in helping to realize our goal of elevating the awareness of Yoga as an established and respected therapy in the Western world.
Your contributions support:
• Research and education in Yoga therapy
• Educating the public about Yoga therapy
• Emerging training standards for Yoga therapists
• An organized voice for Yoga in health care policy
How you can help:
• Become a Supporting Member
• Make a direct donation
Yoga Research and Education Center's Beautiful Retreat Site for Sale
The former YREC retreat facility located near
is currently for sale. It resides on 42 beautiful, forested acres and can accommodate approximately 25 guests in the like-new main facility and an additional 10 guests in a second, recently fully renovated facility. It is a perfect setting for meditation retreats, workshops, etc. For more information, please visit http://www.mantonhouse.com.
Your feedback is, of course, always welcome, and you can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Chikitsâ-Krama: Some Notes and Observations from a Course by Srivatsa Ramaswami, including Application to Bronchial Asthma
The Raja-Yogis understood the physiology of the body and the psychology of the mind. The innovations of yogic breathing exercises, exercise to the internal organs through mudrâs and bandhas, and positional advantage of inversions were their contributions to keeping the whole body healthy. They also studied the causes of mental ailments and developed attitudinal, dietary, and psychological parameters for leading a healthful life. This approach came to be known as chikitsâ-krama or therapeutic methodology. It is highly relevant during midlife.
• Because chikitsâ is not mentioned in any of the Yoga texts, there are as many procedures (for dealing with ailments) as there are Yoga teachers.
For T. Krishnamacharya, chikitsâ-krama included individual application of all available Yoga tools (i.e., yama, niyama, âsana, prânâyâma, dhyâna, kriyâ, chant, etc.). In addition, it included whatever was good for the health and well-being of the student or patient. Chikitsâ-krama was thus broader than just the treatment of ailments.
• The practice of Yoga necessarily involves the practice of all its angas (limbs). The practice of one anga in isolation does not constitute Yoga practice. Some of the essential elements necessary to realize the benefits of Yoga are: shauca or cleanliness, not just of the body, but of all the senses; samtosha, contentment; svâdhyâya, the study of scriptures; and îshvara-pranidhâna, devotion to the Lord, i.e., the transcendental Self.
• Regarding the doshas, in the most general terms the problems associated with each are:
Vâta-dosha = circulatory ailments in all nâdîs (channels). Vâta-dosha includes problems of prâna and ratka (blood) samchâra (flow; see below). Ailments include joint pain/arthritis, nervous system disorders/paralysis, etc. The yogic tool for vâta-dosha is âsana. That is, movement is helpful for circulatory problems.
Kapha-dosha = phlegm = respiratory problems. For kapha-dosha or respiratory ailments, the yogic tool is prânâyâma.
Pitta-dosha = digestive disorders. Mudrâs and bandhas constitute the yogic tools for digestive disorder.
This is an oversimplification, but it conveys the general idea.
Samchâra means "flow or movement." Sam + châra = complete movement. Prâna samchâra refers to the proper flow of prâna, or life force. According to Hatha-Yoga, if the nâdîs, which are the conduits of prâna, are filled with impurities, the prâna samchâra is affected. Several cleaning methods, such as nâdî-shodhana prânâyâma, facilitate the proper samchâra of prâna.
Prânâyâma is the greatest tapas (method of purification) Krishnamacharya used to say that prânâyâma blows away the dirt from the nâdîs, thereby improving the prâna samchâra.
Practice of yogâsana that includes use of breathing with the various vinyâsas and prati-kriyâs (counterposes) ensures that one's circulation and respiration are improved.
With the help of prânâyâma, it is possible to dilate the bronchial tubes in an asthmatic, reduce blood pressure or increase it, and reduce the heart rate. Brain-based neurological disorders such as epilepsy, as well as skin allergies and other conditions, also respond to prâna control.
• The ancient yogis had a different physiological and anatomical understanding of the body than modern allopathic medicine. They viewed the body in terms of the nâdîs, the cakras, and the koshas, or internal organs (editor's note: the term kosha is used here in its literal sense, i.e., as "sack or container"). They believed illness was caused by the koshas, i.e., the vital internal organs, and the muscles being displaced from their original positions. Yogic practice aims to return them to their original positions. The rishis (seers) believed this could be accomplished through the practice of inverted postures. Shîrshâsana (headstand) and sarvangâsana (shoulder stand) are the most important of these.
Note: Krishnamacharya, Ramaswami's teacher, emphasized correction of the displacement of the organs or koshas. Krishnamacharya also discussed the alignment of the cakras, but taught that the cakras should be dealt with separately, with the nâdîs. The ancient yogis believed that âsana with prânâyâma and mudrâ could realign the cakras and return them to their proper place. In his lectures at Loyola, Ramaswami did not address this particular topic. His approach in the class was focused on the organs/koshas.
The ancient yogis felt that mûla-bandha (root lock) and uddîyâna-bandha (upward lock) were of great importance in massaging and exercising the internal organs. In fact, Yoga is the only system that aims to exercise every part of the body, both internal and external.
• Patanjali's Yoga-Sûtra, I.30, states that the symptoms of vikshipta, or mental disturbances, are: vyâdhi (physical ailments), styâna (stubbornness, inertia), samshaya (doubt), pramâda (exaggeration, overstating things), âlasya (laziness, vacillation), avirati (lack of dispassion, inability to look at things objectively), bhâranti-darshana (misunderstanding, mistaking one thing for another), alabdha-bhûmikatva (inability to reach a certain level), and anavasthitattva (slipping back).
Any one of these symptoms affects the mind's ability to focus. The solution, according to Patanjali, is ekatattva-bhyâsa (practice on one principle, YS I.32), or meditation.
Note, however, that if the mind is able to focus, these symptoms do not appear. That is to say, if we read YS I.30 in the reverse order, then meditation or training the mind to focus is a way of treating the mental ailments listed. These were the psychological disorders understood by the ancients and summarized by Patanjali.
As to vyâdhi (physical ailments), we are not saying that meditation will result in a cure for physical ailmentsYoga's purpose is not to make the gross physical body immortalbut meditation may remove the mental disturbances caused by vyâdhi.
For those who believe in the divine, faith may help in the healing of certain ailments. And, the sun is the greatest manifestation...
"Arogyam bhâskarât icchetta." If you desire health, obtain it from the sun. For those who believe in the divine, faith may help in the healing of certain ailments, and the sun is the greatest manifestation of the divine in our solar system. We thus introduce mantra and samantraka sûrya-namaskara. The sûrya-namaskara mantras with the vinyâsas are given in Ramaswami's book Yoga for the Three Stages of Life.
Other Sûrya (sun god) mantras that are popular include the aruna chapter in the Yajur-Veda, a one-hour chant. Another work on Sûrya is known as Âditya-hridayam, a ten-minute prayer from the Râmâyana that is very popular among the general Indian population. Because it is not a Vedic chant, everyone can chant it. The gâyatrî-mantra is another important Vedic mantra on Sûrya that is commonly practiced. And thus it is said, "arogyam bhâkarât icchetta"; if you desire health, pray to Sûrya, the sun god.
An Application: Bronchial Asthma (the most common respiratory ailment)
Note 1: Patients must be treated when they are not having an attack.
Note 2: Perhaps the most important factor is that in Yoga there is extensive participation by the patients, which builds confidence, as opposed to drugs, which build dependence.
1. The first step is to strengthen the system, the breathing apparatus. We want to strengthen and stretch the thoracic muscles. For this we can begin with the arm movements of the tâdâsana (mountain pose) sequence up through twisting. These movements can be done while standing, sitting, or even lying down, and should be done just to the extent possible. They can even be done without regulated breathing, if breathing is difficult.
The beauty of these vinyâsa-krama movements is that they stretch and strengthen both the interior musculature as well as the exterior. That is, the intercostal muscles get a good workout.
2. Next, introduce breathing. Because asthmatics retain phlegm, begin by slowly introducing kapâla-bhâti. Kapâla-bhâti helps to open the bronchial tubes and discharge phlegm, reducing irritation to the bronchial tubes.
Kapâla-bhâti can be done seated in a chair, if necessary. It is not necessary to have the patient sit in a Yogic posture. The number of repetitions will need to be determined on an individual basis.
Note: If someone has a cold or a nostril is blocked, do nâdî-shodhana or alternate nostril kapâla-bhâti. For example, inhale through the right nostril, and exhale through the left nostril. Care must be exercised, however, in the case of sinusitis to avoid propelling phlegm into the sinus cavities.
3. Next, introduce ujjayî prânâyâma. The importance of ujjayî is that it simulates asthmatic breathing, causing the sympathetic nervous system to open the bronchial tubes. Ujjayî breathing hence strengthens the sympathetic nervous system. In addition, the patient gains confidence from being able to breathe in this simulated circumstance, and thus during an attack there is less panic. In effect, ujjayî breathing trains the system not to panic when an attack comes.
4. After some time, we may begin sarvangâsana, the panacea. The neck must be supple for this, however, so we may begin with any form of viparîta-karanî, even placing the feet against a wall or on a chair and then raising the hips off the floor. You can help support the patient's back with your knee or by holding the legs up. The main requirement is that the hips should be up. Because of the release of phlegm, patients may need to come down after ten or fifteen seconds or less to spit.
The importance of sarvangâsana is that it enhances ujjayî breathing. The jâlandhara-bandha (throat lock) is more natural in this position, and so the ujjayî is more pronounced. The bronchial tubes open, and this removes phlegm. The upside-down position helps the phlegm flow down to clear the chest.
5. The abdomen may be heavy or stiff, hindering breathing. Some forward bending could help, even seated in a chair.
6. The use of sound through singing and chanting is helpful, as they help the patient gain control over exhalation and to exhale completely. (Exhaling is the greatest problem for asthmatics.)
7. Asthmatics should avoid kapha (phlegm) producing foods, as well as cold items and any foods that cool the system.
Note: The above practices should be used as adjunct therapy. Medication should not be altered or reduced until there is clearly detectable improvement and both the patient and his or her doctor gain confidence. If patients have reduced or eliminated medications and subsequently have an attack, they should immediately resume the needed usage. Remember, the techniques are not important; the patient is important.
. From a course given by Srivatsa Ramaswami at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, October 2004.
. T. Krishnamacharya. Yoga Cikitsa. Darsanam, November 1995, 4(3).
. The vinyâsa-krama method is detailed in Srivatsa Ramaswami, The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga. New York: Marlowe & Co., 2005.
. Srivatsa Ramaswami. Yoga for the Three Stages of Life. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2001, pp. 124-125.
. The Complete Books of Vinyasa Yoga, op. cit.
© David Hurwitz 2005
About Srivatsa Ramaswami: Srivatsa Ramaswami studied Yoga for over 30 years with T. Krishnamacharya and taught Yoga for over 20 years at Kalashetra in Chennai, India, where he resides. He has lectured widely at universities, taught therapeutic Yoga at hospitals, and has created over 40 cassettes of Vedic chanting. He is the author of Yoga for the Three Stages of Life and The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga.
About David Hurwitz: David Hurwitz lives and teaches in Los Angeles. He has been studying the Yoga of Krishnamacharya since 1990, first with A.G. Mohan of Madras, India, and next with Gary Kraftsow. For the past few years he has been studying with Srivatsa Ramaswami and assisting him with writing. They have recently completed work on a new book, Questions and Answers on Yoga. Contact: email@example.com.
Pain Management for Injured Workers
Julia Payne, R.Y.T.
For the past two years I have been teaching Yoga and meditation to patients in a comprehensive pain management program in Wheeling, West Virginia. Our patients are usually coal miners, steel workers, industrial workers, and nurses. They have been injured on the job, and their doctors recommend them to us when no other treatments have eased their chronic pain. Most of them have been off work for at least 1-2 years and have lost hope of ever returning to work. During that time of inactivity, they have gained weight and lost strength and flexibility both of body and mind. They have been battling the compensation system, and they are depressed and worried about their families and their futures. They are often angry, and they feel very cheated by the "system." They feel that the accident has ruined their life, and many of them are in debt. Because of enforced inactivity and weight gain, many have developed diabetes and high blood pressure.
In addition, it has been our observation that many of these patients suffered some form of severe trauma as children. It is as though they simply do not have the emotional resources to cope with what has now happened to them, and they see themselves as victims. Some of them have spent time in jail, and some are very difficult or even potentially dangerous individuals. They are chronically stuck in stress and in sympathetic nervous system dominance. Most of them have back or neck injuries, but I also see rotator cuff tears, carpal tunnel syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and fibromyaglia. During the six-week pain management program, patients receive extensive physiotherapy treatment, pool therapy, a daily workout in the gym, nutrition counseling, vocational rehabilitation, individual and group psychotherapy, massage therapy, and Yoga and meditation classes. Many of the patients require an additional four weeks in the program, but 90% of our patients return to work.
My biggest challenge is "hooking" the new patient on Yoga. In many ways, West Virginia is still a provincial statesome of my patients have literally never heard of "Yoga." Even if they have heard of it, they are often convinced that Yoga is not for them! In the beginning, I tried to educate them on the health benefits of Yoga and to give them historical and clinical background information. Most of my patients are not well educated, however, and I quickly learned that they were not interested in understanding more about their treatment. They are focused on the small part of their body that is not working like they want it to, and on the system that is not serving them well. My goal is to help them get back in touch with all parts of themselves, and to work with what they have and make the most of the rest of their lives.
All the patients attend my classes as a group, so another challenge is to lead a class that will address everyone's needs. I might have one person with a rotator cuff injury who cannot lift his arm, one who is only comfortable standing or lying down, another who is only comfortable sitting, and another who is attending for the first time. The one common denominator of all my patients is that they can breathe!
At the beginning of the class, each patient has an opportunity to bring up whatever is currently causing grief or upset in his or her life. My teaching for the day will be determined by the mental state of each, and I use Yoga philosophy to help them understand how their thinking is creating so much of their suffering. I try to use whatever problems are expressed as a foundation for a simple teaching, such as how attraction and aversion disturb our ability to enjoy our lives, or how worrying about tomorrow is not living in the present moment.
For first-time patients, my goal is to immediately help them experience a few minutes of freedom from their thoughts and from pain. They need to experience the shift from functioning in the sympathetic nervous system mode to functioning in that of the parasympathetic nervous system.
The class begins with instruction in dîrgha and ujjayî prânâyâma in either seated or supine position. Many of my patients express amazement upon realizing how shallowly they have been breathing. If they are able to lie down on the floor, I have them bring their legs up onto the seat of a chair. They are then led in a 15-minute body scan. As they are guided out of this initial experience, I ask them to consider if this moment is okay just as it is and suggest that many moments of their lives are actually okay and quite lovely, except for their thoughts telling them otherwise. This provides their first glimpse into the possibility their pain experience might be largely mental suffering. During centering, I often use guided imagery, leading participants to recreate actual moments of joy from their own experience. I guide them to completely envision the picture of the joyful experience and then allow the joy to expand to their heart center, and from there out to their whole body. Most patients find this experience very rewarding and will convey that during the experience they were unaware of any pain at all. This gives them great hope for their future healing.
Many of the patients experience racing thoughts and find it very hard to relax, and they often disrupt the class. When this happens, we practice additional prânâyâma, and they enjoy this immensely! They find several repetitions of lion breath to be a very helpful way to release a great amount of anger (editor's note: "lion breath" refers to the exhalation that may be part of simhâsana [lion pose]). They also enjoy kapâla-bhâti and "breath of joy" (prâna-sukha). In extreme cases we have even practiced bhastrikâ to help someone calm down enough to participate in class. Our practice of prânâyâma is, of course, tempered for patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure, for whom forceful prânâyâma and breath-holding is generally contraindicated.
To assist patients in releasing anger and frustration, I have them bring an issue of that nature to mind. I next guide them in developing a strong connection to what is making them so unhappy. Then we practice releasing it with growls and fierce noises. From there, I lead them into laughter, which is at first deliberate, but quickly becomes genuine heartfelt laughter, shared by us all. One would imagine that I would have a hard time getting industrial workers to act this way, but it helps that I do not take myself too seriously. Believe me, lion breath and shared laughter are frequently requested by the patients once they have experienced it!
Another tremendous source of release for them is jiggling and shaking their limbs while standing, leading into stamping the feet and making sounds with their voices. All of these practices take them out of their intensely suffering mind and bring them into their bodies.
Any combination of the above practices provides a perfect entrance into seated meditation. I find that the simplest practice is counting backward from 4 down to 1, over and over. Most patients are able to stay with this method easily, and they come away excited about future possibilities.
The actual instruction in warm-up stretches and âsana is totally dependent on the particular group of individuals in any given class. My experience with injured patients is that they are completely unaware of the guarding and tension they hold in their bodies at all times, and I find the five steps of second-stage Kripalu Yoga practice to be very useful in helping them become aware of this trauma reflex.
The Five Steps to Second Stage Kripalu Yoga Practice
I will first note that stage one is primarily concerned with outward focus: learning the details of the techniques, the poses, and the prânâyâmas. In the five steps of stage two, practitioners use their breath to focus awareness inwardly. They bring their attention to the place in their body where they are experiencing resistance, and they use dîrgha and ujjayî prânâyâma to remain focused on sensation and their edge. They breathe into that space and imagine that they are expanding that place with their breathand they rest in that place without forcing or striving. They are at their edge, but not in a place of pain. There may be mild discomfort, but never pain or injury. The five steps are: breathe, relax, feel, watch, allow. The idea is to ride the wave of breath, to talk to oneself, to encourage oneself to relax, to feel sensations as they arise and pass away, to watch what arises mentally, emotionally, and physically. To allow oneself to be present and to accept, and to slowly evolve. The body definitely will release. It is about confronting trauma reflexes and spinal reflexes and staying present while addressing old resistances.
This is how I use the five-step process for myself and for my students and patients, and I find it remarkably successful. For instance, I had one patient with tremors who was able to use these steps and look at his arm or his leg and literally tell his limb to stop trembling. I believe the process is primarily about confronting fearin the body, in the mind, and in the soul. We do not even have to identify what the fear is, just be present with what we are experiencing.
The surrender that patients experience in even the slightest forward bend may bring a significant discovery about freedom from pain. Even just bowing the head, if that is all they can doin combination with dîrgha and ujjayî prânâyâma and the five-step process of breathe, relax, feel, watch, and allowmay bring a new sense of possibility when they slowly lift their head.
I also find that grounding poses are very helpful for these patients. By the time they complete the following series, they feel as if they are standing on a soft mattress, and they are surprised to realize how much they have been "holding back" from gravity.
First pose: Become aware of the way your feet are placed on your mat, and the sensation you feel from the soles of your feet. Make a note of these sensations for future reference. Stand with your arms by your sides, and imagine that you are holding a rod in your hands. Inhale and raise the rod up to shoulder height. Hold the breath in until the need to exhale arises, and then lower your arms and release the breath slowly. Take a moment to release the pose entirely, down through the fingertips and out through the soles of the feet. Note how the bottoms of your feet feel.
Second pose: Repeat the first pose, but this time rise up onto your toes. Again hold the breath in, and then release the breath and the pose at the same time. Let it all go out through the fingertips and down through the soles of the feet. Be aware of what you are feeling. At this point, everyone usually becomes aware of how soft the hard surface of the floor is beginning to feel.
Third pose: I call this a full body clench. Inhale and then come into a crouch. Be aware of tightening every muscle in your body. Hold the breath in, then release the pose and the breath and slowly stand up. Be careful not to hold so hard that you see stars! Release fully through the fingertips and feet.
Fourth pose: As you inhale, bring the arms up overhead into temple position. Hold the breath in, then when the need to exhale arises, release the breath and lower the arms at the same time. Release the pose down through the fingertips and out through the soles of the feet. Once again, note the sensation in the feet.
Fifth pose: Repeat the fourth pose, but this time rise up onto your toes.
Conclusion: End the series by standing with your hands in the prayer mudrâ and observe the sensation for at least 3-4 complete ujjayî breaths.
At this point, many of the patients find they are more in touch with themselves than they have been in recent memory. They find this to be a very moving experience. They become reacquainted with the truly good person they are beneath all the pain and suffering they have experienced (and caused) in their lives.
Balancing poses are a serious challenge for most of my patients. I have a large mural of a lake scene in my studio, and patients come right up to the mural and pick out "their" tree. They are able to balance much more easily when they know they can reach forward and touch the wall and when everyone else is out of their visual field. I find they feel so empowered when they are able to do even the most rudimentary version of a balancing pose. It is another practice that helps them have hope for their future.
We stress postural alignment in our program, both for the physical benefits and for the way an upright and open posture denotes and builds confidence. We spend a lot of class time on tadâsana (mountain pose) and simple variations of ardhacandrâsana (half moon pose) and vîrabhadrâsana I (warrior pose).
I like to demonstrate the movement of energy in the body with energy washes. These are also helpful for days when patients are experiencing a lot of emotional upheaval, or are limited in their physical abilities. It helps to teach them about the power of energy and how it can get blocked. They then begin to believe that their pain and tightness might not require a surgical solution.
One of the most useful things I can do for patients is help them rest. Most of them have not had more than a few hours of sleep at a time for years due to their pain and anguish. We end each day's class with either guided yoga-nidrâ or guided imagery. I try to give them at least 15-20 minutes of one of these. For yoga-nidrâ, I use Swami Satyananda Saraswati's book Yoga Nidra. If the class has been held with patients seated in a chair, we end with meditation.
I always include the recitation of an om at the beginning and ending of class, as well as a short "prayer" for patients' well-being. My experience is that while initially there is a bit of hesitation, it is not long before patients are whole-heartedly joining in with the om recitation, and they in fact relish the deep silence afterward. I notice that as I repeat the metta meditation "prayer" at the end of the class, their lips move as they silently join me.
My patients tell me repeatedly how helpful it has been to learn to breath deeply and to relax. They report that they have used the breathing practices in moments of anger or pain, or during a frightening medical treatment or test. They also relate how they have taught their children and grandchildren some of our techniques for releasing anger or experiencing joy, how they have begun to meditate with their spouse, or how they have set up a small meditation area in their home for themselves. They use the breathing and awareness techniques during their sessions in the gym, while they are doing stretching, and while they are undergoing painful treatments.
I believe that in the Yoga class they rediscover parts of themselves they have forgotten all about. They feel whole again, regardless of their physical condition. They feel accepted, and they learn to nurture themselves.
I will close with a short story about one of my patients. He had come in with excruciating and completely inexplicable headaches of two years' duration following a coal-mining accident. He was convinced that there was a surgical solution to his problem and was one raw nerve ending. He was so full of tension and anger that his body was like a board. Because of the pain, he initially was unable to complete a full day of the program and spent Yoga class lying in shavâsana with an eye bag over his eyes to block out the light. After 10 weeks in the program, however, he was able to participate fully in a moderate level Yoga class, graduated from the program with a smile, and returned to his 10-hour per day job as a coal miner. One of our secretaries attended a baseball game shortly thereafter where this man's son was the pitcher. It was not going well for the son, and he was getting very nervous. Out of the crowd came the boy's mother's voice calling, "Breathe, Wyatt, breathe!"
It is occasions such as this that let me know I have dropped a pebble and the ripples are spreading . . .
 Editor's note: Although kapâla-bhâti is often referred to a form of prânâyâma, it is more accurately described as a kriyâ, or cleansing technique, consisting of fast abdominal breathing, with short, sharp, active exhalations and short but passive inhalations. Variations of exhalation and inhalation are possible.
 To perform prâna-sukha, come into a relaxed stance with your feet comfortably apart. Inhale, raising your arms forward to shoulder height. Inhale a little more, opening the arms out to the sides. Inhale even more, raising your arms overhead. Then exhale, making the sound "ha!" as you swing your arms down toward the ground, bending forward from the hips and bending the knees to protect the low back. Let the momentum of the movement continue to flow through the body as you swing up to repeat this breath. The momentum carries the whole flow of this prânâyâma. (In other words, do not come to an abrupt halt after the downward "ha!") Repeat about 6-10 times. Usually, you will find yourself smiling after practicing prâna-sukha.
 To describe how to perform energy washes, I will use the example of the face. Begin by rubbing the palms vigorously together to create some heat. Then cup the palms over the eyes and allow yourself to experience the warmth. Using the index and middle fingers of both hands, begin to slowly massage the temples, eyebrows, cheeks, hairline, forehead, jaw, wandering around to the neck and the base of the skull. Continue through the hair and massage the scalp. Pause and sit with the eyes closed while you allow yourself to experience fully the effect of this massage, the increased flow of prâna, and the sense of "aliveness" in the part of your body that has been nurtured. I use this same technique to do energy washes of the arms or legs. I do one limb, and then we pause to notice the difference between each side of the body. One begins to notice that an energy wash of one arm affects that whole side of the body, not just that limb.
© Julia Payne 2005
About the author: Julia Payne is a Kripalu Yoga Teacher registered with the Yoga Alliance who has been teaching for five years. She is also a Registered Nurse and has seven years of experience working with neurological patients with brain and spinal cord injuries.
Effects of a Yoga Intervention as a Supportive Therapy in Arthritis
Manoj Sharma, M.B.B.S., C.H.E.S., Ph.D.
Objectives: The ancient system of Yoga has been suggested as a supportive self-management therapy for arthritis. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a Social Cognitive Theorybased Kundalinî-Yoga intervention on arthritis patients. Design: The study utilized a pre-test, post-test design. Setting: The study was implemented through a wellness committee at the worksite of a Midwestern state health and human services department. Subjects: A total of 24 participants enrolled in the study from which 15 completed the course. Intervention: A basic intervention of 6 weeks with six 75-minute Friday lunch hour classes teaching âsanas, prânâyâma, relaxation, and meditation was implemented. Outcome measures: A psychometric scale was developed that measured self-reported pain, joint swelling, joint stiffness, functional independence, self-efficacy for performing âsanas, prânâyâma, relaxation, and meditation, and recollection of the frequency of these behaviors performed in the past week. Results: Statistically significant difference was noted only for increase in frequency of performing certain Yoga behaviors ( âsanas, relaxation, and meditation) (p<0.001). Process evaluation results were positive. Conclusion: The present study offers limited support regarding the feasibility of Yoga for arthritis patients. There is need for a larger trial.
Arthritis and chronic joint symptoms affect nearly 70 million Americans, or about one out of three adults, making it the most prevalent disease in the United States. One of the important goals in treating arthritis is improving the functional status of the patient through symptomatic relief. Treatment typically involves use of anti-inflammatory drugs, increasing physical activity, maintenance of ideal body weight, avoidance of joint injuries, protection during weight-bearing activities, and range of motion exercises. Treatment of arthritis relies heavily on self-management, and the ancient system of Yoga has been recommended as a supportive self-management therapy.
The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, meaning "union." Yoga is an ancient system of physical and psychic practice that originated during the Indus Valley civilization in South Asia. The first detailed written records of this methodology appeared around 200 BC in the Yoga-Sûtra of Patanjali. The system consisted of the eight-limbed path, or Ashtanga-Yoga (not to be confused with the modern Ashtanga-Yoga developed by Pattabhi Jois).
In contemporary literature, Yoga is described in various ways. For purposes of the current study, a modern interpretation of Yoga was used that includes the systematic application of techniques to promote the union and harmony of the human body, mind, and environment. In this context, Yoga is defined as "a systematic practice and implementation of mind and body in the living process of human beings to keep harmony within self, within society, and with nature."
The traditional practice of Yoga was quite rigorous and arduous and entailed lifelong devoted practice with adherence to strict austerities. Today, many schools of Yoga have simplified the techniques, making them more suitable for users in many different walks of life.
The eight traditional steps of Patanjali's Ashtanga-Yoga include yama (rules for living in society), niyama (self-restraining rules), asâna (low physical impact postures), prânâyâma (breathing techniques), pratyâhâra (detachment of the mind from senses), dhâranâ (concentration), dhyâna (meditation), and samâdhi (complete union with super consciousness). Several schools of Yoga exist today, and few utilize all of the above limbs of practice. One well-established school of Yoga is Kundalinî-Yoga, or the system of "primordial energy unification." The hallmark of this school is that it starts with the seventh step of Patanjali's Ashtanga-Yoga, that of dhyâna, or meditation.
In Kundalinî-Yoga the fundamental meditation technique involves performing a "formless" contemplation at different points in the body, including the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus gland. In addition to this meditation, selected âsanas, breathing techniques, relaxation geared primarily toward muscle strain reduction, enhancement of the vital capacity of the lungs, and balancing of the endocrine system and central nervous system also are practiced. The techniques of this school have been popularized by the Universal Peace Sanctuary (Erode, India), which was established in 1937, and the World Community Service Centre (Chennai, India), which was established in 1958. Both organizations have branches all over the world and have taught these techniques to several thousand practitioners.
Although Yoga is often recommended for arthritis, very few studies have been conducted to examine its effects. A ten-week randomized controlled trial done in the United States with osteoarthritis patients found improvement in pain, tenderness, and range of motion. Another small controlled trial was conducted with 20 volunteers10 in a Yoga group and 10 in a control group. The grip strength in both hands, the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ) score, and ring sizes increased in the Yoga group as compared to the controls. Another controlled trial done in India with rheumatoid arthritis patient found improvement in hand grip strength of both hands as measured by grip dynamometer. The study also found that the magnitude of improvement was higher in women and in younger patients. All three of these interventions were conducted in clinical settings, were done on a small scale, and did not reify a behavioral theory for adoption of Yoga-related behaviors. All three only established tenuous support for the self-management of arthritis through the practice of Yoga.
The present study was designed to pilot test a Yoga intervention that would be feasible in public health settings, that utilized a behavioral theory, and that underscored self-management of arthritis through self-directed practice of Yoga. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of a Social Cognitive Theorybased Kundalinî-Yoga intervention on volunteer arthritis patients. The Yoga-based program included low physical impact postures (âsana), breathing techniques (prânâyâma), meditation (dhyâna), and relaxation (shavâsana).
The pilot study was implemented through a wellness committee at the worksite of a Midwestern state health and human services department. All employees were sent an email message regarding possible participation in the study. The inclusion criteria for participation were: (1) having been diagnosed with arthritis and (2) a desire and willingness to adhere to the Yoga-based intervention for six weeks. Excluded from the study were people with: (1) any major disorder that limited performance of activities of daily living, (2) any overt disorder that limited ability to understand and give informed consent, (3) history of heart attack within the past six months, (4) history of any major surgery or hospitalization within the past six months, or (5) uncontrolled ailment of muscles or bones that produced severe pain. Permission from the University Institutional Review Board was obtained to conduct the study, and written informed consent from all participants was obtained.
A 17-item self-report questionnaire for pre-test and a 23-item self-report questionnaire for post-test were designed. Face validation and content validation of the instruments were done by a panel of three expertstwo university professors and one administrator. Two of the subscales were taken from an earlier questionnaire developed by the researcher and had acceptable validity and reliability (Cronbach's alpha = 0.89 and 0.93). The first five questions at pre-test pertained to duration of diagnosis and self-rating of pain, swelling, stiffness, and functional independence on a scale of 0 (least) to 10 (highest). The next four questions were about self-efficacy (or the confidence that one has in his or her ability to perform a given behavior) for Yoga-related behaviors consisting of low physical impact postures (âsana), breathing techniques (prânâyâma), meditation (dhyâna), and relaxation (shavâsana). The rating scale consisted of not at all sure (0), slightly sure (1), moderately sure (2), very sure (3), and completely sure (4). A total score was derived with a possible range from 0-16. The next four questions were about past-week recall of performing the four Yoga-related behaviors using the following rating scale: never (0), hardly ever (1), sometimes (2), almost always (3), and always (4). The final four questions were about demographics pertaining to age, gender, race, and educational level. For post-test the demographic questions were replaced by eight close-ended process-rating questions that asked about satisfaction with learning, program organization, instructor knowledge, techniques, instructor enthusiasm, program duration, video usefulness, and venue logistics using a rating scale of excellent (4), very good (3), good (2), poor (1), and very poor (0). Also at post-test two open-ended questions were asked requesting participants to identify any two strengths and any two areas of improvement for the program.
The intervention consisted of six 75-minute sessions meeting on consecutive Fridays during the lunch hour. Participants were instructed to practice the techniques at home with the help of a video provided to all subjects. They also were instructed to be attentive to their body, and if any process was too difficult or contraindicated for them they were instructed not to perform it. In the first week, participants were given an overview of Yoga and taught a set of âsanas. These âsanas included movements of the eyes, neck, shoulders, and fine motor muscles of the hands, spinal rotations, spinal rocking with flexion, extension/hyperextension of the spine, hip movements, knee movements, and leg postures. In the second week, the practice from the first week was continued and prânâyâma techniques were taught. These included abdominal breathing in different postures, alternate nostril breathing, bending breathing (bending forward during exhalation and returning to the upright position during inhalation), and inhalation:breath holding:slow exhalation following a 1:4:2 ratio. In the third week, the practice from the second week was continued and participants were taught a meditation on the pituitary gland utilizing the "touch technique." In the fourth week, the practice from the third week continued. In the fifth week, participants were taught the "base of the spine" meditation utilizing the "touch technique." In the final week the practices from previous weeks were repeated and directions for future practice were given. In this intervention, self-efficacy, which is a construct of Social Cognitive Theory, was developed with regard to four Yoga behaviors. This was done by teaching the behaviors in small steps (to ensure mastery) utilizing modeling by the instructor. The instructor also provided ongoing verbal persuasion by checking that participants were performing the steps correctly, and a stress-free environment was maintained throughout each session.
A total of 24 participants enrolled in the Yoga program and signed the informed consent intake form. Of these, 23 were women (95.8%) and one was a man. All the participants were Caucasian. Eight (33.3%) had completed high school and 16 (66.7%) had college education or more. The age of the participants ranged from 45 to 66 years with a mean age of 55.13 (s.d. 5.41) years. The participants had been diagnosed with arthritis with a range in duration of 2 to 204 months and a mean of 60.39 (s.d. 57.15) months.
Fifteen participants (62.5%) completed the six-week course. Table 1 summarizes the post-test process ratings by the participants in the Yoga intervention. For all eight items, the means were over the midpoint of 2, with a range of 2.79 for duration of the program to 3.80 for instructor knowledge.
Ratings of the Process of the Yoga Intervention at Post-Test (n=15)
|Satisfaction with learning
|Logistics at the venue
Table 2 compares the study variables before and after the Yoga course. Statistically significant difference was noted only for increase in frequency of performing certain Yoga behaviors (âsanas, relaxation, and meditation) (p<0.001). In response to the open-ended questions soliciting strengths and areas for improvement, 28 comments for strengths and 10 comments for areas of improvement were provided. All ten comments for improvement were about process aspects, especially about increasing the length of the program. The majority (75%) of the comments about strengths praised process aspects, while the remaining seven comments (25%) were about actual benefits from the program in terms of pain relief, improved mobility, stress reduction, improvement in breathing, and the ability to do home chores.
Comparison of Means and Standard Deviations of Study Variables Before and After the
Completion of the Yoga Course (n=15)
Mean (std. dev.)
Mean (std. dev.)
|Self-efficacy for Yoga
The purpose of this pilot study was to develop and test a Yoga intervention based on Social Cognitive Theory that could be used as a supportive self-management therapy for arthritis patients. Social Cognitive Theory offers an effective framework for behavior change interventions and has been empirically tested for a variety of behaviors. The emphasis of Social Cognitive Theory on the triadic reciprocity of behavior, environment, and personal attributes is robust in explaining behavior change. The constructs of outcome expectations, self-efficacy, and self-control have been found to explain a large proportion of variance in acquisition of several health behaviors.
The results of the process evaluation of the intervention found above-average ratings on all eight aspects of the program pertaining to the instructor, instruction, and the setting. This is indicative of the acceptance and feasibility of the program. Furthermore, no side effects or adverse reactions were reported in response to Yoga therapy. Qualitatively, several strengths for the process, as well as actual benefits from the program, were mentioned. The main area of suggested improvement was increasing the duration of the program.
Pain, stiffness, swelling, and functional independence did not show statistically significant improvement in the six-week time period. There are several possible reasons: (1) Yoga therapy for arthritis may not work, (2) the time period was too short for statistically significant changes to occur, (3) because of attrition the sample size at post-test was too small, and (4) the participants did not adequately practice Yoga at home in terms of quantity and frequency. Regarding the first reason, i.e., that "Yoga therapy may not work," this is unlikely given that previous studies have indicated the approach seems to work. Furthermore, in the qualitative data collected about strengths of the present program, one fourth of the comments were about benefits accrued. The second reason, i.e., that the time period for the program was too short, seems likely. Previous studies have been done for 10 weeks and 3 months. Since arthritis is a chronic disease, a longer time period for measurement of effects would be justified. The third reason, i.e., that attrition led to a too small sample size, also is important.
The intervention reified only one construct of Social Cognitive Theory, namely self-efficacy, which did not change from pre- to post-intervention. Perhaps more constructs from Social Cognitive Theory, namely expectations (anticipatory outcomes of a behavior), expectancies (values a person places on these anticipatory outcomes), and self-control, need to be reified so that the intervention may be behaviorally robust. Finally, reason number four, i.e., that participants may not have practiced adequately at home, also needs further consideration.
A statistically significant (p<0.001) change in frequency of performing certain Yoga behaviors from pre-test (mean 1.5) to post-test (mean 8.8) was found. While this is a significant improvement, it is only midway in the possible range (0-16), indicating that more regularity and time commitment is achievable. Once again, better utilization of Social Cognitive Theory can improve this aspect and strengthen the intervention.
Even though the present study offers limited support, Yoga shows potential for use as a self-management supportive therapy in arthritis. A randomized controlled trial with adequate sample size, increased duration, and expanded utilization of Social Cognitive Theory should be done in the future.
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© Manoj Sharma 2005
About the author: Manoj Sharma, M.B.B.S., C.H.E.S., Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Education, at the University of Cincinnati. He is a physician by initial training and completed his doctorate in Preventive Medicine/Public Health at Ohio State University. He has worked in Community Health for more than 20 years, and his research interests include designing and evaluating theory-based health education and health promotion programs, alternative and complementary systems of health, and community-based participatory research. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-556-3873 (messages only).
Annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium Acknowledges Yoga Therapy
Amy Weintraub, M.F.A., R.Y.T
In an unprecedented invitation that acknowledged Yoga as a therapeutic treatment for positive mental health, Rich Simon, Ph.D., the founding editor of Psychotherapy Networker Magazine, asked me to serve as LifeForce Symposium Facilitator at the 28th Annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium in Washington, D.C. This role gave Yoga as much visibility and respect as other treatments for mood disorders. At this Washington, D.C., conference in March, more than 3,600 mainstream mental health professionalsclinical social workers, marriage and family counselors, addiction specialists, psychiatric nurses, and psychologistswere exposed to Yoga and yogic principles. They attended in record numbersnot just the standing-room-only, early morning Yoga classes and afternoon prânâyâma breathing and meditation sessions offered every day, but also the breakout sessions on Yoga and therapy and mindfulness and dozens of body-oriented treatments based on ancient yogic wisdom.
"Where attention goes," said Daniel Siegel, M.D., author of The Developing Mind and Parenting from the Inside Out, in his keynote address, "neural firing follows, and the possibility for synaptic change occurs." This has tremendous implications for a Yoga practice done with attention to the sensations in the body. For Siegel, "contemplative practices" are as important for changing our neuronal wiring as our secure attachment relationships and psychotherapy. Even the perhaps dysfunctional wiring acquired in the first eighteen months of life may be reprogrammed.
Daniel Amen, M.D., another keynoter this year, and author of the best-selling Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, recently did SPECT scans of eleven Kundalinî-Yoga meditators practicing kîrtan-kriyâ, a meditation practice that involves mudrâ, mantra, and visualization. In the study, the practice lit up the right temporal lobe, or as both Amen and study coauthor Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., author of The New Golden Rules: An Essential Guide to Spiritual Bliss, describe it, the brain's "God Center." Subjects reported feeling transcendent states and in touch with their higher power.
After analyzing the SPECT scans of his patients to determine the hot spotsfor example, an overactive basal ganglia usually indicates anxietyDr. Amen finds he can more accurately prescribe treatment. Treatment is sometimes medication and sometimes behavioral changes that may include breath work, toning, and meditation.
Psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek, another keynoter and author of three bestsellers, Staying Well with Guided Imagery, Your Sixth Sense, and Invisible Heros: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal, reported on her interviews with trauma survivors and their therapists, recent findings from large-scale disasters, and the latest brain scan data. The convergence of this new information, she explained, tells us why guided imagery is an ideal technique for trauma survivors. Because of its reliance on the more primitive brain processessensation, perception, emotion, images, and muscular reactivityguided imagery, unlike talk therapy alone, "sidesteps the vicious booby trapped language and cognition centers, which can set loose a cascade of ugly flashbacks and panic states."
Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., a Symposium Keynoter in 2004, medical director of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, and professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine, recommends that his patients in therapy also study Yoga or Tai Chi or some other physical/spiritual practice. He is currently studying the efficacy of Yoga for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as the effect of Yoga on heart rate variability. Dr. Van Der Kolk cringes when I or anyone else calls him the "father" of PTSD, but without his observation of a constellation of symptoms while working with Vietnam vets in the 1970s, his research, and his clinical work, the mental health profession would not be as well-equipped as it is to deal with trauma.
Yoga was an integral part of the Symposium schedule, offered before each morning's keynote address and after the afternoon breakout sessions. Suzy Hurley led a pre-conference, day-long intensive on Anusara Yoga. There were workshops on mindfulness and on conscious eating that included Yoga, and anxiety management sessions that included yogic breathing and guided relaxation. I taught an all-day intensive called LifeForce Energy Management, which emphasized prânâyâma and meditation practices from both Classical Yoga and Tantric traditions. During the conference, I also gave a PowerPoint presentation entitled "Yoga and Therapy" that distinguished between simple yogic techniques therapists can use in the office to help their clients focus and attune to feelings and those deeper practices that are best learned through instruction from a qualified Yoga therapist or teacher. Therapists were encouraged to visit the website of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and to form a working relationship with a Yoga teacher in their community to whom they can refer clients.
Most far-reaching, however, was the opportunity I had to lead the entire gathering in five minutes of prânâyâma breathing before a keynote address. These five minutes introduced thousands of psychotherapists, many of them new to Yoga, to the benefits of yogic breathing for themselves and their clients. They experienced calming of the autonomic nervous system, focusing of mind, and left and right hemispheric integration as they prepared to listen to Daniel Siegel, M.D., talk about "Psychotherapy and the Integration of Consciousness." Unless contraindicated, the entire plenary session did a round of bellows breathing (bhastrikâ prânâyâma), followed by alternate nostril breathing (nâdî-shodhana). When I asked how they felt after their breathing experience, I received a loud chorus of "Great!"
The link between Yoga and positive mental health is not new, of course. Herbert Benson, M.D., author of The Relaxation Response, has been studying the effects of mantra-based meditation at Harvard's Mind Body Institute for more than 35 years. Jon Kabat-Zinn, also a keynoter at the Symposium and author of Full Catastrophe Living and the recent Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and Our World Through Mindfulness Meditation, has had the beneficial results of his mindfulness-based stress reduction program duplicated in hundreds of research studies around the world. For the first time, however, significant numbers of psychotherapists are paying serious attention to Yoga âsana and prânâyâma, prescribing Yoga classes for their clients and using simple yogic breathing techniques in the treatment room to help their clients relax, focus, and gain better access to their emotions. Mental health professionals are showing up at Yoga teacher trainings and workshops that offer CEUs for Yoga teachers and psychotherapists, because the research is inyou cannot ignore the body when treating the mind. And if you are dealing with a victim of trauma, we now know that you might literally risk re-traumatizing him or her with talk therapy alone.
About the author: Amy Weintraub, M.F.A., R.Y.T. 500, is the author of Yoga for Depression, a senior Kripalu teacher and mentor, a consultant for the Mayo clinic, and writes regularly for national magazines. She is the founder of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute in Tucson and leads LifeForce Yoga trainings for Yoga teachers and psychotherapists. Amy can be contacted through her website at http://www.yogafordepression.com.
(summaries written by Laraine Herring, unless otherwise notedthank you, Laraine!)
In Memory of Howard Kent
by Nancy Ford-Kohne, U.S. Representative of Yoga for Health Foundation
Howard Kent, the founder and director of Yoga for Health Foundation, died February 15 in Bedford, England, just several weeks shy of his 86th birthday. His entry into the world of Yoga was, like Howard himself, unique. He was first attracted to Yoga more than 65 years ago by the writings of Gandhi. As a writer, journalist, and photo editor [he worked on the film Lawrence of Arabia], he was asked in 1967 to plan a series of programs for British television with the American Yoga teacher Richard Hittelman. The response was amazing, with the "Yoga for Health" series breaking records at a time when interest in Yoga was low both in the United States and in the British Isles. Howard then formed nonprofit Yoga for Health Clubs (there are now 120 clubs nationwide in the U.K. and Ireland, with representatives in 23 countries), and in 1976 The Yoga for Health Foundation became a registered charity in the U.K.
A suggestion by a physical therapist in Scotland that Yoga poses and breathing could help her multiple sclerosis clients set the stage for the rest of Howard's extraordinary relationship with Yoga. Ickwell Bury Manor, located in the rural countryside and leased by The Yoga for Health Foundation (http://www.yogaforhealthfoundation.co.uk) in 1978, became one of the few residential Yoga facilities in the world dedicated to working with people with disabilities, especially neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, stroke, and a range of other health conditions. The "Bury" has attracted many thousands of guests over the past 25+ years, both able-bodied and otherwise. Howard always would greet each one, whether teacher, student, ambulatory or in a wheelchair. "Most neurologists have not had dinner with their patients," he would add.
Howard always spoke of the importance of breathbreath and energy were the basis of his work with Yoga. He authored over a dozen books, including the groundbreaking Yoga for the Disabled. In the last years of his life, even though in declining health, he wrote Yoga Made Easy; Breath Better, Feel Better; Yoga: An Illustrated Guide; and The Complete Yoga Course.
I must make this personal, as I remember so much of what Howard shared in the 21 years of our association and friendship. Hearing of his deathhis release, actuallyI sorted through witty letters from him, along with books and articles by and about him, and I saw once again so clearly what a pioneer and courageous, crazy guy he was. I felt such deep appreciation and sadness. One of the last things he said to us was, "I am not sure they have email up there."
He reminds me still that "if you are not content (i.e., do not have samtosha), you are not doing Yoga." He also cautioned, "Don't let Yoga become allopathic Yoga. That is a Yoga that looks at and treats symptoms and neglects the whole person. Yoga is a remedy for all of human life. Yoga is an affirmation, a declaration of being part of the Universe."
At the end of the seminars he taught, before illness required him to retire from teaching, he always repeated: om shanti shanti shanti, om peace peace peace. Peace, Howard, and many thanks.
Bikram Copyright Lawsuit
According to an article by Jeff Chorney in The Recorder (April 5), an article in ECT News Network (April 10), an article by Hilary MacGregor in the Los Angeles Times (March 21), and an article by John Pallato in eWeek (March 26), the essential nature of Yoga was one of the primary tenets being challenged by the Bikram copyright lawsuit.
What is the essential nature of Yoga? Is it a process, a form of expression, or a spiritual path? This question was at the heart of U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton's initial ruling in a dispute over whether a Yoga entrepreneur can copyright a series of Yoga postures. Bikram Choudhury, creator of a style of "hot" Yoga, sent cease and desist letters to Yoga studios he believed were appropriating his intellectual propertya series of 26 Yoga poses and two breathing exercises. Choudhury's series of asanas and breathing exercises are performed in a heated room. At issue was whether or not putting asanas, which have been in use for thousands of years and therefore part of the public domain, in a particular sequence constitutes something copyrightable. The judge's ruling, though mixed, leaned in favor of Choudhury. Hamilton stated that she did not think the plaintiff, Open Source Yoga Unity, provided enough persuasive authority that a series of postures couldn't be protected under the copyright laws. She also said that although application of the copyright law to a series of asanas does seem to "violate the spirit of yoga," she was unable to find any authority that would preclude such application of copyright law.
So, just what is the nature of Yoga? If it is a process, then Choudhury could apply for a patent. The decision from this case could have far reaching implications in the world of exercise, aerobic routines, dance, and even sports plays.
Editor's addendum: The trial, which was scheduled to begin in June in San Francisco, has been averted by a confidential out-of-court settlement. According to a May 13 article by David Kravets of The Associated Press, ". . . three people involved in the case, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Choudhury has agreed not to sue the 50 members of the San Francisco-based Yoga cooperative for copyright violations. And cooperative members have agreed not to advertise the trademarked name 'Bikram' without authorization by Choudhury." Kravets further writes that the "settlement avoids a June 20 trial that might have settled the legal question of whether Choudhury's copyrighted package of 26 poses and two breathing exercises, performed in a certain sequence in 105-degree heat, could be legally protected in federal court." The Open Source Yoga Unity (OSYU) website reports that members of OSYU "feel it is of utmost importance to have answers to these questions regarding Bikram's 'ownership' of, or 'control' over, Yoga so that [they] can make informed decisions about [their] Yoga practice and businesses and, most importantly, . . . do so without fear of retribution. It is for this reason that OSYU has taken the next step to resolve these questions of law." The site does not indicate what that next step is, but states that more information will be posted in the near future.
For further information, please see: http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/Yoga-Is-Focus-in-Groundbreaking-Copyright-Case-42056.html, http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1397,1779913,00.asp, and
http://www.yogaunity.org/learn/whatwedo.shtml (please note that there is no mention of the lawsuit at the Bikram website, http://www.bikramyoga.com).
Yoga Therapy Article Featured in LA YOGA
(because of this article's importance, an in-depth summary is provided)
An LA Yoga feature article, "Yoga Goes to the Doctor" by Felicia Tomasko, in the March/April 2005 issue, focuses on Yoga therapy. Yoga therapy is becoming a hot topic in Western medicine, and several Yoga periodicals in addition to LA Yoga have recently featured articles on this growing profession. Many physicians are now writing prescriptions for a Yoga practice for their patients suffering from chronic pain, heart conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many other common ailments. Yoga improves one's health, helps maintain physical and musculoskeletal control, and promotes an increased sense of well-being.
Dr. Albert Rey, family physician and regional physician coordinator for preventative care and health promotion at Kaiser Permanente, prescribes Yoga for anxiety, mood disorders, high blood pressure, depression, headaches, heart disease, and anything else he thinks may be helped by an increased attunement with the body. Larry Payne, Ph.D., a Los Angeles Yoga therapist and cofounder of IAYT, receives referrals from more than 100 area doctors.
As more and more health care providers are recognizing the value of Yoga in improving quality of life, we will continue to see an increase in referrals to Yoga therapists. The article goes on to consider how this begs the important question: What is a Yoga therapist? Although Yoga therapy is emerging as a specialty within Yoga, there currently are no educational standards or licensing requirements. Some Yoga therapists have decades of experience teaching Yoga, while others are medical professionals who have studied and practiced Yoga. Some come from a physical therapy background, while others come from a spiritual background.
There are an increasing number of programs available for study. Nischala Joy Devi's "Yoga of the Heart" program instructs teachers and medical professionals in teaching Yoga to students with heart disease or other chronic illnesses. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy's program emphasizes self-inquiry. Programs like those at Kripalu and Satchidananda's Yogaville Ashram require their participants to learn from many different kinds of teachers and methodologies. Some well-known Yoga teachers, such as Yoga therapists Gary Kraftsow, Mukunda Stiles, the Desikachars, and Larry Payne, offer extended training programs under their mentorship. Today, Yoga therapists can be found in clinics, medical schools, hospitals, doctor's offices, Yoga studios, or in their own private spaces.
The International Association of Yoga Therapists is leading the effort to define Yoga therapy, as well as creating training standards for Yoga therapists. There currently is no central certification system, licensing board, or regulating body, and Yoga, by its holistic nature, tends to resist such rigid classification. The article recommends that prospective Yoga therapy clients always ask for the credentials of the person they are seeing to help determine whether or not that person will suit their unique needs.
The California Pacific Medical Center's Institute for Health and Healing in San Francisco has an integrative medical facility that includes Yoga. Dr. William Stewart, medical director, says the center offers individual Yoga sessions as well as group classes for people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic illnesses, and general health and well-being, along with special courses for seniors. He indicates that the Yoga offered is not a treatment for a specific illness, but rather is used as a "wisdom practice" focused on enhancing overall quality of life and well-being. The UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in San Francisco also holds therapeutically based Yoga classes for people with cancer, as well as other classes focused on reducing stress. In Los Angeles, the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center provides Hatha-Yoga classes for people with cardiac disease. At Santa Barbara Cancer Center, Yoga is practiced on the mat, off the mat, in a bed, and even prior to entering the surgical ward. Registered Nurse Deborah Matza uses Yoga to help patients with breast cancer prepare themselves for surgery at Beth Israel and at the Roosevelt campus of St. Luke's Roosevelt hospitals in New York City.
Many research studies are being conducted to show the benefits of Yoga practice. Dr. Dean Ornish's highly publicized study investigated the efficacy of lifestyle programs that included Yoga-based stress reduction techniques. Currently, Gary Kraftsow, Yoga therapist and teacher, is involved in research being conducted at Harvard, in Seattle, and at the University of Colorado. Medical schools are beginning to teach Yoga to their students as well. For example, Yoga is deeply incorporated into the curriculum at UCLA's medical school, and courses in Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda are offered at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado.
Most of the costs for Yoga therapy are paid out of pocket by the patient. An exception might be a visit to a physical therapist who has a Yoga therapist on staff. In this case, the session may fall under a physical therapy insurance code. One might also be able to reimburse oneself for Yoga therapy through individual health savings accounts or flexible savings accounts. (For more on the preceding two topics, see the article by John Kepner in the forthcoming 2005 issue of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.) This may change as more research emerges that documents the benefits of a lifestyle that includes Yoga. Medicare is currently reviewing the evidence for Dr. Dean Ornish's Lifestyle program for the reversal of heart disease. If Medicare covers the program, it is likely other insurance companies will do so as well.
For more information, please see: http://www.layogamagazine.com/issue16/Feature/feature.htm.
Young Cancer Patients Aided with Yoga
Bendy Kids Yoga, sponsored by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, offers an inpatient program for critically ill children with cancer at the Seattle Children's Hospital and the Seattle Care Alliance.
Therapists from Children's Physical and Occupational Therapy department provide specialized Yoga instruction designed to improve flexibility, balance, respiratory function, and endurance and help the young patients sleep and feel better. In each inpatient class, two instructors and a designated volunteer lead six students and tailor the Yoga program specifically to each child's needs.
The children who attend often spend most of their time in their rooms, and it's very valuable for them to be out and with a group of children doing something active and relatively "normal." It helps them to do something positive for their bodies, as well as provides them with a way to take some control of their pain. Much of what they experience in a hospital setting is invasive, and Yoga gives them a chance to do something nurturing for their bodies and their spirits.
In June 2005, Seattle Children's Hospital will launch an outpatient study to determine if Yoga can help the children build strength and endurance.
For more information, please contact Anne Lyons, MSPT, email@example.com, or see: http://www.king5.com/health/cancer/stories/NW_031605CFWyogakidsEL.1454be3d3.html.
Time Magazine Cover Story: The Right (and Wrong) Way to Treat Pain
According to Michael D. Lemonick's article in the February 28 issue of Time, "When It's a Child Who Is Hurting," UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital has developed a program for pain management that includes Iyengar Yoga, craniosacral massage, art therapy, and hypnotherapy.
Until the 1980s, most doctors believed children experienced pain less intensively than adults. Consequently, infants often suffered through major surgeries without anesthetics, and older children were not given pain killers, believing them to be too addictive. That belief fortunately is no longer prevalent. Most pain killers are, however, only tested on adults, so results in children can still be sketchy. Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer, founder of the Pediatric Pain Program at the Mattel Children's Hospital created the innovative new treatment program, which is used in conjunction with pain killers.
Yoga as Therapy for Adult Cancer Patients
The January 24 issue of The Sentinel (http://www.cumberlink.com) ran an article by Leah Farr entitled "Yoga Used as a Therapy for Cancer." According to the article, American Cancer Society statistics indicate over 8 million people are affected by cancer in the United States, many of whom could benefit from complementary therapies such as Yoga, massage, meditation, and reiki. A 9-month pilot program at the Carlisle YWCA is offering just that. This program is funded through the Carlisle Area Health and Wellness Foundation and is available to people in all stages of the diseasefrom those who are newly diagnosed to those who are 18-months post treatment.
Bonnie Berk, a registered nurse, is the Yoga instructor for the program. She states, "Studies show that Yoga can be a tremendous relief for your entire body."
Dr. Wallace Longton, Carlisle Regional Cancer Center's director says, "More and more through research, it is found that patients utilizing these forms of complementary care do much better throughout their cancer treatments."
According to the American Cancer Society's website, "Some people believe that mainstream medicine is the only option they have when it comes to treating symptoms and side effects. Actually there are many complementary methodssuch as massage, meditation, or yogawhich are very useful to help control some symptoms and improve the quality of their lives."
Oncologists are prescribing Yoga as a way to help cancer patients reduce stress and retain or regain muscle tone. Yoga also has been shown, through studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Cancer Journal, to help relieve the pain and insomnia that can affect people with life-threatening illnesses. The goal of Yoga for cancer patients is to eliminate tension and increase relaxation.
Marty Frost, recently diagnosed with mouth cancer and throat cancer, is a testament to the benefits of the program. "It was amazing," he says. "When I was done, I was more alert and relaxed and it even got rid of some of the pain." He admits he might have been skeptical before trying the treatments, but he's now a believer. "Just because something sounds different, doesn't mean it doesn't work."
An additional bonus of these complementary therapies is their continued benefits to the patient after finishing treatment. Patients enjoyed the "safe haven" during their treatment, and are able to continue receiving the benefits long after the treatment has ended.
"Cancer Personality" Concept Debunked
According to Ivanhoe Newswire's story "No Such Thing as a Cancer Personality" (Ivanhoe Broadcast News, January 26), the idea of a "cancer personality" is a myth. In the past, scientists have hypothesized that a high degree of extroversion and a low degree of neuroticism are associated with increased cancer risks. Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, Denmark, however, conducted one of the largest studies to date to explore this connection. They followed 29,595 Swedish twins for 25 years, looking at cancer history, healthy behavior, and personality trait data. There were 1,898 cases of cancer reported among the group, with no association to neuroticism or extroversion for any form of cancer.
Visually Impaired Benefited by Inner Sight Yoga Workshops
The Inner Sight Yoga workshop at the Avalon Art and Yoga Studio in Palo Alto, California, offered a series of Yoga classes for visually impaired and blind people. Sighted people practiced side by side, many of whom chose to wear blindfolds so that they could experience more of what a visually impaired person experiences.
The visually impaired community not only needs recreational activities, but also activities that can help them deal with the emotional fallout from vision loss. Yoga, with its primary focus inward, is a perfect addition to this community. The program was funded by the Peninsula Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the series of six classes had over a dozen participants. Because sighted, visually impaired, and blind people practiced together, it was an opportunity to educate the sighted community about the lives of people with vision challenges. Bonnie Rupel, community relations coordinator for the center, is currently seeking funding for an additional series of classes.
For more information obtained, see Kimra McPherson's article "Visually Impaired Get a Lift from Yoga: Palo Alto Inner Sight workshop Offers Recreation, Emotional Help" The Mercury News, March 10: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/counties/
Arthritis Sufferers Helped by Yoga
Paul Howard, a rheumatologist in Scottsdale, Arizona, feels something more than pharmaceuticals is needed for patients suffering from arthritis, which affects nearly 70 million Americans. Howard feels that a combination of exercise, supplementation, diet, and weight loss (if needed) will greatly benefit patients, and his own patients are a testament.
Peggy McKee, 76, began suffering from arthritis three years ago, and Howard sent her to a Yoga class twice a week at a studio he specially set up for arthritis sufferers. According to McKee, she does not take nearly the medication she used to. Winifred Doane, 75, was sent to a Yoga class after Synvisc injections in her knee did not help her osteoarthritis. Her bone density is now back to normal, and she claims not only physical health improvements, but mental health improvements as well. Ginnie Livingston, a certified Yoga therapist who oversees the five levels of Yoga offered at Arthritis Health in Scottsdale, is inspired by the huge changes she sees in the lives of arthritis patients. She feels Yoga is a great adjunct treatment or alternative to pharmaceuticals.
For more information, see Carrie White's article "Some Arthritis Sufferers Find Yoga and Diet Can Offer Nonpharmaceutical Comfort," East Valley Tribune (Scottsdale, Arizona), February 3. The Tribune website is http://www.eastvalleytribune.com, and there is a fee for accessing the archive.
Prânâyâma Practice Helps Burn Victim's Recovery
According to an article by Ali Swai, "Willpower, Yoga Heal Woman with No Hope" in the April 14 issue of Mid Day, Vanita Panapalia, 32, suffered burns over 75% of her body when her synthetic sari caught on fire. When she was admitted to Masina Hospital in Byculla, she was given little hope for survival. After only 100 days of treatment, however, she recovered, and she attributes her recovery to practicing prânâyâma as often as she could to build up her willpower. Prânâyâma, according to Iyengar Yoga teacher Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh, is "the harnessing of energy through the breath. It has a direct impact on your mind, psyche, and your willpower." According to Dr. Milind Ghare from Wockhardt Hospital, Mulund, only athletes and people with very strong constitutions can survive burns over more than 50% of their bodies. "I have faith in yoga," said Vanita. "Never for a moment did I think that I would not survive."
Farrah Weinstein's article "Big News for Yoga Fans" in the February 22 issue of the New York Post highlights plus-size model Megan Garcia's new DVD Yoga: Just My Size, specially designed for plus-size women. Garcia is a size 18 and weighs 210 pounds. She is trained in Iyengar Yoga, has been teachin for ten years, and still has trouble getting into some basic poses, such as adhomukha-svanâsana (downward facing dog pose) and caturanga-dandâsana (four-limbed staff pose). She is aware of the challenges larger body types face when doing Yoga and assists her students in overcoming them. For example, someone with a larger stomach needs help opening their knees so they can get the full benefit of the child's pose. People with large breasts tend to have tightness in their pectoral muscles, and heart openers and arm stretches help with this.
OB/GYNs in India Learn How Yoga Aids Childbirth
A January 22 article by Anilesh Mahajan entitled "Yoga Aids Childbirth: Expert Teaches Docs" posted at the Chandigarh Newsline website highlighted the benefits of Yoga for childbirth. Swami Dhirendracharya, a Ph.D. Yoga student from Panjab University, provided instruction to physicians on yogâsanas that can ease delivery, as well as âsanas for the pre- and postnatal periods. He also presented âsanas that may be helpful for thyroid disorders, hypertension, and hypotension. Doctors who attended the lecture-demonstration accept Yoga as a form of alternative medicine.
Indian Cardiologist Says Yoga Can Reduce Heart Disease by 20 Percent
Sheveta Aggarwal's March 20 article "AIIMS Cardiologist Vouches for Yoga as Heart Cure" posted at the Chandigarh Newsline website reports on Dr. S. C. Manchanda's claim that Yoga can reduce heart disease by 20 percent. Dr. Manchanda is the former Head of the Cardiology Department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Heart disease is expected to increase by 300 percent in the next two decades among Indians, and Dr. Manchanda thus believes practicing Yoga is vital and should be implemented during childhood. This would help establish Yoga as part of a person's lifestyle, not as something they do a few hours a week. He quotes a research study from AIIMS which showed that all risk factors in patients who had multiple artery blockages showed a marked improvement after integrating a Yoga practice. Dr. Manchanda feels the benefits extend beyond heart disease and reach into stress reduction, hypertension, asthma, and anxiety.
IPC Heart Care Centers Launch VCD to Say "Good-bye" to Heart Attacks
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death for people across the globe. IPC Heart Care, India's only company that follows "Preventive Cardiology" has launched a VCD called Good-bye to Heart Attack. The 90-minute CD provides education on ways to prevent and reverse heart disease and includes a section with yogâsana sequences. For more information, please see: http://www.presstrust.com/article43350.html.
Meditation Has Great Benefits for Physical, Mental Health
An article by Elinor Straton in the April 13 issue of the Marco Island Eagle examines closely the benefits of meditation, which works to unite the mind and body in achieving a peaceful state of being. Among meditation's many positive effects are a stronger immune system, an easing of emotional problems, and a deepening of one's intuition and self-confidence. The key to a successful meditation practice is consistency, and thus it is best to practice for short time periods in the beginning (5-10 minute sessions). As with any habit, the first three weeks are critical to its success. Effects are subtle, but long-lasting and positive.
For more information, please see: http://www.naplesnews.com/npdn/ma_features/article/0,2071,NPDN_14917_3695766,00.html.
In an article in the April 18 Harvard Mental Health Letter, meditation is lauded as the third wave in cognitive behavioral therapy. The psychotherapeutic tradition is beginning to take meditation seriously as a component of successful patient treatment. Dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy have all integrated meditation in different ways. Different types of therapies are borrowing ideas from each other, resulting in broader treatment options. Dr. Michael Miller, editor of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, states, "The introduction of meditation practice into cognitive behavioral therapy may represent a further stage in the historical evolution of psychotherapy."
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Still not Embraced by Mainstream Medicine
According to a February 1 DOC News article, increasing numbers of Americans are choosing complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) as part of their treatment program for everything from obesity to high blood pressure. They are turning to CAM, even though most CAM therapies have not been proven to be effective, and few have even been studied in well-controlled clinical trials. Even various physicians who have taken the time to learn about CAM therapies do not feel there is enough evidence to support their use. Some physicians do not discourage treatments such as biofeedback and meditation because they have not been shown to cause harm. Part of the challenge in this area of study, according to Daniel Jones, M.D., of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is that "many things will modulate blood pressure for the short term that do not appear to have a long-term impact . . ."
Physicians continue to fear that patients will use CAM therapies as replacements for pharmaceutical treatments. John H. K. Vogel, M.D., a cardiologist in Santa Barbara, California, says that physicians have no choice but to integrate alternative therapies into their practices. He sees it as a way to treat the "whole" patient.
Though the research is still insufficient and inconclusive, Vogel concedes that there are bits of information worth considering, such as soothing music to lessen anxiety in preop surgery. Mind-body exercises combined with meditation might also help relax people. Still, there remain more questions than answers concerning CAM, and until there is a larger body of well-designed research concerning the benefits of alternative therapies, mainstream medicine will remain reluctant to move away from its traditional drug treatment plan.
Americans Embrace Yoga
A recent broadcast of an ABC News Special Report indicated that Yoga in the United States is here to stay. According to Yoga Journal magazine, 16.5 million people currently practice Yoga in the U.S., an increase of 43% since 2002. This 5,000-year-old practice is transforming to meet the needs of Americans, and the transition has occurred naturally, as people realized they did not have to be Hindu or Indian or radically alter their dietary habits to practice Yoga. In America, there are forms of Yoga for pregnant women, for Christians, for those who like heat, among many other forms. Americans find both physical and mental benefits from the practice of Yoga, and this is particularly beneficial for our stressed-out populace. In our competitive society, it is important to do something that is designed not to be in competition with others.
Celebrities such as Sting, Madonna, and Gwyneth Paltrow have helped give Yoga a boost. Supermodel Christy Turlington, age 36, is perhaps the celebrity face of Yoga, and she has been practicing Yoga half her life. She has two Yoga-based clothing lines and recently authored a book on the subject. She acknowledges that Yoga helped her while her father was dying of lung cancer. Cyndi Lee, Yoga instructor at Om Yoga Center in New York, says Yoga helped her get through menopause. According to Turlington, "People who embrace [Yoga] fully and really spend the time to learn about it and to know about the background and to sort of incorporate more than just the physical part into their lives, I don't think they ever let it go. I think it's there forever."
Children's Yoga Programs Promote Healthy Bodies and Strong Values
The general public tends to hold the misconception that Yoga is an "adults-only" activity, but Yoga programs for children are actually becoming increasingly popular. Inner Body Works in Bakersfield, California, offers Yoga for children from 8-13 years of age, and the Bakersfield Play Center holds classes for children as young as 5.
Yoga helps to "give kids an outlet," says Antoinette Ontiporda, owner of Inner Body Works. Because public schools are moving more toward focused, test-based classrooms, kids need a chance to move and clear their minds. They also learn valuable techniques they can use as adults. Yoga Kids instructor Maire McGlasson counts self-control, respect for other people, understanding what others can do, and what you can do for yourself among these life tools. The real testament, of course, is in the children's responses. Scotty Beeman, a third-grader, gives it a thumbs up. "It's fun and I can get away from my brothers because they annoy me a lot."
An innovative program is Yoga Tales, a Yoga school for children ages 2-18, in Bethesda, Maryland. For their Spring/Summer 2005 curriculum, Yoga Tales will incorporate their Character Enrichment Program, which uses 12 core values based on Patanjali's Yoga-Sûtra to help instill positive values in the children. They explore one theme a month, such as honesty, kindness, or compassion, through storytelling, Yoga poses, mantras, music, and discussion. As each value is mastered, the child receives a color-coded sash. Storytelling is a key component of the program, because children's imagination plays such a key role in assimilating positive values. Children are more likely to remember what they have learned when they develop a personal connection to the value through a story. The goal of the Character Enrichment Program is to "help kids maintain high personal standards, on and off the Yoga mat," says Sarah Schain, certified Yoga instructor and founding director of Yoga Tales. Schain also holds a master's degree from George Washington University in pediatric audiology with a focus on child development.
In Westwood, Massachusetts, Diana Burnstein helps a group of 9-year olds act out a folktale using Yoga poses. At the end of class, the children sit cross-legged on mats, chant "om" three times, and experience a period of silence. Burnstein, a former school teacher, stumbled across the International YogaKids program last year and knew it was what she wanted to do. YogaKids (http://www.yogafun4kids.com) is a program that helps tap into the senses, build healthy bodies and strong limbs, and a lifelong foundation for well-being, in addition to fostering creativity and imagination. Burnstein teaches 12 classes per week and is always looking for ways to expand her work. She also works once a week with a group of special needs children.
In the United Kingdom, St. Mark's Square Nursery school in Primrose Hill uses animal Yoga and meditation for its 2-6 year olds. Sheema Parsons, founder of the nursery, concentrates on the whole child. She hopes children will become fundamentally decent human beings as a result of incorporating Yoga principles into their daily lives. Feedback from the children has been exemplary.
For more information, please see: http://www.yogatales.com and
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Yoga Aids High School and Middle School Students
Mount Desert Island High School in Bangor, Maine, offers a 1-credit Introduction to Yoga class during the school day. Lyn Gatz teaches the course in addition to her Spanish classes. She states, "Yoga is a time for them to tune into their thoughts and feelings, to be with themselves and not be comparing themselves to others." High school is often a time when young people struggle with self-esteem issues, and Yoga can help students "reconnect with themselves." Michelle McLaughlin, a senior at Mount Desert Island High School, says that Yoga helps her feel grounded during the most stressful parts of her day. She had never tried Yoga before Ms. Gatz's class, but now practices every night at home. The school has received requests from over 100 students to take Yoga the next time it is offered, more students than can be accommodated in the existing program. Gatz says she has noticed physical and mental changes in many of the students in the class, including increased strength and flexibility and positive changes in mood, concentration, and even sleeping patterns.
Students at Pawcatuck Middle School in Stonington, Connecticut, also will have the opportunity to take Yoga classes after school. Annie O'Sullivan will teach the classes, where students will learn a modified version of Ashtanga Yoga in 45-minute sessions. The classes are supported by the Stonington Education Fund, which provided the funds for mats, instructional videos, music, and baskets for the equipment.
For more information, please see: http://www.bangornews.com/news/templates/?a=111244
Webster University Conservatory Requires Sophomores to Take Yoga
An article by Emily Dale Swoboda and Stephanie Kiszczak entitled "Yoga and Pilates Benefit Body" in the April 14 issue of The Journal: The News Source of Webster University, describes a Yoga program that is a required part of Webster University Conservatory's (WUC) sophomore curriculum. WUC considers the sophomore year to be a student's most difficult year and thus the requirement to take Yoga. Mandy Williford, a musical theater major, said sophomores have so much work to do that Yoga is needed "to help them find themselves." She loves the Yoga class and would take it again. Debra Simpson, Yoga instructor and adjunct faculty member at WUC recommends that every human being should practice some form of Yoga to help quiet the mind.
Eastern Culture's Presence Grows on University Campus
Boston University is home to an increasing number of classes in Zen meditation, Yoga, and Eastern Religion education. Students have always had an interest in these subjects, but according to Barbara Feldman, instructor for the Yoga classes, it is gaining greater popularity as students are exposed to the concepts through the media. Meditation courses help students find contentment within themselves and to be at peace with what is. Both Yoga and meditation courses can help students with the stress of an academic workload.
Brain Integration Report Card
Recent brain research presented at the National Conference on Stress, Meditation and the Brain at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, on March 18 shows how the college experience, consisting of academic pressures, binge drinking, poor diet, sleep deprivation, and substance abuse, can take a terrible toll on the student's brain. These stressful experiences can lead to dysfunctions of the prefrontal cortex, the area which regulates judgment, planning, decision making, moral reasoning, and sense of self.
In a unique approach, Maharishi University of Management is offering students their own Brain Integration Report Card. This report card will assess the effects of a student's college experience on brain function, behavior, and self-development. Use of the card is optional, but many students are taking advantage of the opportunity to see what effects their lives and lifestyle choices are having on their brain development. The Brain Integration Report Card includes a measure of integration of brain functioning in addition to scores on standards of psychological measurements and evaluation of the more subjective reports on self-development. The card assesses five primary components: brain wave patterns during tasks; emotional stability levels; practical intelligence, emotional response strategies, and categorical thinking; behavioral strategies; and self-report measures of development of consciousness. It is thought that the growth of these areas will indicate increased health, happiness, and well-being.
Researchers at Maharishi University also are hoping to prove that deep body relaxation techniques of meditation (such as Transcendental Meditation) can help increase students' academic performance as well as improve decision-making skills and judgment. They are hoping all 750 of its students will participate in the program. Additional information can be found in Tina Hesman's article, "University Will Wire Students' Brains to Track Changes" in the March 19 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (the article is no longer available online) and at the Maharishi University of Management website at http://www.mum.edu/TheReview/04-05/3-16-05.html#1.
Baseball Players Embrace Yoga
Three recent articles tout the benefits of Yoga for baseball players: Jim Baumach's article, "Stretching a Season: Gordon Does Yoga to Help Improve His Endurance and to Get Him in Better Mental State for Playoff Games" in the April 1 issue of Newsday, Doug Miller's article, "Padres Get Fit with Yoga: New Technique Aimed to Help Players' Flexibility" in the March 9 San Diego Padres News, and Kevin Modesti's article, "Everything Zen for Zito: Pitcher Uses New Age Training Style" in the February 17 issue of the Los Angeles Daily News.
Professional baseball player Tom Gordon uses Yoga to improve his endurance and mental state for playoff games. Last season, he was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, and also had difficulty coping with his emotions after the season ended. This season, he wanted to address all those issues and chose Yoga to help him do that. He first discovered Yoga in 2001 as part of his rehabilitation work after elbow surgery, and this year he plans to make it part of his overall fitness routine.
The San Diego Padres also have embraced Yoga. This season, during Spring Training Camp, team members attended a twice-weekly Yoga session with Katherine Roberts, who originated another program called "Yoga for Golfers." The Yoga routine she designed for the Padres helps improve flexibility in their hips, lower back, and shoulders. At first, the athletes thought it a bit strange, but once they began the practice, they loved it. They combine their twice-weekly Yoga with twice-weekly speed work.
Barry Zito, pitcher for the Oakland Athletics, also uses Yoga to help his baseball career. The Oakland A's trainer, Alan Jaeger, is behind the class, which meets in a Ventura Boulevard karate studio. The team meditates and practices âsana as part of a six-week off-season training camp. According to Zito, Yoga has helped make him the major leagues' most durable pitcher the past four years. "It's tough coming out three days a week," he says, "but the Yoga and flexibility work is really worth it."
For more information, please see: http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050309&
Yoga Benefits Soccer Players
In an article by Jayesh Thaker entitled "Yoga Mantra for Cadets" in March 17 issue of The Telegraph (Calcutta, India), the Tata Football Academy (TFA) is including Yoga for the first time in its curriculum. Yoga sessions are held twice a week, with key goals being increased flexibility and improved concentration. TFA officials hope the Yoga will help the cadets remain focused during matches. Officials had noticed that cadets' lack of concentration was a contributing factor to numerous defeats. The Yoga curriculum began in the academy's archery program, where archers' concentration improved dramatically, and TFA officials believe that Yoga is the "key for mental fitness."
Yoga Finds an Unlikely Home in the Business World
The National Institutes of Health's latest research shows that meditation helps lower blood pressure and reduces the need for medication, and construction workers, architects, and maintenance men are taking advantage of this finding by meditating at work. Jeffrey Abramson, the owner of Tower Companies in Arlington, Virginia, pays his employees to learn Transcendental Meditation. Abramson, a practitioner of TM for 32 years, decided to offer what was helpful to him to his employees. According to a March 2 WJLA-TV (Arlington, Virginia) ABC 7 News broadcast, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Yoga in the Business Administration Classroom?
Jack Phillips, professor of Business Ethics for the 21st Century, leads students in a five-minute relaxation before each class. He has used this centering technique as a tool since he began teaching nearly 20 years ago. The activity is optional; however, most students do participate and have claimed it to be helpful. Phillips believes the connection between centering and business ethics lies in helping the students distinguish between "gut reactions and thoughtful decisions." Phillips says he became involved in meditation as a direct result of his Yoga practice, stating that Yoga helped him slow down enough to meditate. This information and more can be found in Song My-Tran's article "Zen and the Art of Business Ethics" in the March 10 issue of The Daily Californian.
Hip-Hop Yoga Hot in the U.S.
According to an article in April 8 issue of The Telegraph (Calcutta, India), Russell Simmons, cofounder of the hip-hop label Def Jam Records, has released a video series entitled "Russell Simmons Presents Yoga Live," a 4-part Hip-Hop/Yoga video series: Beginner Basics, Power Flow for Accelerated Weight Loss, Total Body Toning and Flexibility, and Core Strength for Abs.
Simmons, a longtime practitioner of Yoga and a vegan, believes that the world would be a better place if more people became practitioners. In order to address the broadest possible new audience (he hopes his name recognition in the hip-hop community will help more people become aware of this ancient practice), his tapes do not focus on Yoga's spiritual dimension. His hopes for new viewers to first digest the physical practice. The videos feature original hip-hop music and will retail for $40. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to Simmons' Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Although Simmons does not appear on the videos, he does appear on the infomercials, which will sell the tape series.
Meditating at the Beauty Salon
Clients at Toronto's Salon Daniel can now meditate while getting their hair done. The meditation chair, designed with help from the Global Group, is deeper and wider than the normal salon chair, with altered armrests so that clients can sit in lotus position, meditate, and move into deeper relaxation while having their hair styled. Daniel, the veteran stylist at the salon, also claims an additional benefitthe chair prevents lopsided haircuts because the head is balanced in lotus position.
For more information, please see the article by Jacquelyn Francis entitled "Props for Perfect Posture" in February 26 issue of The Globe and Mail (Toronto).
"Extreme Celebrity Detox" Television Program Employs "Extreme Yoga"
Four U.K. television celebrities were shipped to the Himalayas, courtesy of British television show "Extreme Celebrity Detox" to detox for 10 days using Ashtanga Yoga (the modern form developed by Pattabhi Jois) and other purification rituals. The detox was led by Yoga teachers Piers Brittain and Sheshadri and an Indian yogic doctor named Parvesh.
For more information, please see:
Yoga, Pilates, or Both?
A February 14 article by Jeannine Stein in the Los Angeles Times discusses the differences between Yoga and Pilates and explores the benefits of both. The author finds that in today's fitness world, both Yoga and Pilates are helping to bring Americans back to their bodies. Both Yoga and Pilates utilize breathing techniques and resistance for muscle toning, both are done slowly, and both can produce a leaner, more toned physique. They also each can be practiced in a group setting or one on one. The hybrid Yogalates attempts to combine the benefits of both.
There are key differences between Yoga and Pilates, however. Hatha-Yoga incorporates a series of static poses combined with breathing techniques and meditation that help the student learn to focus inward. The yogic lifestyle is holistic and is concerned with good nutrition and an overall whole-body approach to wellness. Pilates, on the other hand, is a regimented routine with an emphasis on strengthening the core muscles. Instructors frequently count repetitions in class, creating a more structured experience. Pilates also does not focus on the lifestyle of the student.
Ralph La Forge, an exercise physiologist and spokesman for the American College of Sports Medicine, summarizes the difference as follows: Pilates is more about musculoskeletal health. Yoga is for someone who needs to change his or her lifestyle. Both are beneficial to the body and the mind.
Yoga and Pilates Instructors Salary Survey
According to a May 16 Business Wire press release, the 2004 IDEA Fitness Industry Salary Survey included Yoga and Pilates instructors for the first time. As a group, they reported the highest wages among fitness professionals, with most earning more per hour than personal trainers. (Specific wage information was not provided in the press release.)
The complete IDEA Fitness Industry Salary Survey results, including multi-year comparisons and breakdowns by geographic region and type of business, are available for a fee by calling 800-999-4332, ext. 7, or through http://www.ideafit.com/pro_education. The cost of the report for members of IDEA is $50 and for nonmembers $129. If you are a member of IDEA, please email Trisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health Risks from Hot Yoga?
Health risks from hot yoga are addressed in Angela Cuming's article "Health Fears over 'Cult-like' Hot Yoga" in the January 9 issue of the Sun-Herald (Australia). Dr. Anita Green, director of the peak health body Sports Medicine Australia, believes there can be a significant danger from exercising in the high heat required to practice the popular Bikram Yoga style. Bikram Yoga is the newest Yoga craze to hit Sydney. Classes are 90 minutes long and take place in a room heated to 37 degrees centigrade. Dr. Green especially cautioned asthmatics, people on diuretics or fluid tablets, or people with heart conditions to avoid practicing Bikram Yoga.
Competitiveness, Injuries, and Power Yoga: Some Londoners Weigh In
An article in the January 30 issue of The Independent (U.K.) informs us that Power Yoga, which has taken America by storm, is now on its way to the U.K. Backed by Sting and other celebrities, a version of Power Yoga called "Jivamukti," is becoming popular there. The authors of the article describe Jivamukti Yoga (created by Sharon Gannon and David Life) as an "aggressive approach to Yoga, practiced to contemporary music." They find this form to be very popular in New York and Los Angeles, where participants endure the tough, physical challenge of the class.
The authors state that the form comes under criticism from Yoga purists in the U.K., who claim it is can be dangerous because participants feel they must push their bodies into positions for which they are not ready. Gary Carter, director of the Natural Bodies Yoga Centre in Brighton says, "For some, aerobics has been replaced by the hardcore branch of yoga and the attitude is the same as going to the gym." He says that he sees many people coming to the centre with injuries sustained in a Power Yoga class. Jackie Barker, a Yoga teacher from Oxford, feels the danger lies in people not really knowing what they are doing. This lack of body awareness can result in injuries. Liz Lark, author of several Yoga books, finds that Jivamukti Yoga is too focused on physical achievement, and often attracts people who want to "be good" at Yoga, which is in conflict with Yoga's non-competitive, internal nature.
For more information, please see: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health_medical/story.jsp?story=606018.
Man Succumbs to "Yogamania"
In an article by Hemal Ahar entitled "Is Too Much Yoga Killing Khairnar?" in the March 2 issue of Mid Day, we learn of the plight of G. R. Khairnar, a 63-year-old man who had succumbed to "yogamania." He practiced nearly 12 hours per day and engaged in jala-neti (taking water in from one nostril and exhaling it through the other), rubber neti (passing a rubber tube through the nose and removing it through the mouth) and pet-neti (consuming an abundance of water and flushing it out) many hours a day. He landed in the hospital, and subsequently promised to practice Yoga only under supervision and with a prescribed time limit.
For more information, please see: http://ww1.mid-day.com/news/city/2005/march/104687.htm.
Replacing the Need for Speed with the Flow of Slow
In an article by Elizabeth Large in the January 27 issue The Baltimore Sun (http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/10747081.htm), Americans are addicted to speed. Our fast-food culture and technological advancements provide us with the endless opportunity to multitask, to do more, quicker, faster, now. According to a poll conducted by Scientific American Mind, 90% of Americans multitask, but paradoxically, 6 out of 10 of those surveyed feel they are getting less done.
The past 15 years have seen a quantum leap forward in terms of our lifestyle pace. We have reached the point where we have to schedule time to slow down! Barry Gordon, Johns Hopkins Professor of Neurology and Cognitive Science says, "It's not just an option, but a necessity to slow down. We're compromising real thinking for speed." A recent book by Carl Honore, In Praise of Slowness: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed (HarperSanFrancisco), is now in its ninth printing. The book encourages us to do what we love, spend time with those we care for, and unplug from technology from time to time. Americans still struggle with their need for speed, while Europeans, over the past few decades, have made the decision to work less and lead more balanced lives. Americans currently work about nine more weeks per year than western Europeans.
Just as the Eastern culture has found its way into the west, so has Western speed and technology found its way into the East. In New Delhi, Swami Ramdev, who has been teaching Yoga for 15 years, offers weeklong Yoga camps designed to cure whatever ails its participants, physically or mentally, with a minimum time investment. As Indians experience increasing demands on their time, the traditional practice of Yoga seems outside the scope of their lives. Ramdev's "Yoga made easy" approach has become an overnight sensation. Each month, his camps attract approximately 75,000 participants, with another million viewing the camps through a private television channel. Learn more about Swami Ramdev in Hari Kumar article, "India's Harried Elite Now Turns, and Twists, to Yoga Lite" in the February 1 issue of The New York Times.
New Yoga Teacher Training Program Asks Students to Take Their Practice "From the Mat into the World"
Into This World Productions (ITWP) brings a holistic approach to Yoga teacher training. Suzanne Cardinal, owner of ITWP, has designed a 319-hour, 8-month training program focusing on bringing the principles of the 8-limbed yogic path into students' lives off the mat. She emphasizes personal transformation and helps each participant find the ways they can use their Yoga practice off the mat as well as in the studio. Information about the teacher training and certification program can be found at http://www.intothisworld.net or by calling Suzanne at 919-388-9503.
Award-Winning Going Within Multimedia Documentary Can Be Viewed Online
Please take the time to view this extraordinary 10-minute documentary by Sean Connelley and Katie Newton about the transformative power of Yoga. It takes us inside the San Francisco County Jail, where Yoga instructor Donnelle Malnik teaches class once a week to male violent offenders. Donnelle is a survivor or violence, and the prisoners are part of the Resolve to Stop Violence Program (RSVP). Donnelle feels that part of her journey into the jail with the inmates is to heal herself and grow in her understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings. The documentary was recently awarded Best Multimedia Package by the National Press Photographers Association.
You can view the documentary online at: http://extras.insidebayarea.com/yoga/GW.htm.
Experiencing the Monastic Life
An article by Park Chung-a in The Korea Times entitled "Getting in Touch with Your Inner Self" takes us inside the Chogye Order of Korean Buddhism. The Chogye Order has opened up 38 of its temples across Korea for people to stay for 2- and 3-day periods to experience what life is like for Buddhist monks. Participants fully immerse themselves in monastic life, providing a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Buddhist temples began opening their doors to visitors during the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, when the government feared it would not be able to provide accommodations for all the soccer fans. This practice was so successful that visits and stays at the temples are now a major tourist attraction for Korea. Reservations at the temple are possible through http://www.templestaykorea.net.
Seeking Contributors for Stories from the Yogic Heart
Stories from the Yogic Heart is a collection of stories about how Yoga has changed peoples' lives. The book will be a fundraiser for various charities, including Baba Hari Dass's orphanage in India. The editor is currently seeking submissions. For more information, please visit http://storiesfromtheyogicheart.com.
Yoga Journal to Publish a Russian-Language and Other Foreign Editions
According to an April 20 PRNewswire report, Independent Media Publishing House (IMPH), the largest magazine publisher in Russia, has entered into an agreement with Yoga Journal to launch publication in Russia. The first edition will be released in May. Yoga Journal also plans to release foreign editions in Italy and Brazil.
Yoga in Taiwan
Approximately 1,000,000 adults, or 8% of the population, practice Yoga in Taiwan, where there are now at least 1,000 Yoga studios. People from all walks of life, including celebrities and government executives, have joined in the practice, and Hot Yoga is one of the most popular styles. For more information, please see: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2005/03/17/2003246650.
"Are You Interested in a Dedicated Yoga Room?" Now a Standard Question Some Architects Ask Clients
USA Today's January 28 issue featured an article by Diana McKeon Charkalis entitled "Yoga Rooms Are All the Non-Rage". According to the article, some Americans are now including a designated room for Yoga in their home designs. A dedicated Yoga room not only can offer a place to practice âsanas, but can also serve as a place of retreat and escape from the business of everyday life. Toll Brothers, a Pennsylvania based builder of luxury homes, now features a room off the master bedroom in their model homes that can be used for Yoga or meditation. Los Angeles-based architect Alex Anamos of KAA Design Groups is currently working on three homes that include designated Yoga rooms.
Men and Women Really Do Think Differently
An article by Bjorn Carey, a LiveScience staff writer, entitled "Men and Women Really Do Think Differently" was posted on January 20. This article details the differences in brain anatomy between the genders. The brain contains primarily two types of tissuegray matter and white matterand the new research shows that men think more with their gray matter, while women think more with their white matter, and this has no effect on intellectual performance. Although men and women use different neurological pathways, both sexes perform equally well on intelligence tests. Men, in general, have 6.5 times more gray matter related to general intelligence than women, but women have almost 10 times the amount of white matter related to intelligence compared to men. It is hoped that by understanding gender-based intelligence areas that research on dementia and other brain diseases will be aided. The research also sheds light on why different types of head traumas are more disastrous to a particular gender.
Why Men Die Earlier than Women
A January 12 report posted at Newindpress.com states that men may die earlier than women because men's hearts experience a rapid decline during middle age. Professor David Goldspink of Liverpool's John Moores University said, "We have found that the power of the male heart falls by 20-25 percent between 18 and 70 years of age." The heart contains millions of "contractile cells," which allow the heart to beat. In men, one third of those cells die between the ages of 20 and 70 and are not replaced, whereas there is very little cell loss in women. The heart of a healthy 70-year-old woman can perform as well as that of a 20-year-old. The research did not determine why aging takes a greater toll on the male heart, but aerobic exercise is recommended to prevent or slow down the loss of power in the male heart. Women also need regular exercise, but the articles indicates their focus should be preventing their leg muscles from becoming weaker with age.
For more information, please see: http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IE320050112085836&Page=3&Title=
Just Two Days of Physical Inactivity Can Lead to Decreased Insulin Sensitivity
According to a January 24 Ivanhoe Newswire report, a study at the University of Missouri at Columbia found that with only two days of physical inactivity, a rat's body's efficient use of insulin may decrease, a precursor to diabetes. The study found that the longer rats remained inactive, the more the insulin sensitivity decreased. The rats, who had been active for three weeks, were then prevented from running for two days. When this occurred, the amount of sugar taken into the muscle in response to insulin decreased by almost one-third. We are all aware of the benefits of regular exercise, and the unique orientation of this study is its exploration of what happens when regular exercise is stopped. Source: Journal of the Physiological Society, 2005, 562:829-838.
Note: If you would like to start a special interest group (SIG) for one or more of your areas of specialization and would be interested in coordinating a group or groups, please send your request(s) to Andrea Flanagan or Kimberly Loeb, in IAYT’s Member Services office, at
, and we will bring the announcement in Yoga Studies.
Education & Yoga
Faith Minton would like to communicate with members who are currently teaching or have taught Yoga and/or stress management to 1) educators (such as faculty/staff in school systems), 2) undergraduate college students, 3) education majors studying to become teachers, or 4) any other college-based population. It is Faith's goal to present Yoga to education majors as an effective method of stress managment and also to teach them how to incorporate some of the strategies they learn into their classroom teaching. Faith can be contaced at email@example.com.
Kids & Yoga (for Yoga teachers who specialize in teaching children)
Moderator: Karen Pryor, IAYT-KIDS@yahoogroups.com
MAMA Yoga (for Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga teachers/therapists and members planning their own pregnancy)
Moderator: Karen Pryor, IAYT-MAMA@yahoogroups.com
YogaHealth (for Yoga teachers/therapists involved in health care and for health care providers)
Moderator: Teresa Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoga Studio Owners
Moderator: Jackie Sherman, email@example.com
We are seeking new book, audiotape, CD, videotape, and DVD reviewers from among our members, and if you are interested in participating, please contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you the item to be reviewed, along with any supportive descriptive material provided and a prepaid envelope in which to return the item when you have completed your review. The item will then be placed in IAYT's library, which is open to the public. Some of the titles for which we are currently seeking reviewers include: Healing Yoga for People Living with Cancer (Lisa Holtby), Yoga for Men (Thomas Claire), Self-Awakening Yoga: The Expansion of Consciousness through the Body's Own Wisdom (Don Stapleton), The Meditation Doctor: A Practical Approach to Healing Common Ailments through Meditation (Martina Glasscock Barnes), Elder-Yoga video (Steffi Shapiro), and Balance: The Video (Jean Couch).
Donna Farhi. Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco (http://www.harpercollins.com/imprints.asp?imprint=HarperSanFrancisco), 2005. 256 pages. Paperback, $12.95. Reviewed by Traci M. Childress.
Donna Farhi brings two decades of teaching Yoga and witnessing its transformative power in people's lives to her book Bringing Yoga to Life. Her approach is poetic and personal, while at the same time grounded in the yogic philosophy of Patanjali's Yoga-Sûtra. She weaves her personal experience as practitioner, teacher, and student of Yoga into a fluid and eloquent articulation of what Yoga can mean in our lives.
The book contains three main sections. Section one, "Coming Home," considers Yoga's universality and relevance for all people. It takes an in-depth look at what motivates us to stay with the practice, exploring how we use it, and how it is from the beginning a journey toward divinity. In this first section she also examines how incorporating the yamas and niyamas enlargens our life by enabling us to discover who we really are. She ends the section by exploring what Yoga means as a life practice and how gratitude for this cultivates faith.
Section two, "On the Means," looks more closely at the means for cultivating a deep practice. Included in this rich section are chapters on slowing down and making time for practice; on the brahma-vihâra, or attitudes (loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity), that enable us to overcome distractions; and on the value and profound nature of discipline. She explores what it means to have and to cultivate an embodied awareness, the power of breath to bring us inward, the necessity of cultivating an inner teacher, and the work of seeking balance between effort and surrender in our lives. Throughout these chapters, she asks poignant questions and refers to various ancient texts for guidance.
The final section, "Roadblocks and Distractions," looks closely at some of the issues and experiences that can distract us from going deeper in our practice, including sloth, identity-related issues, and ego. She also explores how we measure success and self-worth in a spiritual discipline, the value of uprooting ideas that suggest our practice will eventually save us from suffering and from all that is human, and the way that practice enables us to see emotions as something that comes and goes.
At a time when there are numerous books being published about Yoga, many of which are about how to fix particular physical elements with the practice of âsana, or about the general salutary power of âsana, this book is a refreshing read. It provides a personal and open perspective on the powerful and deep practice of Yoganot just on the mat but in every moment and every activity in which we participate. It is appropriate for the seasoned practitioner as well as for those newer to practice with an interest in deepening their understanding of Yoga as a spiritual discipline and way of life. The book can be read cover to cover, but the chapters also stand alone as powerful checkpoints to which the reader may refer again and again.
Reviewer and IAYT member Traci M. Childress is a dedicated teacher and Yoga practitioner. She teaches Yoga in the Iyengar method to all ages and abilities. She also teaches body poetry workshops, in which she creates space for exploration of body and its meaning by utilizing play, reflection, dance, and creative expression. This exploration engages the personal, emotional, artistic, spiritual, and political elements of self and body. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Editor's note: Another fine book on the yamas and niyamas is Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's Yoga's Forgotten Foundation: Twenty Timeless Keys to Your Divine Destiny (Kapaa, Hawaii: Himalayan Academy Publications, http://www.himalayanacademy.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc, 2004). It reminds us of the importance of not neglecting these foundation practices of Yoga, which are the support for all deeper attainments. Each yama and niyama is explored in detail, including essential yogic practices, as well as applications to some of the challenging issues of modern lifechild-rearing, domestic abuse, overeating, gambling, violence, injustice, promiscuity, and pornography.
Srivatsa Ramaswami. The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga. New York: Marlowe and Company (http://www.marlowepub.com), 2005. 263 pages. Paperback with CD, $24.95. Reviewed by Vivian Richman.
This is the first book that thoroughly covers vinyâsa-krama, the method used by the legendary Yoga Master Sri T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) to teach yogâsana. Drawing upon 30 years of intensive study with his guru, Ramaswami presents sequences of more that 700 âsanas and variations, all illustrated with beautiful color photographs. Each movement is synchronized with proper breathing techniques"slow, deliberate, smooth, and coordinated breathing was central to Krishnamacharya's method." Other elements of a full Yoga practice are presented, including a 90 minute audio-CD of Patanjali's Yoga-Sûtra, hymns and prayers for Lord Shiva and Ganesha, the gâyatrî-mantra, and ten peace chants, all in Ramaswami's melodious voice.
Chapters include On Your Feet (Tadasana), Asymmetric Seated, Seated Posterior-Stretch, On One Leg, Supta (Supine), Bow Pose, Triangle Pose, Inverted, Meditative Pose, Lotus, and Visesha (Special) vinyâsa sequences. The last chapter, Winding-Down Procedure, is followed by a glossary of poses.
In the Introduction, vinyâsa is defined as "variation within prescribed parameters," which include steadiness and comfort with smooth and long breathing as specified by Patanjali in the Yoga-Sûtra. As Krishnamacharya writes, "Just as music without the proper pitch (sruti) and rhythm (laya) will not give happiness, yogasana practice without the observance of vinyasas will not give health."
Ramaswami begins each series with watching our breath and balance. Each movement is described in detail, step by step, breath by breath. He indicates that "many books provide an explanation of how to perform exercises only on one side [of the body] and the reader is left to practice it on the other side," whereas he provides detailed instructions for both sides, allowing us to follow the text and do a complete practice bilaterally. Effects on joints, muscles, tendons, and organs are described, and the ancient wisdoms are taught. For example, the text states that the internal organs tend to saglike our facial musclesbecause of the constant downward pull of gravity. This displacement of the internal organs, the ancient yogis say, is one of the causes of ailments. Inverted postures were created to correct this. "All antigravity poses have a tonic effect on the internal organs, if done properly."
The starting point for each vinyâsa, the way to acclimatize the body to the poses before beginning the movements, the step-by-step progression to higher more advanced âsanas are all here. Also included are benefits, precautions, counterposes, suggestions for therapy and for older practitioners, alternative vinyâsas, and poses for the practice of the three major bandhasrectal (mûla), abdominal (uddîyâna), and chin lock (jâlandhara). I have been a Yoga practitioner for over thirty years, and yet I found that by following Krishnamacharya's series as presented by Ramaswami, I accessed parts of my body I did not know existed. There is a pump-and-jump sequence, sequences that burn calories, a flying bird sequence that my granddaughter, Hannah, loves, and more.
The descriptions are clear and concise, and Ramaswami's gentle humor and kind, generous nature flows through the text. Adding to the depth of this book are teachings from the Hatha-Yoga-Pradîpikâ, the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, and other sacred and scholarly texts. As a teacher of cancer patients, I am especially drawn to the lesser known ding-namaskara dedicated to the guardian angels of the seven directions: east, south, west, north, up, down, and intermediate directions. It is accompanied by mantras taken from the ancient Vedas.
Ramaswami always keeps sight of the subtler aspects of Yoga such as prânâyâma, pratyâhâra, dhyâna, and chanting. As he states in the last chapter, 25 to 30 percent of his teaching time is devoted to prânâyâma and pratyâhâra, ending with a meditative prayer. In preparation for these finishing angas (limbs), Ramaswami instructs us in kapâla-bhâti (lit. "skull brightening"), ". . . bandhas, kriyas like nauli, and kapalabhati have a tonic effect on the internal organs. . . . Yoga is considered . . . a science whose practice is beneficial to all parts of the body, including and especially the internal organs." Ramaswami leads the practitioner to the internal practices "so that he or she can find the Self individually, and thereby divine the undercurrent of happiness in all life." What could be more "complete" than that?
Reviewer and IAYT member Vivian Richman studies with Srivatsa Ramaswami and teaches cancer patients at the USC/Norris Cancer Hospital, private classes, and at a drug rehabilitation facility in Malibu, California. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 39-356-1672.
Jon Kabat-Zinn. Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and Our World through Mindfulness. New York: Hyperion Books (http://www.hyperionbooks.com). 656 pages. Hardcover, $24.95. Reviewed by Matthew Taylor, P.T., R.Y.T.
In Coming to Our Senses, Jon Kabat-Zinn, the pioneer in application of mindfulness meditation in medical settings, has delivered a wonderful work. He takes the reader beyond the mere "self" of care to explore the wider dynamic systems influences of a mindful practice. With great craft, he builds from beginning principles to a full global understanding of the gift and responsibility mindfulness brings us as Homo sapiens sapiens.
His facility in writing clearly and with consistent practicality shines throughout. Both the experienced practitioner and the new patient confronted with a life-altering health challenge can benefit from this exceptional work.
Reviewer and IAYT member Matthew Taylor is a physical therapist and Yoga therapist who teaches rehabilitation professionals and Yoga teachers across the country. Currently completing his Ph.D. by developing a Back School based on Yoga principles, he sees the need to enhance dialogue and education among providers for the benefit of their clients. Contact: email@example.com; http://www.dynamicsystemsrehab.com.
Baldoquín, Hilda Gutiérrez, ed. Dharma, Color, and Culture: New Voices in Western Buddhism. Berkeley, Calif.: Parallax Press (http://www.parallax.org), 2004. 239 pages. Paperback, $16.00. Announced by Trisha Lamb.
We do not yet have a reviewer for this title, and I feel it is important not to further delay announcing this landmark addition to the literature on dharma practice and diversity. The publisher writes about this work, "Thought-provoking and articulate, Dharma, Color, and Culture provides a unique perspective on Buddhism in the West. In this groundbreaking anthology, practitioners of color across the entire spectrum of Buddhist traditions share their unique perspectives on suffering and the path to the cessation of suffering. In personal and original essays they reveal the connections between diversity, spiritual practice, and the liberation of all human beings. Dharma, Color, and Culture forges a new path in our understanding of the simple truths of Buddhism and their relevance for all of us. Contributors include Thich Nhat Hanh, Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston, Charles Johnson, Jan Willis, George Mumford, Ralph Steele, Kenneth Tanaka, and sixteen others."
Call for Research Participants: Effects of Yoga on Heart Rate Variability and PTSD
The Trauma Center in Boston, Massachusetts, is conducting the first controlled study in the United States that will examine the effects of Yoga on heart rate variability (HRV) and whether its effect on HRV differs in people with PTSD. The goal is to determine if Yoga can be an intervention for PTSD. The Trauma Center is looking for women between ages 30-55 who have not tried Yoga in the past two years. No trauma history is necessary, as there will be both a PTSD group and a non-PTSD control group. Participants will be given ten weeks of Yoga classes at a reduced fee of $5 per class, with the first and last class free. In exchange, participants will fill out forms and agree to have their physiology monitored. Classes will be limited to 8 students. If you are interested in participating in the study, please contact Stefanie F. Smith, Ph.D., at 617-731-3200, ext. 124.
by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
Aryuveda, Yoga, & Cardiovascular Disease
Mamtani, Ravinder, and Ronac Mamtani. (2005). Ayurveda and yoga in cardiovascular diseases. Cardiology in Review, 13(3):155-162.
Summary: This article reviews research on the use of Ayurvedic treatments (including Yoga practice) for cardiovascular diseases. The authors conclude that there is sufficient evidence to support the use of Yoga in treating heart disease and hypertension, but that there is not sufficient empirical evidence to support the use of any Ayurvedic herbal treatment for heart disease or hypertension. The authors believe, however, that many herbs used by Ayurvedic practitioners show promise and could be appropriate for larger randomized clinical trials.
Ujjayî Breath Training
Villien, F., M. Yu, P. Barthelemy, and Y. Jammes. (2005). Training to yoga respiration selectively increases respiratory sensation in healthy man. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 146:85-96.
Summary: Researchers at the Universite de la Mediterranee in France studied the effects of ujjayî breath training on respiratory sensation and everyday breathing patterns. Researchers measured the respiratory sensitivity and resting breathing patterns of participants before and after a two-month Yoga respiration training program. The training program focused on slow, deep ujjayî breathing (2-3 breaths per minute), with breath retention after both the inhalation and exhalation. After the training, participants showed a significant increase in exhalation duration (how long the exhale takes) and a modest increase in tidal volume (how much air is inhaled with each breath). Participants in the breathing training also showed a greater sensitivity to external inspiratory resistive loads. This finding may be relevant to individuals with asthma, who must detect early signs of respiratory resistance to prevent or manage an asthma attack.
Yoga for Addictions
Nespor, K., and P. Borivoj. (2005). Physical exercise and yoga in prevention and treatment of addictive diseases. Cas Lek Cesk, 144(1):53-55. [In Czech. English translation available from author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Summary: The authors discuss how Yoga can be included in prevention and treatment programs for addiction. Treating addictions is a long-term process, and a comprehensive program should include support for both the physical and emotional health of the individual. This article includes case studies of how Yoga has been used to help individuals with substance dependency and gambling addiction. The authors conclude that Yoga may be particularly helpful in the prevention and treatment of addictions because it integrates physical exercise and relaxation.
Yoga and Memory
Manjunath, N. K., and S.Telles. (2004). Spatial and verbal memory test scores following yoga and fine arts camps for school children. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 48(3):353-356.
Summary: This study examined the effects of Yoga on the verbal and spatial memory of children (aged 11 to 16 years). Researchers compared the memory performance scores of children (n = 30) before and after attending 10 days of Yoga camp. The Yoga camp included physical postures, breathing, meditation, and guided relaxation. Two control groups were also studied, one consisting of children who attended a fine arts camp (n = 30), and another group of children that attended no camp (n = 30). Both groups were assessed on the memory tasks initially and after ten days of their respective interventions. After 10 days, the Yoga group showed a significant increase of 43% in spatial memory scores. The fine arts group and no-intervention group showed no significant change. These results suggest that Yoga practice can improve memory of spatial information.
Meditation and Disease Risk Factors
Kim D. H., Y. S. Moon., H. S. Kim, J. S. Jung, H. M. Park, H. W. Suh, Y. H. Kim., and D. K. Song. (2005). Effect of Zen meditation on serum nitric oxide activity and lipid peroxidation. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 29(2):327-331.
Summary: Research suggests that nitric oxide is an important regulator of heart beat, blood flow, and blood vessel constriction. Lipid peroxidation is a process associated with cellular damage in the body. This study examined the effect of Zen meditation on these risk factors for cardiovascular and other diseases. Researchers compared 20 subjects who had practiced Zen Meditation at the Meditation Center in Seoul, South Korea, with a control group of 20 subjects who did not practice any formal stress management technique. Members of the meditation and control groups were matched according to age and sex, to reduce the impact of these variables on the comparison. The meditation group showed a significantly higher level of nitric oxide production, and a significantly reduced level of lipid peroxidation, compared to control group. These findings suggest that regular Zen meditators may be at reduced risk for certain diseases. However, this was not a randomized clinical trial, so researchers could not rule out other factors that may have accounted for the observed differences.
Complementary Medicine and Cancer
Deng, G., and B. R. Cassileth. (2005). Integrative oncology: Complementary therapies for pain, anxiety, and mood disturbance. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 55(2):109-116.
Free full-text article: http://caonline.amcancersoc.org/cgi/content/full/55/2/109.
Summary: How can complementary medicine assist conventional cancer therapy? Authors Deng and Cassileth review research and clinical trials on a wide variety of complementary therapies, including massage, meditation, acupuncture, and nutritional supplements. In particular, this review focuses on how complementary therapies can reduce the pain, anxiety, and mood disturbance associated with cancer and traditional cancer treatment. The authors conclude that several complementary therapies have significant benefit for cancer patients, including: 1) Self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques can reduce pain associated with traditional cancer treatment. 2) Acupuncture can relieve chronic cancer pain. 3) Massage and meditation can improve anxiety and other symptoms of distress. 4) Some dietary supplements can improve mood, although some dietary supplements are also associated with serious negative consequences. The authors summarize the research on these complementary approaches and discuss when and why they may be used in conjunction with mainstream care. The authors also address practical clinical issues, including the possible risks and contraindications of using complementary medicine for cancer treatment.
Positive Emotion, Stress, and Health
Steptoe, A., J. Wardle, and M. Michael. (2005). Positive affect and health-related neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and inflammatory processes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102:(16). Author email: email@example.com.
Summary: Negative emotions and mood are associated with an increased risk of many diseases, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and disability. Some research suggests that positive emotions and moods can protect against these diseases. This study examined the pathways by which positive states can influence health. Researchers measured positive emotion experience (happiness), heart rate, and cortisol (a stress horomone) in middle-aged men and women several times throughout 1) an ordinary work day, and 2) a leisure day. Greater happiness was associated with lower heart rate and cortisol output over both the work day and leisure day. These findings were independent of the participants' age, gender, socioeconomic position, body mass, and smoking. Researchers also studied the participants' physiological responses to a mental stress procedure in the laboratory. Inflammatory stress responses were smaller in individuals who reported greater happiness. Importantly, these effects were independent of negative emotions. This supports the idea that positive mood has unique protective effects on health.
Self-transcendence, Meditation, and Healing
Levenson, M. R., P. A. Jennings, C. M. Aldwin, and R. W.Shiraishi. (2005). Self-transcendence: Conceptualization and measurement. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 60(2):127-143. Author email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary: Self-transcendence is a personality dimension that reflects "a decreasing reliance on externals for definition of the self, increasing interiority and spirituality, and a greater sense of connectedness with past and future generations." This study examined whether self-transcendence is a personality factor that can be distinguished from other positive personality traits. 351 participants completed the Adult Self-Transcendence Inventory and the NEO-FFI Personality Scale, which measures neuroticism, conscientiousness, openness to experience, extraversion, and agreeableness. Self-transcendence emerged as a separate personality factor that could not be fully accounted for by other positive personality traits. In their discussion of the study, the authors note another study that found a strong relationship between regular meditation practice and self-transcendence (Andresen, 2000). The authors suggest that the experience of self-transcendence may contribute to the positive physical and emotional health effects of meditation.
Cited: Andresen, J. (2000). Meditation meets behavioural medicine: The story of experimental research on meditation. In J. Andresen and R. K. C. Forman (Eds.), Cognitive Models and Spiritual Maps: Interdisciplinary Explorations of Religious Experience, pp. 17-73. Thorverton, U.K.: Imprint Academic.
Related: Glannon, W. (2004). Transcendence and healing. Medical Humanities, 30(2):70-73. Author email: email@example.com.
This article discusses how the process of transcendence can promote healing. The author describes transcendence in terms of a fully integrated mind-body. Transcendence can influence an individual's physical and psychological response to pain, and help an individual cope with chronic or terminal illness.
Ongoing Research Projects
The following is a list of new and ongoing research funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine during the 2004 fiscal year:
Neuroendocrine Mechanisms in Yoga Treatment of Insomnia
Sat Bir Khalsa at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
Yoga for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Peter M. Wolsko at Harvard University Medical School, Cambridge, MA
For more information: http://www.osher.hms.harvard.edu/contact.asp
Cardiovascular Effects of lyengar Yoga
Philippe O. Szapary at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Yoga, Health, and Meditation
Frederick M. Hecht at the University of California, San Francisco, CA
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Stress Arousal, and Immune Response in Early HIV
Susan Folkman at the University of California, San Francisco, CA
Mindfulness Meditation vs. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies in Eating Regulation
Jean L. Kristeller at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
Spirituality and Will To Live in Patients with HIV/AIDS
Joel Tsevat at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Mental Imagery To Reduce Motor Impairments in Stroke
Andrew J. Butler at Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Qigong Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knees
Kevin Chen at the University of Medicine and Denistry of NJ, Piscataway, NJ
Yoga Therapy Programs
Note 1: Inclusion in the following lists does not necessarily imply endorsement by IAYT.
Note 2: Yoga therapy conferences and continuing education courses are announced in the first two sections (please send announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org, including title, sponsor(s), date, location, teacher(s), cost, registration instructions, and brief description). Information on ongoing Yoga therapy training programs is provided in the third section.
Continuing Education Courses
Yoga Therapist Training Programs
Yoga for Health: International Yoga Therapy Conference**
Date: May 13-15, 2006
Location: Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, California, USA
For more information: Contact Antonio Sausys, Conference Director, P.O. Box 64, Fairfax, CA 94978-0064, USA, tel.: 415-258-2830, email: email@example.com.
From the conference announcement: The emphasis will be on Yoga for healing mental and physical illness, as well as on exploring and celebrating the impact of Yoga on current popular culture, music, dance, fashion, and theatre.
Internationally recognized experts will host workshops and practical classes for learning techniques for treating illnesses with yogic techniques, including AIDS, cancer, mental illness, and emotional conditions such as ADD, depression, anxiety, and PTSD, as well as everyday discomforts and ailments like common colds and back pain.
** Please note that the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) is not a sponsor of this conference. All inquiries should be directed to the email address provided above.
Continuing Education Courses
Kripalu Center: Yoga Therapy and Related Courses
Ayurvedic Anatomy and Physiology, Part 2 (Shekhar Annambhotla): May 27-30
Feet as the Foundation to the Temple of the Body (Tias Little): May 27-30
Karma and the Legs (Tias Little): May 30-June 3
Psychology of the Chakras (Selene Vega & Anodea Judith: June 3-12 (CECs)
Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Yoganand Michael Carroll): June 5-10
Yoga Ed.(TM) K-8 Teacher Training (Tara Guber & Leah Kalish): June 5-12
Asanas as Spiritual Doorways (Yoganand Michael Carroll): June 12-17
Meridian Yoga Intensive (Daniel Orlansky): June 12-17 (CECs)
Positional Therapy, Part 1 (for recovery from chronic pain) (Lee Albert): June 23-26 (CECs)
Creative Yoga & Movement for Children Teacher Certification Training (Rosemary Todd Clough):
June 26 - July 1
Yoga and Vision Care (Marc Grossman & Daniel Orlansky): June 26 - July 1
Posture Assisting Techniques (Yoganand Michael Carroll): July 1-4
Yoga & the Quest for the True Self (Kaviraj Stephen Cope): July 1-4
LifeForce Yoga Training for Depression and Anxiety (Amy Weintraub): July 4-8 (CECs)
Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training (Janice Clarfield): July 4-8
An Introduction to ExTension Yoga (Sam Dworkis): July 8-10
Teaching Yoga Nidra (Tarika Diana Damelio): July 8-10
Teaching Advanced Pranayama (Dean C. Hudson & Yoganand Michael Carroll): July 10-15
Foundational Vinyasa Teacher Training (Shiva Rea): July 17-22
Teaching Meditation Techniques (Sudhir Jonathan Foust): July 17-22
A Kripalu Approach to Professional Ethics (Martha Abbot): July 22-24
Iyengar Yoga for Back Care (Elise Miller): July 22-24
Teaching Yoga for Scoliosis (Elise Miller): July 24-29
Yoga for Healing: Physical Problems Including Neck, Back, and Knee Pain (Gary Kraftsow):
Yoga for Healing: Chronic Physiological and Emotional Conditions (Gary Kraftsow): July 31 - August 5
Yoga of the Heart®: Cardiac and Cancer Certification Training (Nischala Devi): August 4-14 (CECs)
Anatomical Foundations of Yoga Postures (Valerie Kit Love): July 31 - August 5
Thai Yoga Massage Intensive (Paul Cramer): July 31 - August 5 (CECs)
Applied Anatomy Basic Certification with a Specialty in Women’s Alignment (Adrienne Jamiel):
Yoga, Pilates, Somatics, and Imagery (Christa Rypins): August 5-August 12
Spiritual Yoga in Physical Form (Joan White): August 19-21
Yoga for a Better Back (Christa Rypins): August 19-21
Chakra Yoga Teacher Training (Rebekkah Kronlage): August 21-26
Yoga and Positive Mental Health (Amy Weintraub & Eve A. Wood): August 21-26 (CECs)
The Breathing Body (Leslie Kaminoff): August 26-28
Yoga Anatomy Intensive (Leslie Kaminoff): August 28 - September 2
Structural Yoga Therapy (Mukunda Tom Stiles): September 2-5
The Future of Breathing: An Experiential Symposium (Leslie Kaminoff et al.): September 8-11
Anatomy of Yoga (Glenn Black): September 9-16
Positional Therapy, Part 2 (for recover from chronic pain) (Lee Albert): September 15-18 (CECs)
Thai Yoga Basic Certification (Jonas Westring): September 18-28 (CECs)
Hatha Yoga Medica: Medical Yoga (Michael Cheikin, M.D.): September 25-30
Kundalini Yoga and the Chakras (Rebekkah Kronlage): October 7-10
Lymphatic Yoga: Supporting the Immune System (Tias Little): October 10-14
Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training (Janice Clarfield): October 16-20
Self-Awakening Yoga Teacher Training (Brahmanand Don Stapleton): October 16-20
A Kripalu Approach to Professional Ethics (Tarika Diana Damelio): October 18-20
Asanas as Spiritual Doorways (Yoganand Michael Carroll): October 23-28
Ayurveda & Thai Yoga Therapy (R. D. Shandler & Paul Cramer): October 23-28 (CECs)
Bringing Chanting into Your Yoga Teaching (Bhavani Lorraine Nelson): October 23-28
Practicing and Teaching Yoga for Specific Needs (Prabhakar Jeffrey Migdow, M.D.): October 23-27
The Luminous Language of Sanskrit (Manorama): October 28-30
Location: Kripalu Center, Lenox, Massachusetts, http://www.kripalu.org
Cost: Varies by course and accommodations; please see course descriptions via http://www.kripalu.org.
To register: Visit the web page for the course of interest. The bottom of each course page includes links to the Kripalu registration page. Or call 1-800-741-7353 or 1-413-448-3152.
Integral Yoga: Yoga Therapy and Related Courses
Integrating Yoga Into Western Rehabilitation (Bill Gallagher & Richard Sabel): June 1-5
Thai Yoga Massage Intensive (Rishi Dion): June 7-12
Cardiac Yoga® Teacher Training Program (M. Mala Cunningham): June 9-19
Prenatal and Labor Yoga Teacher Certification Training (Kali Morse and Beth Donnelly-Caban): June 19-July 3
Postpartuml Yoga Teacher Certification Training (Esther Jyothi Larson): July 4-8
The Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: The Analysis of Movement (Paul Grilley): July 8-10
Stress Management Teacher Training: Adapting Yoga for Business, Healthcare and Other Settings (Swami Ramananda and Swami Vidyananda): July 8-17
Gentle Yoga Teacher Training (Swami Sarvaananda, Swami Suddhananda, and Sambasiva Neal): July 22-31
Childrens Hatha Yoga Teacher Certification Training (Usha Piscini): July 31-August 7
Balancing the Emotions through Yoga (Swami Vidyananda & Shanti Norris): August 3-7
Meditation Teacher Certification Training (Swami Karunananda): August 12-27
Yoga for the Special Child Teacher Certification Training (Sonia Sumar): September 23-30
Acu-Yoga: Yoga Therapy and Chinese Medicine - Chakra and Meridian Connections (Michael Reed Gach): October 7-8
Yoga and Accu-Pressure (Michael Cunningham): October 21-23
Cardiac Yoga for Health Professionals (M. Mala Cunningham): November 12-20
Structural Yoga Therapy Certification Program: Session I (Mukunda Stiles): December 1-4
Location: Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville, Buckingham, Virginia, http://www.yogaville.org
Cost: Varies by course. See http://www.yogaville.org/Programs/Calendar/Calendar.php, and click on the specific course in which you are interested.
To register: For an application form, call 1-800-858-9642.
For descriptions of each course, see http://www.yogaville.org/Programs/Calendar/Calendar.php, and click on the course in which you are interested.
Ananda Seva Meditation Center in Conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda Summer Yoga Therapy Professional Certification Training Program
(individual segments may be attended for continuing education training)
Date: June 21 - July 20, 2005, 12:30 - 6:30 pm daily; two-day break July 3-4
Location: Santa Rosa, California
Instructors: Multiple; see below
Cost: $100 for a one-day session, $195 for a two-day session, $385 for a four-day session, $1,950 for complete program
To register: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-575-0886.
Overview: In this training students will learn Yoga therapy diagnostic methods, which include patient intake and assessment, basic Ayurvedic and postural diagnoses, Yoga psychology, and how to develop referral relationships with health care professionals. In individual classes, the causes and development of disease is considered from both Western and Ayurvedic viewpoints. Students will learn Yoga therapy methods for managing or healing a variety of conditions, such as accidents and injuries, musculoskeletal problems, diabetes, asthma, stress-related illnesses, obesity, digestive disorders, uro-genital disorders, cancer, depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional disorders. A 250-hour certification in "Yoga Therapy" will be awarded to participants who complete the entire program plus Nishcala Devi's "Cardiac Yoga Therapy" certification program.
The History and Scope of Yoga Therapy (Sarasvati Buhrman, Ph.D.): June 21
Asana and Anatomy (Giriisha Nelson, D.O.): June 22-23
Ayurveda for Yoga Therapists (Sarasvati Buhrman, Ph.D.): June 24-25
Yoga Psychology (Sarasvati Buhrman, Ph.D.): June 26-27
Yoga Therapy for Problems of Aging (Nischala Joy Devi): June 28
Yoga Therapy for Asthma (Sarita Shrestha, M.D.): June 29-30
Yoga Therapy & Ayurveda for Diabetes (Sarita Shrestha, M.D.): July 1-2
Reading and Adjusting the Body for Yoga Asana Therapy (Shar Lee): July 5-7
Restorative Yoga (Shar Lee): July 8
Yoga Therapy for Urinary & Genital Disorders (Kalyanii Arthurs, N.M.D., & Ananda Deviika'Ma', M.Sc.): July 9
Yoga Therapy for Cancer Patients (Jnani Chapman, R.N.): July 10-11
Yoga Asana Therapy for Accidents and Injuries (Geralyn Gendreau, M.F.T.): July 12-13
Stress-Related Illnesses, Deep Relaxation, and Weight Issues (Sarasvati Buhrman, Ph.D.): July 14-15
Applied Yoga Psychology and Ayurveda for Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental and Emotional Disorders (Sarasvati Buhrman, Ph.D., and Maetreyii Nolan, Ph.D.): July 16-17
Advanced Practices of Yoga Nidra (Swami Mukti Dharma): July 18-19
Review and Client Management (Sarasvati Buhrman, Ph.D.): July 20
Yoga of the Heart: Cardiac and Cancer Certification Training
Dates and Locations: May 26 - June 5, Ananda Retreat Center, Nevada City, California; August 4 - 14, Kripalu Center, Lenox, Massachusetts; September 15 - 26, Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California
Instructor: Nischala Joy Devi
CEUs: Approved for CEU and Yoga Alliance credit
To Register: Visit http://www.abundantwellbeing.com/Cardiac_Teacher_Training/cardiac_teacher_training.html.
Course description: This comprehensive program is a certification course offered for Yoga Teachers teaching the general population who would like to share Yoga with people living with heart disease, cancer, and other debilitating diseases. It is also useful for people with family histories and/or risk factors. The focus of the program is theory and practice of asana, pranayama, deep relaxation, imagery, and meditation as applied for cardiac and general health. Participants also will learn the virtues of a low-fat vegetarian diet and the psychological and social aspects of cardiac disease. The course will be didactic as well as experiential, allowing for a full and rich experience as teachers and practitioners alike. Upon completion participants will have the skills to teach cardiac patients in a hospital or clinic setting as well as on a private or individual basis.
Cardiac Yoga Teacher Training Course
Dates and Locations: June 9-19 (10-day residential), Buckingham, Virginia; November 12-20 (for health professionals; 7-day non-residential), Buckingham, Virginia
Instructor: M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D.
To Register: Visit http://www.cardiacyoga.com.
Course description: This 10-day competency-based program (also offered as 6- and 7-day non-residential programs) includes both lecture and experiential components from highly respected experts in the fields of cardiology, exercise physiology, Yoga, meditation, spirituality, and psychology. The overall goal of the program is to train and educate Yoga instructors and medical personnel to teach Yoga and stress management to cardiac patients within a medical setting or privately. The program is offered to Yoga instructors from all traditions, and medical personnel from various disciplines are welcome to apply. Graduates obtain certification to teach Cardiac Yoga.
Developmental Therapeutic Yoga: Merging Concepts of Yoga and Sensory Integration for Individuals with Special Needs
Dates and Locations:
October 20-22, in Miami, Florida
November 16-20, in Madison, Wisconsin (extended 5-day course)
Instructors: Sheila M. Frick, O.T.R., and Scott Anderson
Cost: Varies by location (but approx. $375)
Continuing Education Units from Yoga Alliance
1.2 CEUs available from AOTA
1.2 CEUs introductory level available from ASHA
To register and for more information: Visit http://www.vitallinks.net.
From the course description: "This two-day lecture and lab-based workshop will explore the connection between ancient theories of yoga and sensory integrative theory andpractice. Hatha yoga and specific controlled sensory input will be combined to create a unique treatment approach for children and adults with sensory processing and motor control dysfunction. Specific hands-on techniques that facilitate efficient sensory processing, postural control, and respiratory support will be taught for increased possibilities in self-regulation, perception, and functional movement patterns."
Kundalini Yoga Meditation Techniques for Psychiatric Disorders
Date: May 22
Location: American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia
Instructor: David Shannahoff-Khalsa
Cost: $160 in advance; $185 on site
To register: Visit http://www.psych.org/edu/ann_mtgs/am/05/index.cfm.
Course description: At the conclusion of this course, the participant should be able to (1) learn specific meditation techniques for treating OCD, anxiety disorders, depression, grief, fear, anger, and addictions and (2) be familiar with published results showing efficacy for new and "treatment refractory" OCD and OC spectrum and other comorbid patients.
Yoga: Ethics, Spirituality, and Healing
Date: Summer Session
Location: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Course title: CSpH 5317 - "Yoga: Ethics, Spirituality, and Healing"
Instructor: Miriam Cameron, Ph.D.
For more information: Email: email@example.com.
There will also be a companion course offered during the Fall Semester: CSpH 5315 - "Traditional Tibetan Medicine: Ethics, Spirituality, and Healing"
Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis: Professional Level Training for Certified Yoga Teachers
Sponsored by the Greater Connecticut Chapter of the National MS Society
Date: June 10-11
Location: Christ United Methodist Church, 200 Hazelnut Hill Road, Groton, CT
Instructor: Karen O'Donnell Clarke, R.Y.T.
Cost: $99 for a single day if paid by June 3rd, $109 after; $159 for both days if paid by June 3, $179 after. Fee includes lunch, manual, and Friday evening session.
CEUs: Approved by Kripalu Center AYTT for 10 hours technique
To register: Visit http://www.ctnmss.org or call the chapter at 1-800-233-7617 or call Karen at 860-204-0797.
Program Highlights: Yoga Class for Students with MS: Using props and modifications, teachers will learn firsthand some challenges facing students with limitations and disability; Adaptive Yoga Skills Experience: Using case studies, a range of Yoga techniques will be explored to benefit the specific needs of the students. Scenarios will range from students with few adaptive needs to students confined to wheelchairs with physical limitations including paralysis; Group Discussion with the Possibility of Individual Yoga Session Practice Teach. People with MS will discuss with Yoga teachers their challenges and what they need in terms of a Yoga experience; Adaptive Asana Training: Teachers will explore the wide variety of props and modifications that can creatively address the needs of students who have limitations and disability. Suited to a wide range of student populations including seniors; Class Design: Lesson plan development for private Yoga sessions and group classes; Sequencing for safety and comprehensive experience; Practice teach and facilitation.
Date: July 10-15
Location: Ananda's Expanding Light Retreat Center, Nevada City, California
Instructor: Nicole DeAvila
Cost: Depends on accommodations
To register: Go to http://www.expandinglight.org or call 800-346-5350. For more information, see http://www.expandinglight.org/yoga/YogaTherapy.htm#therapeutic.
Course description: Experience Hatha-Yoga as a powerful therapeutic tool for structural problems (muscles, joints etc.). Learn and experience how to: obtain pain relief and increase flexibilty, safely strengthen and stabilize problem areas, and reduce the risk of re-injury. Ananda Yoga, restorative Yoga, and special therapeutic exercises to work with conditions such as: back pain and posture problems, weak or injured joints and chronic inflexibility, and post-surgery rehabilitation. Some prior Hatha-Yoga experience is expected, but participants need not be advanced students. Yoga teachers will gain valuable new teaching skills. Course materials included. Nicole DeAvilla has taught Ananda Yoga for over 20 years, and has a background in sports medicine, chiropractic physiotherapy, and has recovered from numerous surgeries and injuries herself.
Prenatal/Postpartum Yoga Teacher Training
Date: Prenatal: July 17-22 (for Yoga teachers, or pregnant students with 6 months' Hatha-Yoga experience and their physician's permission); Postpartum: July 22-25 (for Yoga teachers only)
Location: Ananda's Expanding Light Retreat Center, Nevada City, California
Instructor: Nicole DeAvilla
To Register: Go to http://www.expandinglight.org or call 800-346-5350.For more information, see http://www.expandinglight.org/yoga/special.htm#prenatal.
Course description: Learn how Yoga postures can help alleviate many common complaints of expectant mothers and women who have recently given birth, help mothers be stronger and more flexible (physically, mentally, and spiritually), and help them prepare for birth and mothering. Participants will learn specialized skills for teaching this group, including: how to adapt standard asanas; special asanas for during and after pregnancy; what to avoid and when; Yoga for alleviating common complaints; how to work with physiological, emotional, and spirtitual change around birth. Course materials included. Nicole DeAvilla, mother of two, has 20 years of Ananda Yoga, therapeutic, and prenatal/postpartum Yoga teaching experience.
Ayurveda and Asana
Date: July 22-24
Location: Mount Madonna Center
Instructor: Paul L. Hoffman, M.D., Cynthia Ambika Copple, and Pratibha Queen, R.Y.T., C.A.S.
To register: Visit http://www.mountmadonna.org.
Course description: Discover how Ayurveda supports the yogic science of âsana to enhance our spiritual practice while creating optimal health. Ways to determine our unique body/mind nature and explore subtle and physical body anatomy will be presented. In addition to learning basic Ayurvedic theory, participants will learn to recognize imbalances in their self and others and learn ways to reverse imbalance through âsana and other healing techniques.
Yoga Therapy for Osteoporosis
Date:. August 5-7
Location: Ananda's Expanding Light Retreat Center, Nevada City, California
Instructor: Barbara Bingham
Cost: Depends on accommodations
To register: Go to http://www.expandinglight.org or call 800-346-5350.For more information, see http://www.expandinglight.org/yoga/yogatherapy.htm#osteoporosis.
Course description: This course with will help you become more aware of the spine physically and subtly. Become more aware of your posture and, through that, more aware about your self. Learn which movements or asanas should be avoided with skeletal weakness. Learn which asanas and movements can be beneficial and improve posture, endurance, and balance. Learn about the subtle benefits of these asanas and improved posture. Learn the basics of bone health. This class is beneficial for everyone and for people with osteopenia or osteoporosis who do not yet have severe postural change or history of fracture. Barbara Bingham is a physical therapist and Ananda Yoga instructor.\
Yoga Therapy for Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia
Date: September 25-30
Location: Ananda's Expanding Light Retreat Center, Nevada City, California
Instructors: Gyandev McCord and Lisa Powers
Cost: Depends on accommodations
To register: Go to http://www.expandinglight.org or call 800-346-5350.For more information, see http://www.expandinglight.org/yoga/YogaTherapy.htm#insomnia.
Course description: Yoga can strengthen your nervous system, improve your mood, increase your resistance to life's stresses, and raise your quality of life in the face of challenges (including panic disorder, post-traumatic stress, adult ADHD, etc.). This program not only trains you in simple therapeutic techniques, but more importantly, gives you a firsthand experience of a lifestyle that promotes wellness. Transform body and mind into allies for wellness via yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and more, using approaches that have been validated by scientific research.
Yoga Therapy for the Upper Back, Neck, Shoulders, and Headaches
Date: September 29 October 2
Location: Ananda's Expanding Light Retreat Center, Nevada City, California
Instructor: Craig Roberts, D.C.
Cost: Depends on accommodations
To register: Go to http://www.expandinglight.org or call 800-346-5350.For more information, see http://www.expandinglight.org/yoga/YogaTherapy.htm#upper-back.
Use the tools of Ananda Yoga to deal with injury, discomfort, and lack of mobility by: correcting muscle imbalance, weakness, and inflexibility; learning efficient, coordinated movement; practicing proper postural alignment in daily life; using the body's subtle energies for healing; and addressing underlying problems such as stress, fatigue, improper breathing, and lack of body awareness. Program leader Craig Roberts (Doctor of Chiropractic) will give you the tools to continue Ananda Yoga therapy at home. Course materials included.
Yoga for the Special Child Certification Course
Date and Location: Many dates and locations throughout 2005
Primary Instructor: Sonia Sumar or Michelle Demes
To register or for more information: Visit http://www.specialyoga.com, call 1-888-900-YOGA, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Course description: "Designed for parents and their children, yoga teachers, educators and health care professionals, [this course] provides the basic tools for teaching yoga to children with special needs. Using hands-on and video instruction, Ms. Sumar [or Ms. Demes] guides participants through each of the successive stages in the special child's developmentfrom infancy through adolescence. Topics include: choosing the most effective yoga routine; creating the optimum home and classroom environment; and working with different syndromes and disorders.
Yoga Therapist Training Programs
Note: Inclusion in the following list does not necessarily imply endorsement by IAYT. For dates and locations of trainings, please visit the website for each program.
American Viniyoga Institute, http://www.viniyoga.com, email@example.com, 808-572-1414
Integrative Yoga Therapy, http://www.iytyogatherapy.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-750-9642; also offers a customized M.A. degree program through Lesley College, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, http://www.pryt.com, email@example.com, 800-288-9642
Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda, http://www.rmiya.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-499-2910
Yoga Therapy Center (Structural Yoga Therapy), http://www.yogatherapycenter.org, email@example.com, 303-442-7004
European College for Yoga Therapy (Germany), http://www.wegdermitte.de/yoga/yoga.htm (in German), http://www.wegdermitte.de/yoga/yoga.htm?/english/ecyt.htm (in English), firstname.lastname@example.org, 036072 - 8200
The Institute for Medical Yoga (Sweden), email@example.com (information in English available by email), 00468-21 03 30
Yoga Biomedical Trust (U.K.), http://www.yogatherapy.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0171 419 7199
Yoga Therapy and Training Center (Ireland), http://www.yogaireland.com, email@example.com, (028) 4063 0686
Yoga Therapy Center (Structural Yoga Therapy), http://www.yogatherapycenter.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-442-7004
Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, http://www.kym.org, email@example.com, 91.44.4937998
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, http://vyasa.org/, firstname.lastname@example.org, +91 80 660 8645
Publisher: International Association of Yoga Therapists
Editor: Trisha Lamb
Address: P.O. Box 2513, Prescott, Arizona, USA
Tel.: 928-541-0004; Fax: 928-541-0182
Copyright © 2005 International Association of Yoga Therapists. All rights reserved.
Yoga Studies is published tri-annually (January 15, May 15, and September 15) for members of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Membership is $60 per year for U.S. residents, $65 for non-U.S. residents with email. To join or renew, please fill out the online membership application form at http://www.iayt.org, or write or call us for a printed form.