This week on Best Yoga on the Web it’s Truly Amazing Women Spreading Consciousness- Ariana Huffington, Tami Simon, Louise Hay, and Oprah Winfrey
Most people think of yoga as a physical practice, but the purpose of practicing yoga, in all its forms, is to discover conscious awareness or your true self. All of the women in today’s Best Yoga on the Web are not particularly known for the physical practice of yoga—they are doing something much bigger—spreading consciousness in a major way by giving voice to a generation of transformational leaders. This is near and dear to my heart and is the purpose of my blog – making consciousness mainstream. These are people to admire and to thank.
Until recently, I rarely used the internet for anything other than some architecture related research and a bit of checking up on the political news around election time. The news is how I knew a little bit about the Huffington Post and its sensationalist political headlines.
So I was surprised when I figured out how to set up Google e-mail alerts for yoga and meditation, and found that the Huffington Post was a primary provider of information and stories for the yoga and meditation community.
Try this—go to the Huffington Post and search meditation or yoga—you’ll be amazed at the number of stories…. on Vipassana meditation, types of yoga explained, meditation apps, meditation for kids, yoga’s effect on the brain and on and on.
Ariana Huffington was a key speaker at last year’s Wisdom 2.0 conference which promotes consciousness within the media. You can see her talk below, which focuses on how she worked with others to create a free app called GPS for the Soul, an app that helps get us back on track during periods of stress:
The story of Tami Simon’s company Sounds True is quite an inspiration. Tami started it in 1985 with a tape recorder, recording conferences and interviews with teachers on the spiritual path, with the goal of understanding the direct experience of mystical truths. Gradually, she grew the company to where it is today, a media powerhouse for spiritual seekers with its tagline “many voices, one journey.” Sounds True has always had a focus on audio, which it wonderful because the essence of spiritual teachings is often lost when delivered by text rather than voice. In 2009 Tami started a podcast called “Insights at the Edge” where she interviews many of the most prominent teachers of our time.
In 2012, Tami and Sounds True founded the Wakeup Festival, which has quickly become a major gathering place for those interested the tools used to transform consciousness.
Tami Simon shares her story here:
Abusive stepfather, raped as a child, pregnant by 16, dropped out of high school—Louise Hay had as much trauma in youth as just about anyone. As the spiritual teacher Adyashanti likes to say, “sometimes it takes a nightmare to force us to wake up.” It was a long road to transformation and forgiveness for Louise Hay, but she found the tools she needed – thought transformation, meditation. Louise found inner peace, but it wasn’t until she was 50 years old that she wrote her first book, which began her career as an author and teacher. Her breakthrough You Can Heal Your Life topped the New York Times best seller list in 1984, and was the only book ever to reach number one a second time—20 years later when she was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. In 1984 at the age of 58, Louise established Hay House Publishing which went on to publish prominent authors such as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, and many others. She has also established the Hay Foundation which focuses on AIDS research and abuse prevention as well as a number of other causes.
Here’s Louise on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her basics… love and adore who you are:
Like Louise Hay, Oprah Winfrey’s career as a leader was born from a life of trauma. Poor upbringing, raped at 9, pregnant at 14. Unlike Hay, whose career took decades to blossom, Oprah began in radio while still in high school and was co-anchoring the local evening news by the age of 19. She went on to transform the daytime talk-show tv genre from a tabloid culture to a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. With her tv show at number one and focusing on these areas, Oprah gave a huge microphone to many spiritual leaders including Louise Hay, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, and many more.
Oprah continues to provide an outlet for those spreading consciousness, for example, she recently interviewed “the next generation of spiritual thinkers” on her new network OWN. For a sample of Oprah’s work, here she is sitting down for a talk with the amazing Ram Dass in Maui:
And finally, another study confirming the benefits of meditation…
A new study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology (try saying that out loud…) is thought to be the first to confirm rapid alteration of gene expression through mindfulness meditation. The study found an actual physical anti-inflammatory effect in study participants who meditated, versus those who simply remained quiet during the same period. Meditation not only makes us feel good, it has positive physical effects on our bodies—the yogis were right!
If you have something you think might be worth sharing in a future edition of “Best Yoga on the Web” send me an e-mail or link at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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