8 Yoga Poses that Kindle Gratitude on Thanksgiving

By AOLRC
October 23, 2018


Start your Thanksgiving day with 8 yoga poses that inspire gratitude.

For the best results, hold each pose for five to ten breaths.

1. Mountain Pose with Raised Hands (Urdva Hasta Tadasana)

This welcoming, powerful pose kindles gratitude as you open your heart and stand grounded in receptivity. Feel hopeful and grateful for all your dreams and the unknown adventures of the future that give you a sense of purpose and openness respectively.

2. Standing Forward Fold (Hastapadasana)

This releases the spine and invokes gratitude as you learn to trust your feet to hold you and allow fresh, oxygen-rich blood to move towards your brain for mental clarity. Allow your worries and negativity from the day to roll down your spine and pour onto the floor, and feel renewed with gratitude for the positivity in your life.

3. Child’s Pose (Shishuasana)

This gentle hip-opener inspires gratitude as you fold forward into yourself, get closer to the earth as if you are putting a gentle kiss of gratefulness on the forehead of mother earth. Bow down and surrender. Let go of things that are not serving you. Find gratitude for your very breath—a sign that you are alive and everything is possible.

4. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

This challenging pose inspires gratitude as you practice courage and vulnerability while remaining open. As you open your heart, throat, and shoulders, find gratitude for all the courage you’ve summoned into your life, and how it’s helped you through challenges big and small.

5. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)

This hamstring stretch inspires gratitude as you focus your attention inward. As you breathe calmly, consider one part of your body for which you are especially grateful.

6. Supported Reclining Heart Opener (Supta Baddhakonasana)

This relaxing chest opener softens and opens up your heart chakra and inspires gratitude as you allow the props to support you. Think of a friend, family member or mentor who is dear to you and all you’ve learned from him or her. Allow the thought of this person to inspire feelings of being nurtured and loved. Feel the gratitude for yourself and those around you radiating out from your heart center.

7. Knees-to-Chest (Pavanmutasana)

Lying down, draw your knees into your chest and wrap your arms around your shins. Take a moment to feel gratitude for yourself. Hug yourself and accept who and where you are.

8. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

This “ahhhhh”-inducing pose inspires gratitude as you rest completely and let go of all tension. Find compassion and gratitude for your own journey, for all of your strengths and all of your struggles. Finally feel compassion and gratitude for all beings everywhere, wishing them health, happiness, and ease on their journeys as well.

On this Thanksgiving day, I encourage you reflect on what your yoga practice has done for you over the years. Not only will this get you in the spirit of Thanksgiving, but it will also give your practice new meaning and purpose.

Celebrate gratitude for a month

Studies prove that giving thanks can make you happier, and gratitude increases a sense of well-being by 10%. Try it and find out for yourself!

Starting from Thanksgiving day, maintain a gratitude journal. Every morning, start your day with a simple gratitude meditation about 3-10 things you are grateful for, both big and small. Simply jot down the little moments of grace that comes effortlessly into your life. You will be amazed at how these small blessings cultivate a beautiful “just right” abundance of love and joy. Make the whole month about giving thanks, not just one day. And you will see that it will become your lifetime habit.

Finally let us remember that Thanksgiving is much more than turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. This year find gratitude not only for your blessings but also in the challenges that have shaped who you are today.

By Sejal Shah. Full article originally posted on ArtofLiving.com

Next Steps

Join us for Sri Sri Yoga Teacher Training – an authentic and immersive 3-week 200H Yoga Alliance accredited training with a world-class faculty. Dive deeply into yoga and emerge from this life-changing immersion as a confident, heart-centered yoga teacher with a profound practice to share. Next training June 20 – July 11, 2019 Learn More


 

Interested in learning more about yoga and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , experiences , gratitude , health , wellness , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat , yoga teacher training

I’m a Neurologist. Here’s why I trained as a yoga teacher.

By AOLRC
October 23, 2018
 

Roople Unia is a practicing neurologist and fellowship trained in movement disorders and cerebral vascular disorders, and now a yoga teacher too. Why? Following the recent Sri Sri Yoga Teacher Training we had the opportunity to ask this very question.

Roople is passionate about practicing medicine but realised in order to support her patients further, in areas beyond the realms of medicine, she needed a new tool. Roople wanted to provide her patients with something extra – freedom from pain, not just physical pain but the emotional stresses of everyday life.

“I wanted to be able to provide patients freedom

from pain, not just physical but the emotional

stresses of everyday life.”

Roople shares her story in her own words…

A Yogic Education with a Foundation in Science

I chose the Sri Sri Yoga Teacher Training because it has a very practical approach to yoga. It has a foundation in science, anatomy, and physiology but it also just brings that joy to practicing yoga. So this program in particular appealed to me because it’s so simple and yet so practical.

The Real Wow Moments For Me

For me, the thing the training really brought to me was confidence, a sense of I can really do this, anyone can really do this so that’s one of the real wow moments for me. On the training there was a wide range of people from all walks of life, all ages, cultural backgrounds and it’s for everybody.

“I feel refreshed, I feel energized, I feel excited.
I have experienced the feeling of being

my most authentic self”

I’ve super charged my batteries here. After week one, my classmates looked at me and said you look refreshed. I said yes I do feel that way, I feel refreshed, I feel energized, I feel excited. I did this to share this knowledge with other people and to invite them here to experience what I have experienced, that opening up, the feeling of being your most authentic self.

“This has been a transformative experience for me.”

 

Giving Back To My Community

I’m planning to not only provide opportunities for my patients to take Sri Sri Yoga but also for the health care workers. There is a huge problem in health care right now, there is a high rate of burnout and people really need this now. So this is the time for me to take this to my coworkers and say we need to be there for our patients and in order for us to do that we have to take care of ourselves.

“We need to be there for our patients

and in order for us to do that we have to

take care of ourselves.”

 

Life After Yoga Teacher Training

Roople is now back working in ER and sharing the gifts of yoga with her patients and co-workers. In an already exceptionally busy role, Roople has shown us that by using the yogic tools gained on the training program to support her well-being she is able to continue with her profession and share yoga.

We are grateful to Roople for sharing her inspiring story, one that reflects how the integration of East and West can bring about true health within communities.

One question remains. How will you share yoga within your community?

Teach and inspire, or simply deepen your yoga practice.

The Sri Sri School of Yoga Teacher Training Program captures the true essence of yoga through the outer study of the ancient discipline and the inner study of the self. At the same time provides a very practical approach to the physiological and anatomical aspects of teaching asanas.

Join us for an authentic and immersive 3-week 200H Yoga Alliance accredited training with a world-class faculty. Dive deeply into yoga and emerge from this life-changing immersion as a confident, heart-centered yoga teacher with a profound practice to share. Next training June 20 – July 11, 2019 Learn More


 

Interested in learning more about yoga and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , experiences , integrative medicine , living yoga , pain management , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat , yoga teacher training
Yin Yoga - Art of Living Retreat Center

The Gifts of Yin Yoga: A Balance to an Active Life and Practice

By Brahmani Liebman and Jashoda Edmunds
September 4, 2018

Yin Yoga - Art of Living Retreat Center

The yoga practice of your dreams

What if you could listen to dharma teachings and receive the benefits of being in a yoga posture?

 

What if you could calm the nervous system and enhance your energy at the same time?

 

What if you could practice meditation and yoga simultaneously?

 

What if you could find a practice that was both contemplative and energy enhancing?

 

What if you could nourish the connective tissues, joints, and bones while also accessing the deeper parts of your mind?

 

What if your active practice could be even more fluid?

 

What if you were able to sit with even more comfort and ease in your meditation practice?

 

What if you had a practice that complemented Kripalu Yoga in its invitation to grow in tolerance and go beyond your self-limiting beliefs?

 

Welcome to Yin Yoga!

We first discovered Yin Yoga at a Yoga Journal Conference in Manhattan around the year 2000. That class taught by Sarah Powers inspired each of us. She modeled how to marry our two loves of meditation and yoga practice. We both observed a more open body and quieter mind, as well as a depth experienced through the integration of the dharma (specifically yoga, Buddhism, and psychospiritual inquiry) while holding the postures. We had been students of Vipassana meditation for a number of years, and this gave us each freedom to include and share all that has inspired us in our practices and studies.

 

As we all know, the tendency in the Western culture is to overschedule, keep busy, do more, and go, go, go. We see it happening from early childhood on throughout life. We even see it manifesting in the world of yoga and meditation. Yin Yoga offers the possibility to stop, look, and listen. Yin Yoga asks us to keep being here in this moment, because it is the only place that life is happening. It’s the perfect complement to our active lives and to a more active yoga.

 

What is Yin Yoga?

The three basic teachings or tenets of Yin Yoga are:

  1. Practice appropriate pressure: Come to an edge of sensation that is neither neutral nor alarming.
  2. Remain muscularly passive: Come into the posture while allowing the muscles to be soft and passive, so the prana can move through the body to nourish the connective tissue, joints, and bones.
  3. Stay awhile: Longer holdings of three to five minutes enable you to grow the capacities beyond the mind and the self-limiting concepts of what we think. This steady pressure allows prana to accumulate and flow.

Placing the body in a posture, Yin style, invites an open receptivity to inspiring teachings. This can happen when practicing in a class or on your own, through recordings.

 

As a teacher of Yin Yoga, you have the opportunity to share relevant and meaningful teachings that inform, inspire, and light you up. When you impart teachings during the Yin portion of your classes, you can carry that theme throughout class and into life.

 

How to use Yin Yoga

How and when might you use Yin Yoga? It can be practiced on its own, as well as part of a yin (passive)/yang (active) practice. To receive the greatest benefit to the connective tissues, joints, and bones, it’s best to practice before warming the muscles in an active practice.

 

One of our favorite things about Yin Yoga is that it can be practiced upon waking, right in the comfort of your own bed. Place your body in a Yin pose; set the timer for three to five minutes; breathe long, slow Ujjayi breaths; and allow the pose to prepare the body and mind for sitting meditation. In fact, preparation for meditation is one of the primary benefits of Yin Yoga.

 

Other times to practice might be before bed or in the middle of the night, to allow the nervous system to settle, or anytime an active practice is not appropriate (such as during a healing process).

 

Wide-Knee Child’s Pose, Yin Style

  1. Begin in Table pose, with knees under hips and hands under shoulders.
  2. Spread the knees wide and bring the feet towards each other.
  3. Press the hips back and as close as possible to the feet and meet the appropriate edge.
  4. Come to rest on the elbows and spread them wide, placing one hand on the other and resting the head on your hands. Keep a gentle press into the hands or elbows to keep the weight back in the hips and out of the knees.
  5. Stay in the pose for three to five minutes.
 

To release,

  1. Press into your hands
  2. Bring your buttocks off your heels
  3. Lift one knee at a time and bring it back under the hips
  4. Press back into Child’s pose
  5. Pause and feel the effects.

For a variation on the posture, try either beginning in Child’s pose; extending the arms overhead; or resting the chest on a folded blanket or bolster.

Experiment with this practice and make it your own!

 

Connect to your inner wisdom for transformation. Brahmani Liebman and Jashoda Edmunds host Journey Into Yoga: Awakening the Wisdom Within this September 21-23 at the Art of Living Retreat Center.

 

Brahmani Liebman, MSEd, E-RYT 500, has been studying yoga and meditation since the 1970s and has been a yoga teacher since 1988. A member of the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training faculty, she founded the Rivertown Center for Yoga and Health in Dobbs Ferry, New York. She is cocreator, with Jashoda Edmunds, of Journey into Yoga School of Yoga & Meditation teacher trainings and the CD Journey into Yoga: Awakening the Spirit. Brahmani has additional training as a Phoenix Rising yoga therapist and Transcendental Reiki master/teacher.

 

Jashoda Edmunds, E-RYT 500, has studied yoga since 1971 and began teaching in 1987. With Brahmani Liebman, she is cocreator of Journey into Yoga teacher training and the CD Journey into Yoga: Awakening the Spirit. Jashoda is a founding member of the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association (now the Kripalu Yoga and Ayurveda Association) and a member of the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training faculty. She also draws on her study of Buddhism and her training as a Phoenix Rising yoga therapist, shiatsu practitioner, and craniosacral therapist.

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living retreat center , brahmani liebman , jashoda edmunds , meditation , yin yoga , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat
Art of Living Retreat Center

The Practice: Why Become a Yoga Teacher?

By AOLRC
January 18, 2018

Art of Living Retreat Center

   

Considering becoming a yoga teacher?

A desire to become a yoga teacher, in itself, is a blessing. By becoming a yoga teacher, you learn to take proper care of yourself and teach others to take proper care of themselves. It’s a great way to rapidly progress on a spiritual path. You get a better understanding of yourself. Teaching yoga, in its true spirit, is a great service to humanity. It’s also a way to earn some income and support yourself.

 

Where do you go for yoga teacher training?

There are thousands of yoga training programs available worldwide. The Yoga Scriptures say to “Learn yoga under a master”.

 

You must ask yourself a few questions: Why do you want to become a yoga teacher? What is it about yoga that interests you the most? Are you interested in just teaching, or also in your own spiritual growth?

If your interest lies only in the physical aspects of yoga, then with a little research, you could choose almost any school of yoga in the world. However, if, in addition to learning the Asanas properly, you also want to understand and experience the true meaning of yoga, be able to impart that experience to your students, and develop a meaningful discipline of yoga for your personal spiritual growth, then you need to be very precise in your selection. The most important question then becomes this: who is the guiding light in that school of yoga?

 

Drinking from the source

Your mind and spirit are both unknown and unseen. To understand and experience them, you need the guidance of a spiritual master. Just as a dedicated scientist discovers the hidden secrets of the physical realm of our existence, a devout spiritual seeker uncovers many mysteries hidden in the unseen field of our existence. Such enlightened masters are very rare.

 

Learning yoga from a school in which the guiding source is a living enlightened master is like drinking water from the river at the origin, where it is pure and fresh. The knowledge and practices that come directly from the master are free from polluted interpretations and distortions.

 

The Sri Sri School of Yoga

At the Sri Sri School of Yoga, you will learn:

  • authentic yoga in its purest form
  • sequences of Asanas with variations and modifications that are suitable for all levels of yoga students
  • principles of creating your own sequences
  • anatomy of Asanas
  • Asanas for many different physical conditions
  • proper practice of Asanas that benefit the mind, body, and spirit
  • deep relaxation techniques
  • an exploration of the different layers of your existence
  • how to make your mind more flexible and strong so it can pass through the seasons of life with skill and a smile
  • proper practice of many different pranayamas, and how they influence the different chakras and different dimensions of your mind
  • the science of prana, chakras, and bandhas and their relationship with Asanas
  • the Sanskrit names and proper pronunciations of Asanas, pranayamas, and badhas
  • Yogic kriyas for cleansing the body and calming the mind
  • proper meditation practices
  • a clear understanding of the wisdom of yoga contained in the yoga scriptures – Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Bhavad Gita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and more
  • how to use yogic wisdom in daily life and how to take yoga beyond the mat
  • a basic understanding of Ayurveda and proper nutrition
  • the different paths of yoga and their significance
 

The list goes on – not only will you learn this, but you will experience it all first-hand too. At the Sri Sri School of Yoga, a team of certified, dedicated, and experienced teachers are there to train you to become a certified, knowledgeable, and confident yoga teacher, and to guide and inspire you to discover the yogi in you.

 

We look forward to welcoming you!

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , yoga , yoga instructor , yoga practice , yoga retreat
Nature of the Yogi - Art of Living

The Practice: Sri Sri on the Nature of the Yogi

By AOLRC
January 8, 2018

Nature of the Yogi - Art of Living

Yoga is so much more than exercise — it’s a way of being. Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shares his thoughts on the far-reaching impact of yoga on the body, mind, and spirit, and the true nature of the Yogi. 

 

A disease-free body, a violence-free society, a confusion-free mind, a inhibition-free intellect, a trauma-free memory, a sorrow-free soul and a quiver-free breath is the impact that Yoga can make on your life.

 

More than the body

If you claim that you are a Yogi, then you should have an undying smile on your face. I would say, that is the sign of a Yogi. Yoga makes your emotions softer and more peaceful, and you blossom in your emotions. It brings freedom in your expression and your thought patterns. These are the real signs of Yoga. It is not just to do with the flexibility of the body. Of course, that too is a part of Yoga. The body becomes flexible, and the mind grows in faith and conviction. If all this happens, know that it is the gift of Yoga, and consider yourself as a Yogi.

 

The path of the Yogi

Many people think of the eight limbs of Yoga as a step-wise process to go level by level. They think that one has to strive to become proficient in one level before ascending to the next. This is not really so. I would say that all these eight limbs or aspects of Yoga are woven together and happen simultaneously.

 

When a child is conceived in the womb, then all its organs are formed together. It is not that first the feet are formed and then the arms take shape. No, it is not so. All the limbs and organs develop together. This is why we must take all these eight aspects or limbs of Yoga together at every step. Only then can we experience the fullness and totality of Yoga, and can bring about an extraordinary transformation and experience in our life.

Join one of our upcoming yoga retreats and feel for yourself the power and light of the eight-limbed path.

This article first appeared on srisriravishankar.org

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , healthy lifestyle , sri sri ravi shankar , weight-loss , wellness , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat , yogi

The Practice: Sarajean Rudman on the Power of Yoga and Ayurveda

By AOLRC
November 18, 2017

Yoga and Ayurveda, to the new practitioner, might seem complicated, but although both practices are deeply rooted in the traditional spiritual wisdom and practices of India, you don’t have to overhaul your entire life to make room for them. Incorporating even the smallest concepts from yoga and Ayurveda into your routine can have far-reaching effects both your health and your happiness. 

 

We sat down Sarajean Rudman, accomplished yogini and AoLRC host, to discuss how to begin to integrate yoga and Ayurveda into your routine for your healthiest, most vibrant life. 

 

Yoga and Ayurveda: The Sister Sciences

Yoga and Ayurveda are all about self-care and self-love. So much else in life takes us out of ourselves, but yoga and Ayurveda take us back into ourselves. Blending the two practices has given me permission to be kind, to love, to nourish, to rest, to refuel and to listen.

 

At the very seat of the practices of yoga and Ayurveda, there is an element of taking back authority over yourself and listening to the innate, intuitive knowledge you already possess – when you wake up in the morning and feel that something is weird or off in your body, yoga and Ayurveda empower you to know that it’s okay to feel those things, to explore them, and to try to understand why.

 

I like to think of Ayurveda as the science that heals the vessel physically, and yoga as the science that heals the vessel spiritually and emotionally. It might seem like an intimidating system, but at the end of the day, it’s the simple things that have the most profound effect on your life. Even one single element of the practice, something as simple as drinking warm water, can propel propel you into a new world of self-care.

 

So much of our lives are lived as cerebral beings – we can think ourselves into and out of any situation. Yoga connects the body and breath back to the mind, and we stop conceiving of ourselves as a ‘severed head’. We begin to notice things that are out of balance in the way we feel, and Ayurveda is a medicinal practice that we can turn to when we do notice these things.

 

The Basics of Ayurveda

Ayurveda focuses on the five elements and the three doshas, or bodily humors. These are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each of these doshas describes everything on earth, and everything on earth has a certain balance of these energies within it. The doshas, each of which encompass different qualities, rule the hours of the day, the seasons of a year, and the different phases of life we go through.

 

For example, the Kapha time of day is around 6AM – 10AM. Qualities associated with Kapha are heaviness, coldness, denseness, so it’s recommended that your practice is mobile and energetic in the morning to balance out that energy.

 

In the Vata time of day, which is anywhere from 2AM – 6AM, you might want to do a more contemplative practice, because Vata is immobile, erratic, rough, expansive, and ethereal. Timing the different elements of your practice to the appropriate hours can really work to balance the different dosha energies within yourself.

A First Step into Ayurveda

One of the most powerful ways to start balancing your own internal dosha energies is to go to bed before 10PM, because after 10PM, those fiery Pitta energies kick back in. The Pitta time of night is when you hit your second wind. It’s easy to work and work and work, when what your body really needs is rest.

 

For most people, this resets your circadian rhythms and balances your hormones, and you begin to feel more energized in the morning. You will experience less lethargy in the middle of the morning, your skin and hair will benefit, and your digestion will improve.

 

All of the cells in our body have been demonstrated to follow our circadian rhythms, even our digestive tract. There are certain times of the day when we should be eating, sleeping, moving, etc, and acting against those rhythms can be detrimental to your health.

Of course, technology and culture have a huge part to play in why we find it difficult to intuit these rhythms. My 94-year-old grandmother wasn’t up at 11PM scrolling through Facebook in 1945! Ayurveda is a great tool to help you get back to the natural cycles of the earth and your body.

 

Get Started Today!

Yoga and Ayurveda are accessible for everybody. You don’t have to twist yourself into a pretzel or chant – yoga can be a walk in the woods. Yoga can by lying on your back and breathing. Ayurveda is the same! You don’t have to eat exclusively Indian food or completely give up things that you love to benefit from the principles and practices we teach. You can pick and choose what works best for you and your body.

 

The Art of Living Retreat Center is a great place to begin your journey. The Center has the most beautiful view, and there’s this undeniable spiritual potency here. When I arrived, I immediately wanted to slow down, which was pretty cool for me, because that rarely happens in a physical space.

 

There’s this settled energy here. It’s outrageously beautiful, and I find communing with nature to be epically healing for myself and others. The core of like-minded people at the Center has also been really healing and reaffirming.

 

Ayurveda has taught me to take care of myself. I’m a Vata-Pitta person, who gets very stuck in accomplishments and doing and moving and acheiving, and Ayurveda has really taught me to slow down, check in with myself, and never sacrifice my own well-being at the altar of success.

 


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

 
TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , Ayurvedic diet , doshas , healthy lifestyle , knowledge , wellness , wisdom , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat
Best detox program 2017 at the Art of Living Retreat Center

In the News: 2017 Best Detox Program

By Andrew
August 9, 2017

Top 10 Spa Awards: Best detox program Art of Living Retreat Center
We are delighted to share with you our exciting news…Organic Spa Magazine recently awarded our Shankara Ayurveda Spa the “Best Detox Program” in the United States!

Here’s why:

“…offers traditional Ayurvedic treatments like shirodhara, abhyangha and marma therapy, consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor and some of the best and most authentic yoga and meditation teachers anywhere.”

Best Detox Program

“Originally built as a Transcendental Meditation Retreat Center by a follower of the Beatles’ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, this bucolic 381-acre property outside Charlotte, NC, was sold to the nonprofit, The Art of Living, in 2011. With more than 10,000 centers worldwide in 155 countries, this is the centerpiece, where guests will find abundant peace and tranquility.
Commit to an authentic Ayurvedic detox (panchakarma), or the signature Happiness Program, which features breathing exercises, yoga, meditation and shared wisdom, is life-changing. The recently renovated Spa offers traditional Ayurvedic treatments like shirodhara, abhyangha and marma therapy, consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor and some of the best and most authentic yoga and meditation teachers anywhere. The cuisine is exclusively vegetarian, much of it from the organic garden on property. artoflivingretreatcenter.org

 

For us, this award is a reminder of the strong legacy we inherit. Ayurveda is an amazing tradition that offers a holistic approach to wellness and self-care, which is time-tested, approachable and all natural. And natural Ayurvedic modes of detox have been helping people rejuvenate for thousands of years. We are proud to be able to offer this type of programming in the US.

Come and stay with us soon!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, Organic Spa offers inspired, interesting articles on lifestyles of wellness. You can check out the original announcement here or contact us by email at [email protected] or call 800.392.6870.

 

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

The Practice: 7 Reasons to Go to a Yoga Festival

By AOLRC
July 17, 2017
Photo by Tony Felgueiras at the 2015 Hanuman Festival
 

At the Art of Living Retreat Center, we know the power of immersion. Setting aside a time to actively focus on loving and nurturing yourself, whether it’s through rest, silence, meditation, an Ayurvedic cleanse, or yoga, is an intensely healing and empowering practice. Yoga festivals are one of many ways to make time for yourself and your practice.

With two outstanding yoga festivals coming up in close proximity to the Retreat Center, the Asheville Yoga Festival (July 25-27), and the Floyd Yoga Jam over Labour Day weekend, we asked yoga teacher and writer Sarah Dittmore to share her thoughts on why these festivals are so fabulous.
(more…)

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , beginning yoga , festivals , healthy lifestyle , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat

The Practice: The Fishman Method – Yoga for Osteoporosis

By Paige Reist
May 5, 2017

Loren Fishman - Yoga for Osteoporosis

 

Loren Fishman, MD, B. Phil., is one of the few physicians practicing medicine who incorporates yoga into his regular treatment protocols and offers patients individual yoga therapy. This spring, he joins us at the Art of Living Retreat Center to share his unique and effective program with yoga practitioners, yoga teachers and therapists, physical therapists, nurses, physicians and health insurance leaders. Loren shares his journey to developing his unique method. 

Yoga and Osteoporosis

I’d heard from my friends and colleagues that it was extremely dangerous to teach yoga to osteoporotic or even osteopenic people. However, I wanted to explore whether that was accurate or not. So I did DEXA scans (the definitive test of bone mineral density) on a number of patients with osteoporosis and osteopenia, and invited half of them to come to classes I taught in my office after patient hours, and kept the other half as controls. I did this for two years, up to 2008.

 

When we got DEXA scans again, the yoga group had gained quite a bit of bone mineral density. The controls lost a little, and there were no significant injuries of any kind. Not even repetitive stress injuries – if you’re practicing yoga properly, stress injuries are quite uncommon.

It worked well, but I didn’t think these results were publishable yet. My son happened to pass by my desk and said, “Dad, give me the data.” In 5 minutes, he showed me that these results were statistically significant. A few months later, we published “Yoga for Osteoporosis – A pilot study.” Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation 25, No. 3, 2009 pp. 244-250. 

 

Creating the Program

At this point, I really became enthusiastic. It seemed to me that there might be a way that any person could use yoga to improve bone strength, so I hired a camera man from Harvard, a director from Columbia, and a friend who is sometimes a Broadway actor, took two friends and myself as models, and created a DVD of yoga for osteoporosis.

 

We made a thousand copies of the DVD, and gave them away to people willing to do blood tests, a urine test, and give a current DEXA, as well as another one after two years of practice. The tests ruled out nutritional, hormonal, and metabolic reasons for weak bones.

 

I chose poses that I thought would strengthen the most frequent fracture sites; the spine, the hip, and the femur. Happily, those are also the three sites measured by most DEXA scans. We made the DVD with three versions of each pose; a beginner’s version, an intermediate version, and the classical version of each pose.

The difficult part was that we needed an older DEXA scan too, in order to make this into a before-after study. We needed to compare what happened to people in the two years before they started doing this yoga (although many had done some yoga before), with how their bones fared after they did this yoga daily for two years.

 

This was an Internet-recruited study, and the 1000 people that received the DVD were from all over the world. Eight years later, over 240 of the recipients complied, and sent in previous DEXA scans, and many sent before-and-after X-rays, too. All the information went to Bernard Rosner, Professor of Biostatistics at Harvard.

The Results Are In: Yoga Improves Bone Density

It took more than a month to get anything back from him. In the meantime, I was ruminating as to whether I’d just wasted ten years of my life.

 

Eventually, we got the statistical results: .001 significant improvement in the spine and femur, with improvement in the hip as well.

 

We published this study soon after as Twelve-Minute Daily Yoga Regimen Reverses Osteoporotic Bone Loss.” Lu, Yi-Hsueh; Rosner, Bernard; Chang, Gregory; Fishman, Loren M. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: April/June 2016 – Volume 32 – Issue 2 – p 81–87.

 

Over 80% of the people in the study reversed their bone loss and began to gain bone. No fractures or serious injuries of any kind were seen or reported in over 100,000 hours of people doing this yoga daily. Over 80% of them had osteoporosis or osteopenia when we started. Fewer had these conditions when we finished.

The Future of Yoga and Osteoporosis

We are now working on another study which we call a dose-response study,. In these, we have participants see a teacher who is trained in our yoga every two weeks to see what “dose” of yoga the participants are giving themselves. Then we’ll see what happens to their DEXA scans in two years.

We’ve also developed alternative sets to ward off the inevitable ennui of doing the same poses day in and day out. New alternatives also strengthen the bones in the wrist, the fourth most probable fracture site. We have put the first group, the group we’ve already proven to work, online for free on Youtube, offer DVDs on sciatica.org.

We also give workshops such as the one at the Art of Living Retreat center in North Carolina. Additionally, we offer online training to teach yoga teachers to train people to do these poses at their proper level. This is an effective, innocuous, and quite valuable skill for yoga teachers to acquire.

Join Loren Fishman at Yoga vs. Osteoporosis from May 31st to June 4th at the Art of Living Retreat Center!

 

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Fishman method , healing , loren fishman , osteoporosis , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat
Digital Detox

Exploring Wisdom: The Digital Diet

By Heather Patton
April 17, 2017

Digital Detox

 

Mile marker 273. That’s when the shift happens. It’s so overwhelming that I have to look for markers to designate where I am. I know it is mile marker 273 because that sign is now one of my touchstones. I turn the curve in the road, and the mountain range opens up before me. This is my destination. This is when my breath deepens and my heart feels wide open. These are the North Carolina mountains. This range is approximately 1.1 billion years old, second oldest in the world. I’m a native of this state and this particular region is my favorite. I’m lucky enough to visit often and it always feels like home.

 

One of the joys of this magical place is an opportunity to disconnect from the digital world and soak up nature. On Average, Americans spend 1.7 hours a day on social media and check their phones some 46 times a day.

“We’re inherently social organisms,” says Paul Atchley, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Kansas. There’s almost nothing more compelling than social information, he says, which activates part of your brain’s reward system. Your noodle is also hardwired to respond to normal sights and sounds. (For most of human history, a sudden noise might’ve signaled the presence of a predator.) “So something like a buzz or beep or flashing light is tapping into that threat detection system,” he explains.

 

We are being asked more and more in this society to multitask, and we think we are pulling it off when we really aren’t. “Every time you switch your focus from one thing to another, there’s something called a switch cost,” says Earl Miller, professor of neuroscience at MIT. “Your brain stumbles a bit, and it requires time to get back to where it was before it was distracted.”

 

“You’re not able to think as deeply on something when you’re being distracted every few minutes,” Miller notes. “And thinking deeply is where real insights come from.”

 

Ironically, it seems technology is bringing us together when the opposite is true. While we may be liking each other’s photographs or sharing our political views, we are missing the opportunity for a face-to-face conversation. We are missing the connection of eye contact and interaction through body language as well as the words we speak.

 

The translation of the word yoga from Sanskrit to English is to yoke or join. It’s a great opportunity for us to feel a connection of our body, mind, and spirit. When we choose a class setting for our practice, it gives the opportunity to share some mat space with like-minded beings.

 

Do you take the time to be sure you’re guarding the sacred space and awareness of connection?

 

Does a yoga handstand sound more accessible than releasing a device from your hand for an entire day?

 

Maybe it’s time for a digital diet, an opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with others and with nature.

 

The Art of Healing Retreat Center offers a sacred space for reconnection to yourself and those who share this beautiful planet.

 

What will be your mile marker for 2017?

 

What is your touchstone?

 

Come travel the road to defining inner peace with Terry and me at the Art of Living Retreat Center.

Join Heather Patton and Terry Brown for Yoga for Life! this May.

Works cited in this article: 
(Ellen Seidman, Mindfulness, The New Science of Health and Happiness, Time, Special Edition. So Give Yourself a Break! 38)
(Markham Held, Mindfulness, The New Science of Health and Happiness, Time, Special Edition. Devices Mess With Your Brain… 34-37)

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , digital detox , social media , wellness , wisdom , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat

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