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The Relation Between Yoga and Creativity

Sri Aurobindo constantly worked on the yogic technology of observation and transformation for the further evolution of himself and his disciples, which he took as samples or prototypes for the wider, collective evolution he saw taking place, more slowly, in humanity as a whole. For him yoga had the same relation to the inner nature and being of man as the natural sciences have to the forces of external nature like, say, steam or electricity. In another monumental work, The Synthesis of Yoga, he laid down the detailed processes through which one can successively progress and attain higher and higher states of consciousness. Authenticity and veridicality were the primary concerns of Sri Aurobindo in developing the methodology of this 'integral yoga.' This type of yoga can be considered scientific in the sense that it proceeds by experiments and that it bases all its findings on experience. The processes may as such still belong to the 'subjective' domain, but within that domain, they...

Note about the Next Three Chapters Qi Gong Tai Chi and Yoga

Whereas Qigong and Tai Chi come from China, Yoga originated in ancient India probably around the same time that Qigong arose. Qigong and Yoga place primary emphasis on meditation and spiritual development. Tai Chi, the newer practice, focuses more on developing strength and balance. All three incorporate meditation, balance, strength and healing. Find your own comfort zone after looking into what each has to offer, and remember that different practitioners of the same art may suit you better than others.

Acupuncture Yoga and Homeopathic Remedies

Three areas of CAM are most likely to be encountered in the family physician's office acupuncture, yoga, and homeopathic remedies (see Chapter 52 online for herbs and supplements). As shown in Table 11-9, these three areas are components of whole systems or nonallopathic medical systems of care acupuncture within traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), yoga as a part of Ayurveda, and homeopathic remedies as the mainstay of homeopathy. Many Hatha yoga Yoga, a widely popular and rapidly increasing CAM practice in the United States, has its roots in ancient India and is a Sanskrit word that means yoke or union. The original goal of practicing these postures was to purify and prepare the body for higher states of consciousness. Hatha yoga, as described in Table 11-10 along with other types of movement therapies, has many different styles and is the most popular form taught and practiced in the United States today. Because most yoga instructors are not medical professionals, it is recommended...

Organization of Services

And developmental disorders such as autism. Nonetheless, behavioral issues and psychosomatic illnesses are quite common presentations in the urban areas and are well documented in the Indian literature. Psychosomatic presentations commonly encountered in children and adolescents include psue-doseizures, headaches, stomachaches, difficulty in breathing, and limb pain. Alternative traditional modes of treatment, such as yoga, meditation, homeopathy, and Ayurveda (an ancient form of medical practice, primarily using herbs and extracts of various medicinal plants), are often pursued.

Introduction and Early Childhood

Except for a short period of 6-7 years of active public life as a political activist, Sri Aurobindo seldom made public speeches. He was a very private person and rarely entertained visitors. Even to his close disciples he spoke more in silence than in words. He did communicate, however, in thousands of letters. He devoted the second half of his life to a combination of scholarly work and yoga, developing his vision of an ongoing evolution of consciousness and propounding a new school of integral yoga, He was a gifted writer with amazing fluency who, produced poetry of exquisite beauty, plays, essays, and seminal works on a wide variety of subjects, much of which he cultivated through yoga. He ended up writing the equivalent of close to 20 000 printed pages, though much of this work was published only after his death. Sri Aurobindo was emphatic in stating that only he could write truly about himself. As a man who lived more an inner than an exterior life, he considered it impossible...

Settling in Pondicherry

Sri Aurobindo expected initially to stay in Pondicherry for only a few months, or at most a year, to have time for his yoga meditation and inner growth, before reentering active political life. He was not inclined to meet anyone and did not want visitors to disturb his solitude. He was living on the upper floor of a rented house and would come down only to take his bath. A few youngsters who joined him from Kolkata were looking after the household. In Pondicherry Sri Aurobindo devoted most of his time to sadhana Though still interested in the large scale political and social developments that shook the world at that time, his concentration was on yoga. His principal study during the early years in Pondicherry was the Rig Veda, which he read, took notes on, analyzed, and translated into English. In contrast with his interests during his stay in Baroda, when he devoured works of Indian and European literature in large numbers, during this period his more conventional reading consisted...

Energy Medicine Frontier Science of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The practice of CAM presents many challenges to Western science. How does acupuncture work, and what is qi How can dilute homeopathic remedies induce effects on biologic systems What are the chakras, or energy centers, so integral to yoga and Ayurveda These mysteries present us with opportunities for new discoveries and an expansion of our healing capacities (eAppendix 11-3). Many scientists are showing how research in biophysics and bio-magnetism is helping to elucidate the subtle energies of

Dance and Healing Practices

Although dance is primarily regarded as an aesthetic art form, there is a long tradition in the healing arts and spiritual practices to include it. For example, ancient shaman practices incorporated dance as a means to communicate with spirits and to activate transformative energy necessary to excise unwanted spirits. Formal spiritual practices frequently require specific physical postures to be assumed during meditation or prayer, the same postures that are repeatedly found in dance forms around the world. Many ancient healing traditions such as yoga and chi kung have clearly prescribed sequences of dance-like movements that are practiced in a state of mindful awareness. Since around 3000 BCE until today, these ancient movement arts offer relief to human suffering by activating physiological and psychological energetic release, and by providing hope to those seeking enlightenment and wisdom. As Western medicine began to depart from these ancient practices, dance and movement were...

Physical BodyBased Approaches

Although body-based approaches are typically easy for patients and families to understand as potentially beneficial, these techniques are often difficult to implement due to pain or pain-related fears (e.g., fear of causing more pain). Some body-based approaches promote self-efficacy by increasing the child's ability to self-manage symptoms and serve to prevent further pain and disability. Body-based approaches include physical therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), acupuncture, yoga, and massage therapy. Expertise with the techniques requires training and practice with the specific type of pain being addressed. Following are brief descriptions of these somewhat overlapping interventions.

Theres Meditation and Then Theres Transcendental Meditation

During meditation's 1960s rise in popularity in the West, a version called transcendental meditation (TM) was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a physics scholar from lndia. TM is based on ancient Indian practices, is it similar to other forms of meditation such as Zen, yoga, progressive relaxation, and other means of eliciting deep relaxation. Meditation is a vital component of transcendental meditation activity.

Core Stabilization Exercises

The most common stabilization exercises incorporated in a routine rehabilitation program include (1) finding the neutral position, (2) sitting stabilization, (3) prone gluteal squeezing exercises, (4) pelvic bridging progression, (5) kneeling stabilization, (6) wall slide quadriceps strengthening, (7) position transition with postural control, (8) curl-ups, (9) diagonal curl-ups, (10) side bridging, and (11) straight leg lowering. Fitness programs that follow core-strengthening principles include Pilates, yoga, and taichi all of which must first be determined appropriate in the aging population with certain limitations.

What Practitioners Say It Does

Yoga was developed as part of a spiritual discipline. The purpose of yoga was to bring the practitioner to a higher state of awareness, an awareness of the divine nature and oneness of creation. By promoting disciplined focus on mind and body, yoga was developed to enable a greater consciousness of daily life and of its divine origins. As practiced in the West, however, yoga tends to be used more as a method for physical and psychological change. Contemporary yoga proponents and teachers believe that yoga can improve strength and flexibility and increase relaxation and wellbeing.

Beliefs on Which It Is Based

Yoga is closely related to the Hindu religion. Hatha yoga is part of the yogic tradition described by the yoga master Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra (probably written in the second century B.C.). It is thought to be the first attempt to compile the tradition and spiritual beliefs that had been passed on verbally in previous millennia. According to Hindu belief, we continue to live in a dark age of spiritual decline, as we have since prehistory, and hatha yoga is necessary to elevate the body and mind and reverse the decline.

What It Can Do for You

People who practice yoga on a regular basis typically experience lowered levels of stress and increased feelings of relaxation and well-being. Yoga enhances physical fitness, and it helps relieve symptoms of chronic illness such as anxiety and pain. In practicing yoga for its health benefits, three caveats should be observed 1. Yoga is a complementary therapy, not a cure for disease. Although it improves patients' feelings of wellbeing and enhances quality of life, the practice of yoga does not diminish illnesses or the need for ongoing medical treatment. 2. Yoga requires regular practice to be effective. Many people do not have the time for this commitment, which may require at least several hours each week. 3. The nature of some yoga postures can be stressful to people with particular health problems. Therefore, as when beginning any exercise program, people under medical care should consult their physicians to be sure yoga is appropriate.

Psychological Reactions To Rapeposttraumatic Stress Disorder And Other Symptoms

Pies were consistently the most effective in treating PTSD. The two most effective therapies for PTSD are cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. A form of each will be described in detail in the remainder of this chapter. Briefly, the cognitive therapies help the person change or modify negative thoughts beliefs that occur as the result of a rape in order to improve emotions exposure therapies help the woman safely revisit the memory of the trauma repeatedly in her mind with the goal of processing the painful emotions associated with a rape. It is important to note that other therapies have also been found to be helpful in reducing PTSD symptoms, such as relaxation therapy, assertiveness training, and stress inoculation therapy. Also, other approaches not considered psychotherapy, such as yoga, meditation, and spirituality, target the overall well-being of the individual and are also important in creating a balance within the individual and her recovery. Other chapters will provide...

Investigate holistic or alternative therapies andor bodywork

Many people find that adding a non traditional, holistic element to their more traditional therapy is an effective tool for sustaining recovery. Yoga, Pilates, and other systems of body movement dovetail with the expressive therapies discussed earlier that are usually part of a treatment-oriented environment. Massage enhances body awareness, too, and some forms of body and energy work, such as Cranio-sacral and Reiki, will frequently help a person release deeply-felt emotions.

Sign Up for a Prenatal Exercise Class

Generally, these specialty classes focus on thorough warm-ups, cool-downs, aerobic workouts, and stretching. In some instances, they might also include strength training and yoga. All exercises are carefully choreographed to keep you energized, but in a comfortable and appropriate fashion. Furthermore, you won't feel self-conscious because everyone in the class is in the same boat give or take a few inches (or yards) around the waist. In other words, it's highly unlikely that the woman standing next to you will be wearing a thong leotard (and if she is, more power to her). It's also a nice place to bond, swap pregnancy war stories, and meet other women who are soon to have kids the same age as your own.

Health Care For Back Pain In The Us

Some 6 million Americans now make about 60 million visits to chiropractors each year. This has doubled over the last 15 years. There are also about 15 million visits to physical therapists. But recent surveys show there is even greater use of other alternative therapies, particularly massage, yoga, relaxation therapies, and energy healing.

Complementary Therapies for Some Common Ailments

Anxiety and stress Therapeutic massage, acupressure (press center of inside wrist 2 inches above crease), relaxation techniques, yoga, aromatherapy, valerian, chamomile. arthritis Acupuncture, hand and back yoga exercises, hydrotherapy, topical capsaicin, willow bark, turmeric, and gamma linolenic acid. attention deficit disorder Biofeedback, yoga, massage therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, music therapy. depression Hypericum (St. John's wort, but not if you are on prescription medication), lavender, yoga, tai chi, meditation, light therapy, massage therapy. Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) Lavender or parsley oil in a warm bath, yoga, meditation, chasteberry, black cohosh. varicose veins Horse chestnut, yoga, elevate feet.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation

The vagus nerve is classically described as the wandering nerve. It sends signals from the central nervous system to control the peripheral cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems. However 80 percent of its fibers are afferent, carrying information from the viscera back to the brain (Foley et al., 1937). The fibers first enter the midbrain at the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) level. From the midbrain, they either loop back out to the periphery in a reflex arc, connect to the reticular activating system, or reach the parabrachial nucleus (PB) and its connections to the NTS, raphe nucleus (RN), locus ceruleus (LC), the thalamus, paralimbic, limbic, and cortical regions. It is through this route that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) modulates brain function. In this context it is noteworthy that yoga and deep breathing (primarily regulated by the 10th cranial nerve) are clearly associated with CNS effects (Loo et al., 1999). This neuroanatomy may be important in...

Patricia L Gerbarg and Richard P Brown

Nowhere is the link between mind and body more evident than in the experience of abuse. This connection gives us a unique opportunity to employ body-centered methods to heal emotional scars. While talk-based and cognitive therapies can be of great benefit, there are situations in which mind-body approaches, such as yoga, qigong, tai chi, breathing practices, and meditation can be extremely beneficial and sometimes necessary for full recovery. Dr. Sharon Sageman3 described her work with seven women in spiritually oriented group therapy. All of the participants had severe, chronic mental illness and histories of abuse. The group expressed interest in working with a yoga teacher. Dr. Sageman arranged for them to be taught a basic breathing practice for thirty minutes at three of their group meetings. They learned to do a resistance breathing called Ujjayi in Sanskrit, also known as Victory Breath or Ocean Breath. Resistance to airflow is created by a slight tightening of muscles at the...

Pregnancy and Migraine

Natural supplements such as magnesium oxide and vitamin B2 have demonstrated benefit in double-blind studies for migraine prophylaxis, and can be used when needed (see Chap. 9). Other non-medication options include biofeedback and other pain and stress management techniques. Yoga may also be of benefit in some women.

Make time for playtime arid relaxation

People who have eating disorders don't often know the meaning of being appropriately selfish and tend to put their own needs and wants far down their lists of priorities and to-dos. If you're going to let go of an eating disorder, you must put something else in its place. That is where your hobbies and interests can be effective. Figure out what you like to do (not what you think you should like, or what you think someone else wants you to like) and try to find a balance between work and play. Perfectionism can't be allowed to enter the picture eliminate the word perfect from your vocabulary. The simplest relaxation techniques such as taking a bath, going out for a walk, listening to soothing music, stroking your pet, lighting incense and candles in your room and reading quietly can help, as can more skill-based techniques such as yoga.

Provide a brief description of the types of mindbody therapy that have been used to treat patients with LBP

Yoga is a lifestyle that provides direction in philosophy, ethics, social responsibility, and nutrition. The patient with back pain most commonly practices yoga to improve strength, flexibility, and relaxation. The aims of therapeutic yoga are to increase range of motion and flexibility in the spine and to decrease tightness in the lower extremities

Major Acting Theories of Today

Konstantin Stanislavski's System remained dynamic throughout his life due to social and political constraints and his own personal search for creative clarity. Living in Russia he experienced European and Asian artistic traditions and saw popular shifts in theatre from nineteenth century histrionics to the realism and modernism of the twentieth century. He strove to codify the experience of creativity on stage into a common system which he himself warned never to use as a philosophy but merely as a handbook to bring the actor closer to the nature of creativity. He experimented with symbolism, verse, opera, western behaviorist psychology, eastern ideas on the mind-body continuum (including yoga), and trends in criticism in art and literature. He became the first Western practitioner of the twentieth century to articulate actor training, calling it the grammar of acting. Stanislavski's most pervasive belief, a holistic view that the mind and body represented a psychophysical continuum,...

Research Evidence to Date

A substantial amount of research has been conducted on the effects of yoga. Research shows that yoga practice can induce physiologic changes, increase skin resistance (a measure of reduced stress), cause the heart to work more efficiently, decrease respiratory rate and blood pressure, improve physical fitness, and produce brain-wave activity indicative of relaxation. Based on this body of evidence, yoga has been incorporated into complementary treatment regimens for many illnesses. It is also used independently as a fitness exercise and as a method of stress reduction. Yoga is often used as complementary therapy for heart disease, asthma, diabetes, drug addiction, HIV AIDS, migraine headaches, cancer, and arthritis to reduce stress and increase flexibility and strength. California cardiologist Dean Ornish includes yoga in his diet and exercise-based heart disease reversal program. Yoga techniques are documented to reduce stress and anxiety not only immediately following the activity,...

Biofeedback or Meditation

The ability to gain control over what had been considered to be involuntary or autonomic physiologic functions was documented in biofeedback studies in the I970s. However, since ancient times practitioners of yoga and Zen Buddhism have achieved similar control using meditation without the benefit of modern monitoring equipment. Meditation (Chapter 17) involves resting quietly and performing mental exercises to achieve a state of profound relaxation and focused concentration. Electroencephalogram (EEG) studies of yoga and meditation showed practitioners' ability to produce changes in brain-wave activity.

What if the pain persists for several weeks after the initial treatment

If the pain still does not resolve, the patient should be provided with reassurance. If not already performed, imaging studies are appropriate. MRI should be interpreted cautiously and correlated with clinical findings. If serious spinal pathology requiring referral to a spine specialist is not identified, supportive treatment is continued. Determine the severity of pain perception and how it interferes physically, psychosocially, and psycho-emotionally with function. Treatment options at this point include active physical therapy, medication, manipulation, and alternative medicine techniques such as acupuncture or yoga.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

You can also try alternative remedies such as taking enteric-coated capsules of peppermint oil three times a day between meals (skip this one if you have heartburn), or explore yoga, meditation, or hypnosis to lessen stress and anxiety, which can sometimes wind up in your gut. Also, for women who notice IBS flare-ups around the time of menstruation, take evening primrose oil or black cohosh.

Additional Resources

For tools to learn more about meditation and its application to addiction, see Schaub, B., & Schaub, R. (1997). Healing addiction. New York Delmar Davis, M., Eshelman, E. R., & McKay, M. (1995). The relation and stress reduction workbook (4th ed.). Oakland, CA New Harbinger and Lohman, R. (1999). Yoga techniques applicable within drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes. Therapeutic Communities International Journal for Therapeutic and Supportive Organizations, 20(1), 61-72.

Alternative and Experimental Therapies

Alternative medicine covers a broad spectrum of therapies, ranging from special diets, vitamin and mineral supplements, and herbal therapies to hyperthermia, ultrasound, light therapy, gene therapy, magnets, acupuncture, moxibustion, yoga, massage therapy, relaxation exercises, and prayer. There is some evidence that specific dietary factors may be useful in preventing or slowing the growth of prostate cancer these factors, along with vitamins and minerals, are discussed in Chapter 13. The present chapter will focus on herbal therapies as well as other experimental therapies being studied for the possible treatment of newly diagnosed prostate cancer. Drugs and other experimental treatments for recurrent prostate cancer are examined in Chapter 11.

Life in Baroda

This was the time when Sri Aurobindo was intensely pursuing both, political activities on one side, and yoga on the other. Sri Aurobindo knew from experience that yoga could increase one's mental energy and clarity, and he hoped that yoga could develop other psychological powers, which he intended to use for his political work. During a visit to Baroda in 1907, Sri Aurobindo met a yogi, Bhaskar Lele, who agreed to give him lessons provided he could dissociate himself from all political activities for a while and stay with him. Lele asked him to make his mind blank which he could do the very first day. Within three days Sri Aurobindo managed under Lele's guidance to completely and permanently silence his mind. He wrote about this experience. There are two things noteworthy about this experience. The first is that it was not a fleeting experience but a true realization in the sense that the peace and inner silence never diminished. The other is that the experience of the silent,...

As a Revolutionary

By the time Sri Aurobindo was released from the jail the political scenario had very much changed. Almost all leaders of the Nationalist party were either in jail or in self-imposed exile. Everywhere there was depression and hopelessness, though the feelings against foreign rule were becoming stronger. Sri Aurobindo remained in Calcutta using his persuasive skills to unite the moderates and the extremists to a common agenda in order to give the freedom movement a realistic direction. He was now convinced that the political independence of India was only a matter of time, and that he had to concentrate on another important work, the inner growth of his countrymen. He started two journals - Dharma in Bengali and Karmayogin in English, both focused more on culture and yoga, less on politics.

Self Confinement

Around the same time he also took up the revision of a few of his major works like his Essays on the Gita, the first two parts of The Synthesis of Yoga, and The Life Divine. His poetic writings include sonnets, short poems, and metrical experiments as well as his most important written work, the epic poem Savitri. With its almost 24 000 lines and 724 pages, Savitri is in a class of its own. Its richness of imagery, beauty of expression, and sheer number of memorable lines could remind one of Shakespeare, but in terms of depth and width of spiritual experience it simply has no equal in the English language. It would not be surprising if posterity would count Savitri amongst the most valuable texts ever composed. Just before passing away in 1950, Sri Aurobindo wrote a few essays for a newly started Ashram journal, Bulletin of Physical Education, on the transitional period between our present state and the Supramental stage he envisaged for the future evolution of humanity. He also...

Part Three Overview

Theoretically, any method that could alleviate or counteract the effects of stress should improve our health. What are the mind-body approaches, and can they accomplish this goal The predominant approaches involve efforts to train either the mind, through activities like meditation and biofeedback, or the body, through programs such as yoga and exercise. The chapters in this Part deal with the former set of efforts. Meditation is an integral component of the world's major religions and of virtually all ancient healing systems, including qigong, tai chi and yoga. The original concepts behind early approaches to good health are rarely consistent with scientific understanding of human physiology and disease. It is possible, however, for a therapy to be effective even if ideas about how and why it works are incorrect. For example, tai chi improves balance and produces relaxation. This may not be due to its ability to improve circulation of a life force called qi as believed, but that does...

Lucid Dreaming

When a dreamer realizes that he or she is dreaming, the dream is considered to be lucid. The Tibetan Buddhist practice of 'dream yoga' focused on the ability to retain awareness and lucidity during night time dreaming. However, the Hindu yogic dream tradition eschewed such dream manipulation in favor of a waking meditation practice described as merging with the light.'


He is an avid runner and road cyclist who also practices daily yoga and is conscientious about his nutrition. Two years ago he came to me mortified that seasonal allergies in the spring and fall had given way to year-round sniffling and sneezing. He felt that energized, peppy demeanor start to be dulled down and he did not like it a bit. We began with acupuncture, but quickly found that the environmental influences were too strong to allow the treatments to have their desired long-lasting effect. I prescribed a custom herbal formula that took into consideration the allergy symptoms as well as his unique physical, mental, and emotional make-up. I had raw herbs ground into a powder, which was encapsulated for more convenience, taken one to three times per day. By the end of his third week he reported considerable improvement. Within two months his allergy symptoms had all but gone, and he felt much better over all even in areas that had little to do...


Structural Integration, or Rolfing, is a trademarked system of bodywork invented by Ida Rolf (1896-1979). Rolf held a PhD in biochemistry and physiology. In the late 1920s, the piano teacher of one of Rolf's children sustained a hand injury, which Rolf attempted to alleviate by giving the woman yoga exercises. This led to her interest in the relationship between body structure and function. After years of investigating body-oriented techniques such as yoga (Chapter 21), the Alexander technique (Chapter 23), and osteopathy, Ida Rolf developed a technique that she called Structural Integration. By the 1950s she was teaching the method. In 1970 the Rolf Institute was founded, and soon thereafter Rolf published books on the subject.

Search for Freedom

While the creative artist delimits himself by deepening his intuition and devotion to art, the creative scientist transcends through a process akin to negative theology, the practice of intellectually negating phenomena while seeking absolute truth. In 1935, Karl Popper asserted that hypotheses and theories are scientific only if they are falsifiable. His astute assertion gave science extraordinary explanatory power. A similar assertion rests in the Vedantin practice of 'not this, not this' (neti-neti) based on a theology that negates all phenomena as incomplete, or false, until Truth is revealed. The practice is also called the yoga of knowledge (jnana yoga) and is considered the most challenging of all yogic practices because it

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