July 30, 2011

Saturday Video: The Silent Revolution

A quiet explosion of new research results indicating that meditation can physically change the brain in incredible ways is pushing into the mainstream.

Several studies suggest that these changes through meditation can make you happier, less stressed -- even nicer to other people. It can help you control your eating habits and even reduce chronic pain, all the while without taking prescription medication. 
Meditation is an intimate and intense exercise that can be done solo or in a group, and one study showed that 20 million Americans say they practice meditation. It has been used to help treat addictions, to clear psoriasis and even to treat men with impotence. The U.S. Marines are testing meditation to see if it makes more focused, effective warriors. Corporate executives at Google, General Mills, Target and Aetna Insurance, as well as students in some of the nation's classrooms have used meditation.Various celebrities also are known meditators, including shock jock Howard Stern, actors Richard Gere, Goldie Hawn and Heather Graham, and Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of the band WeezerIn one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation.

The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants' brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

READ: Meditation 101: Tips for Beginners

Recently, the Dalai Lama granted permission for his monks, who are master mediators, to have their brains studied at the University of Wisconsin, one of the most high-tech brain labs in the world. 
Richie Davidson, a PhD at the university, and his colleagues, led the study and said they were amazed by what they found in the monks' brain activity read-outs. During meditation, electroencephalogram patterns increased and remains higher than the initial baseline taken from a non-meditative state. But you don't have to be a monk to benefit from meditation, which is now gaining acceptance in the field of medicine. Physicians have increasingly started prescribing meditation instead of pills to benefit their patients. A Harvard Medical School report released in May found that more than 6 million Americans had been recommended meditation and other mind-body therapies by conventional health care providers.

Relaxing women

Perhaps the most mind-bending potential benefit of meditation is that it will actually make practitioners nicer. Chuck Raison, a professor at Emory University, conducted a meditation study in which he hooked up microphones to participants who had been taught basic meditation and those who hadn't. He then recorded them at random over a period of time. Raison found that these newly-trained mediators used less harsh language than people who had no meditation experience. 
"They were more empathic with people," Raison said. "They were spending more time with other people. They laugh more, you know, all those things. They didn't use the word 'I' as much.

They use the word 'we' more." 
However, even the Dalai Lama admitted that meditation is not the silver bullet cure-all for every ailment or emotion. "Occasionally, [I] lose my temper," he said. "If someone is never lose temper then perhaps that may come from outer space, real strange." The Dalai Lama also cautioned that meditation takes patience, so new mediators should not expect immediate results. "The enlightenment not depend on rank," he said, laughing. "It depends on practice." 
Some scientists believe that in a generation, Americans will see meditation as being as essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle as diet and exercise.

ABC News' Maggy Patrick and Lauren Effron contributed to this report.

July 20, 2011

Isha Yoga Camp for Children


Yoga for Kids: Isha Yoga Summer Camp
A 10 days of Isha Yoga Camp for Children is here, nearly 50 kids attending-EXCITING!
As a house parent, I was preparing my self weeks prior to the program, trying to learn how to handle large groups of kids ensuring they have a lot's of fun, yet seeing how to keep them safe. Although if you think about it, kids are kids, so alive and vibrant that any kind of "formula" preaching as "how to" is bound to be wrong! Sadhguru says: "When it comes to kids, it's time to learn not to teach", I guess I am going to stick to that!
At the near by Cumberland Caverns

During the Yoga Class

After the Isha Yoga Camp for Children  was over I realized how much of a new experience it was for everyone involved. The acknowledgement belongs mainly to all the kids: getting up at 5AM, continuing throughout the day full of fun activities, morning and evening yoga sessions, getting to bed at 9PM - it takes a lot! Although it wasn't the easiest, the yoga they have learned will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

For me, all that I did was simply giving myself totally. It was 24/7 about the children.
The most precious moments were those simple ones, when I got the chance to really see who they are - siting and observing them. Sometimes I'd simply burst into such laughter, tears would come out - utmost innocence combined with simplicity of their own; life in its full beauty!

Cooking class

Kids were enjoying the hot air balloon

Pottery making 

Group photo

At Holi - festival of the colors

kids yoga camp

kids yoga camp

kids yoga camp

Childrens isha yoga camp

July 5, 2011

Isha Institute Rejuvenation Center, USA

Exciting news from yoga center! In May, Sadhguru spoke about bringing a Rejuvenation Center to the Isha Institute of Inner-sciences in Tennessee. He said an integral part of this will be a Theerth. The Theerth or Healing Pool is designed to make one more receptive and to bring about health and wellness.

On volunteering specifically at the upcoming Rejuvenation Center, Sadhguru said: “It takes human beings, right kind of human beings to do things on many levels. So, if you think you’re the right kind, you should, because we can bring a different dimension to human health and wellbeing.”

What an opportunity to impact the lives of many! Your help is welcome in this unparalleled and unique endeavor. 
“The quality of your life is not determined by what you gather. The quality of your life is essentially determined by how much receptivity you have.” - Sadhguru