Dorothy Brown reviews The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards, by William J. Broad.
If practicing yoga is a right-brain experience, involving meditation, movement, and a detachment from the everyday, then reading The Science of Yoga is a jolt to the other side of the brain: analytical, historical, scientific, and sobering.
But to underscore the proven value of yoga, considered so wifty by so many, New York Times science writer William J. Broad has brought an arsenal of data.
At the front of the book, he lists 68 “main characters,” devotees of yoga and the science of yoga many of whom have …
For every individual who’s a victim of Alzheimer’s — some 5.4 million people in the United States alone — there’s a related victim: the caregiver. Spouse, son, daughter, other relative or friend; the loneliness, exhaustion, fear, and most of all stress and depression, takes a toll
While care for the caregivers is difficult to find, a new study out of UCLA suggests that using yoga to engage in very brief, simple daily meditation can lead to improved cognitive functioning and lower levels of depression for caregivers.
Dr. Helen Lavretsky, professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and colleagues report a further benefit as well: a reduction in stress-induced cellular … Read more »
Sara Beck, NYT: For Kelsea Bangora, New York’s 2011 yoga asana champion, the conversation usually goes like this:
“Yoga champion? How does that work?”
“Well, it’s like a dance performance, sort of, or a gymnastics routine, but not really.”
“So, can you touch your head with your feet?”
“Well, of course”
Typically, she does not demonstrate.
“I don’t want to show off,” she said. “I mean, my own students don’t even know I’m a champion.”
Others will be vying for that title when the United States Yoga Federation hosts the ninth New York Regional and National Yoga Asana Championship from Friday night through Sunday …
William J. Broad, NYT: The wholesome image of yoga took a hit in the past few weeks as a rising star of the discipline came tumbling back to earth. After accusations of sexual impropriety with female students, John Friend, the founder of Anusara, one of the world’s fastest-growing styles, told followers that he was stepping down for an indefinite period of “self-reflection, therapy and personal retreat.”
Mr. Friend preached a gospel of gentle poses mixed with openness aimed at fostering love and happiness. But Elena Brower, a former confidante, has said that insiders knew of his “penchant for women” and his love of …
For many years I co-led a yoga and meditation retreat with a friend. The retreat was called Open Heart, Quiet Mind and it was offered at Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newmarket, New Hampshire. My friend taught yoga and I led guided meditations on the metta bhavana, the meditation on the development of loving-kindness.
The retreats initially began on Friday evening and ended on Sunday afternoon. They were so popular the next retreat was fully booked at the end of each retreat. After sensing the rhythm of the retreats for several years, we decided to extend the timing of them and so we started Thursday evenings and ended Sunday afternoons so that we would have … Read more »
Sarah Fay: Patients and staff at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center will be the first on the west coast to receive training in a blend of Eastern and Western therapies designed by yoga instructors and fashion designer Donna Karan.
Urban Zen Foundation, started by Karan, is taking up residency at UCLA to ease the minds and bodies of cancer patients and their caretakers. It is the first hospital on the west coast to adopt the program, which involves training in yoga, Reiki, meditation, aromatherapy and other practices. Karan was at UCLA Thursday to visit with patients and staff.
“People think yoga is kind of …
Lauren Villagran: Teenage boys shuffle into a cramped room. Wearing the same navy blue sweatpants and white undershirts, they sit cross-legged on yoga mats laid out on the floor. Thick scars on forearms and biceps are apparent as they stretch their hands to their knees and shut their eyes.
Yoga instructor – and ex-convict – Fredy Díaz Arista begins guiding a meditation aimed at relaxing the group of 10 young offenders. Among them and their peers, about 300 youth in this Mexico City jail, the crimes range from drug abuse to robbery, assault, and murder.
“How long can you stand yourselves with your…
Elissa Doherty, Herald Sun: Meditate on this: a Melbourne childcare centre seems to have found a way to keep squirming toddlers still.
There are no “ommms”, but there were a few “umms?” when Kensington Community Children’s Co-Operative introduced meditation and yoga classes.
It is one of a handful of centres in Victoria turning to ancient techniques to help modern children relax.
The lights go out and children as young as three channel their inner zen while listening to world music in a twist on traditional meditation.
If they get too antsy, they could read a book, draw, or spend individual time with…
I’ve been working on getting a daily yoga practice going. I thought it might improve my overall energy levels, and help with the chronic tension in my back and shoulders. But it’s been a “two steps forward, one step backward” sort of path. It’s especially on those days when I’m feeling pretty good that I tend to slack off. I think what the heck, I don’t really need it today. But then one day becomes two, then three… And I find myself feeling sluggish and tight again. Ugh.
So I’m re-experiencing firsthand what it’s like to try and get a healthy new habit going. It sure isn’t easy. How do we keep ourselves motivated?… Read more »
The following essay is by psychotherapist, Buddhist teacher and Yoga teacher Michael Stone, and is the second of a two-part exploration of suicide, yoga, and Dharma. The essay is excerpted from “Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga & Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life” by Michael Stone (Shambhala Publications, June 2011)
In ideas of suicide, beliefs become dangerously polarized. In fantasies of suicide, the world becomes “outside” and separate from “me.” The world shrinks to the small action of “me” and “my death.” This is a selfish importance that can only be healed through returning back to a lived body, a network of relations, a life filled with meaning that comes through embodied experience, … Read more »