Best Yoga on the Web – Friday, December 6, 2013

Best Yoga on the Web

Best Yoga on the Web – Friday, December 6,…

For yoga teachers and serious students, “Best Yoga on the Web” is your hand-picked guide to this week’s best of the best yoga and meditation from around the world.  This week – Steve Johnson, The David Lynch Foundation, Hugh Jackman, and Nelson Mandela

 

Steve Johnson, Ecotherapist and Mindfulness Teacher

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I just recently discovered Steve Johnson’s blog  and was enchanted by this post reflecting on meditation and a stormy walk Mindfulness, weathering the storm.  It is short and definitely worth a read.  I’m also including his bio below as he sounds like a really fascinating guy who is living the crazy combination of things I imagined doing as a kid;

I am an Ecotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher and Trainer, researching into the health impact of Nature and Mindfulness at the Faculty of Health & Wellbeing at the University of Cumbria. I’m a member of the Mountain Leader Training Association and Institute of Outdoor Learning.  I’m also a member of a mountain rescue team in the Lake District where as a Pre-Hospital Emergency Practitioner I teach casualty care and am a TRiM (trauma risk management) assessor for Mountain Rescue.

I’ll definitely be spending some more time exploring Steve’s blog and his research!

The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace

The David Lynch foundation has a great mission and has been focusing on two main populations; the traumatically stressed and at-risk populations.  The foundation recently held a fundraiser to bring mindfulness training to 1,000 service veterans and first responders in New York City who are suffering from post-traumatic stress.  Here’s an inspiring video featuring some of the people they have helped;

They also have this great summary of research findings on the benefits of meditation:

Benefits to Education

  • 10% improvement in test scores and GPA
    Education 131: 556–565, 2011
  • 86% reduction in suspensions over two years
    San Francisco Unified School District
  • 65% decrease in violent conflict over two years
    John O’Connell High School data
  • Reduced ADHD symptoms and symptoms of other learning disorders
    Mind & Brain: The Journal of Psychiatry 2 (1): 73-81, 2011
  • Highly effective for increasing creativity
    Intelligence 29: 419-440, 2001
  • 40% reduction in psychological distress, including stress, anxiety and depression
    American Journal of Hypertension 22(12): 1326-1331, 2009

Benefits to Veterans

  • 40-55% reduction in symptoms of PTSD and depression
    Military Medicine 176 (6): 626-630, 2011
  • 42% decrease in insomnia
    Journal of Counseling and Development 64: 212-215, 1985
  • 25% reduction in plasma cortisol levels
    Hormones and Behavior 10: 54–60, 1978
  • Decreased high blood pressure–on par with first-line antihypertensives
    American Journal of Hypertension 21: 310–316, 2008
  • 47% reduced risk of cardiovascular-related mortality
    Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 5: 750-758, 2012
  • 30% improvement in satisfaction with quality of life
    Military Medicine 176 (6): 626-630, 2011

Benefits to Abused Women and Girls

  • Reduced flashbacks and bad memories
    Military Medicine 176 (6): 626-630, 2011
  • Greater resistance to stress
    Psychosomatic Medicine 35: 341–349, 1973
  • Twice the effectiveness of conventional approaches for reducing alcoholism and substance abuse
    Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 11: 13-87, 1994
  • 42% decrease in insomnia
    Journal of Counseling and Development 64: 212-215, 1985
  • Twice as effective as other relaxation techniques for decreasing trait anxiety
    Journal of Clinical Psychology 45(6): 957–974, 1989
  • Improved quality of life
    Military Medicine 176 (6): 626-630, 2011

If you are interested in supporting the mission of the David Lynch Foundation, you can get involved or make a donation here.

Hugh Jackman Meditates and His Kids are Getting Into It, Cool!

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Nelson Mandela Passes at 95

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For the first twenty three years of my life, Nelson Mandela was in prison.  There were no pictures of him, so we grew up thinking of him as looking as in the pre-prison picture above.  And though there were campaigns for his release, I never thought it would actually happen.

Then when Nelson Mandela was released, I expected violence and civil war.  Instead, he brought reconciliation and became President.  I just couldn’t believe it as he made it happened.  It was as if seeing true greatness unfold before my very eyes.    I feel like this quote sums up the whole thing nicely:

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

And another of his quotes that has been with me for years and that I will always hold in me:

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Nelson Mandela

All the best on your next journey Tata Madiba…

Chris Brown

Chris has been practicing both yoga and architecture for over 15 years. He combines them in his Yoga and Design for Conscious Living blog, and believes that the essence of yoga is found in the quality of the relationships we build with ourselves, others, and the world.

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