Yoga Plank Good, Crunches Not So

As I see people strenuously doing crunches and sit-ups at the gym, alone and with trainers, here is the case made by Harvard Medical School's Focus on Fitness e-newsletter: yoga planks are good for core fitness, sit-ups and crunches are not good for the back. A decade ago, sit-ups and grunting crunches were the standard... Continue Reading →

Relaxation Response vs Stress Response

The relaxation response triggered by yoga and meditation counters the stress response. When the mind-body has repeated experiences of stress, the stress response triggers faster as a survival mechanism and the stress hormones, over time, cause health problems. Stress may contribute to, or exacerbate, some of these familiar health problems: anxiety * arthritis * constipation *... Continue Reading →

Yoga Nidra At Benson Henry Institute

Yoga Nidra is being taught at the Benson Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital. These are Satyananda-based Yoga Nidras. The hospital is also a center for MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) programs established by Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn. As I am doing the Teaching Company's Mind Body Medicine Guide by Dr. Jason Satterfield at the... Continue Reading →

Learning To Be Happy

In preparation for a series of three happiness meditations on June 12, 19, 26, I came across these two video clips from the Mind and Life Institute that are really enjoyable and engaging. Jud Brewer, now at Yale, was part of the Coursera course on Buddhism and modern psychology--so he was a familiar to me. The... Continue Reading →

Music For A Man’s Heart

Indian men, specifically coronary patients, responded well to Raga Desi Todi (Hindustani classical music), in a study measuring psychophysiological reactions to music at the Banares Hindu University, Varanasi, India. The men listened to the slow-paced, taped raga played on the flute for 30 minutes a day for 20 days. Healthy controls did the same. Music's historic role in... Continue Reading →

Music For The Brain: Memory and Dementia

Following through on the previous post, music (not just kirtan) can have a profound role in some diseases like Alzheimer's  with the accompanying memory loss and dementia. Here is the lead to a scientific documentary: Slowly, inevitably, Alzheimer's disease robs a person of profound memories, like the names and faces of loved ones. Right now,... Continue Reading →

“Medical Meditation” For Alzheimer’s And Dementia

This is the first time I have come across the term "medical meditation". A specific meditation called Kirtan Kriya (KK) looks very promising if the numerous research studies cited in "A White Paper: Yoga and Medical Meditation™ as Alzheimer’s Prevention Medicine" , by The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation's Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., are well-designed and statistically valid.... Continue Reading →

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