Yoga may help relieve asthma symptoms | Reuters
(Reuters Health) - Yoga seems to provide small improvements in symptoms and quality of life in people with asthma, according to a new review.
The practice of yoga includes breathing exercises, postures (called asanas), and meditation. Yoga has been proposed as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions, including asthma, but scientific studies have shown inconsistent results.
Dr. Jin-Ling Tang from The Chinese University of Hong Kong's Prince of Wales Hospital looked at the evidence from 15 studies involving more than 1,000 asthma patients to see whether yoga provided significant benefits.
One third of these studies included only yoga breathing exercises, and the rest included breathing, postures, and meditation. The yoga practice lasted anywhere from two https://nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga weeks to four and a half years, though it was less than six months in most studies.
Overall, yoga slightly improved symptoms and quality of life and reduced the need for medications.
The quality of the evidence, though, was moderate at Yoga Workout best, and the effects of yoga on lung function were far from consistent.
None of the studies reported any serious ill effects from yoga, but more research would be needed to make reliable conclusions about unwanted side effects.
"We found that yoga probably improves quality of life and asthma symptoms to some extent," the researchers conclude. "However, our confidence in the results is low as most of the studies were flawed in various ways."
"High-quality studies involving large numbers of participants are required for us to be able to draw a firm conclusion about the effects of yoga for asthma," they add.
Dr. Holger Cramer from University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany completed a similar review in 2014. He told Reuters Health by email, "Giving yoga, specifically yogic breathing, a try can be worthwhile in asthma patients. As the evidence is not really strong, no wonders should be expected but yoga is likely to do more good than harm."
"Breathing techniques are an essential part of yoga when targeting asthma," Cramer said. "While posture-based yoga interventions and mere meditation might not be this effective; complex yoga forms (incorporating yoga postures, breathing, and meditation) and yoga forms that only include breathing techniques are more or less equally effective."
"More research is needed before we can conclusively judge the effectiveness of yoga in patients with asthma," he agreed.
The complete review of these studies appears in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Tang did not respond to a request for comments.
Mindfulness Definition | Greater Good
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.
Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them--without believing, for instance, that there's a "right" or "wrong" way to think or feel in a yoga workout online given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we're sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Though it has its roots in Buddhist meditation, a secular practice of mindfulness has entered the American mainstream in recent years, in part through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which he launched at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Since that time, thousands of studies have documented the physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in general and MBSR in particular, inspiring countless programs to adapt the MBSR model for schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans centers, and beyond.
Why Practice Mindfulness?
Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness, even for just a few weeks, can bring a variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits. Here are some of these benefits, which extend across many different settings.
Mindfulness is good for our bodies: A seminal study found that, after just eight weeks of training, practicing mindfulness meditation boosts our immune system's ability to fight off illness.
Mindfulness is good for our minds: Several studies have found that mindfulness increases positive emotions while reducing negative emotions and stress. Indeed, at least one study suggests it may be as good as antidepressants in fighting depression and preventing relapse.
Mindfulness changes our brains: Research has found that it increases density of gray matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy.
Mindfulness helps us focus: Studies suggest that mindfulness helps us tune out distractions and improves our memory and attention skills.
Mindfulness fosters compassion and altruism: Research suggests mindfulness training makes us more likely to help someone in need and increases activity in neural networks involved in understanding the suffering of others and regulating emotions. Evidence suggests it might boost self-compassion as well.
Mindfulness enhances relationships: Research suggests mindfulness training makes couples more satisfied with their relationship, makes each partner feel more optimistic and relaxed, and makes them feel more accepting of and closer to one another.
Mindfulness is good for parents and parents-to-be: Studies suggest it may reduce pregnancy-related anxiety, stress, and depression in expectant parents. Parents who practice mindfulness report being happier with their parenting skills and their relationship with their kids, and their kids were found to have better social skills.
Mindfulness helps schools: There's scientific evidence that teaching mindfulness in the classroom reduces behavior problems and aggression among students, and improves their happiness levels and ability to pay attention. Teachers trained in mindfulness also show lower blood pressure, less negative emotion and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy.
Mindfulness helps health care professionals cope with stress, connect with their patients, and improve their general quality of life. It also helps mental health professionals by reducing negative emotions and anxiety, and increasing their positive emotions and feelings of self-compassion.
Mindfulness helps prisons: Evidence suggests mindfulness reduces anger, hostility, and mood disturbances among prisoners by increasing their awareness of their thoughts and emotions, helping with their rehabilitation and reintegration.
Mindfulness helps veterans: Studies suggest it can reduce the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of war.
Mindfulness fights obesity: Practicing "mindful eating" encourages healthier eating habits, helps people lose weight, and helps them savor the food they do eat.
How to Cultivate Mindfulness?
Jon Kabat-Zinn emphasizes that although mindfulness can be cultivated through formal meditation, that's not the only way. "It's not really about sitting in the full lotus, like pretending you're a statue in a British museum," he says in this Greater Good video. "It's about living your life as if it really mattered, moment by moment by moment by moment."
Here are a few key components of practicing mindfulness that Kabat-Zinn and others identify:
Pay close attention to your breathing, especially when you're feeling intense emotions.
Notice--really notice--what you're sensing in a given moment, the sights, sounds, and smells that ordinarily slip by without reaching your conscious awareness.
Recognize that your thoughts and emotions are fleeting and do not define you, an insight that can free you from negative thought patterns.
Tune into your body's physical http://www.a2zyoga.com/ sensations, from the water hitting your skin in the shower to the way your body rests in your office chair.
To develop these skills in everyday life, you can try these exercises used in Kabat-Zinn's MBSR program and elsewhere:
The body scan, where you focus your attention along your body, from the toes to the top of your head, trying to be aware and accepting of whatever you sense in these body parts, without controlling or changing those feelings.
The raisin exercise, where you slowly use all of your senses, one after another, to observe a raisin in great detail, from the way it feels in your hand to the way its taste bursts on your tongue. This exercise is intended to help you focus on the present moment, and can be tried with different foods.
Walking meditation, where you focus on the movement of your body as you take step after step, your feet touching and leaving the ground--an everyday activity we usually take for granted. This exercise is often practiced walking back and forth along a path 10 paces long, though it can be practiced along most any path.
Loving-kindness meditation, which the GGSC's Christine Carter explains in this post, involves extending feelings of compassion toward people, starting with yourself then branching out to someone close to you, then to an acquaintance, then to someone giving you a hard time, then finally to all beings everywhere.
Over the years on Greater Good, we've identified successful programs for cultivating mindfulness; here are some highlights.
Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR), in which students meet for two-to-three hours per week for eight weeks, practicing at home between classes; it has helped tens of thousands of people build mindfulness.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) adapts the MBSR model specifically for people suffering from depression and chronic unhappiness. Developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale, MBCT combines mindfulness practices with practices from cognitive therapy, and it has been backed up by a great deal of research.
Megan Cowan, founder of the Mindful Schools program, offers tips for teaching mindfulness to kids in this Greater Good article.
In another Greater Good article, Margaret Cullen, founder of the SMART-in-Education program, explains how she uses mindfulness to help teachers take care of themselves and keep from burning out.
Nancy Bardacke's Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) program offers mindfulness training to expectant parents; her book Mindful Birthing describes her program and also offers detailed instructions for cultivating mindfulness in everyday life.
For more: Watch our videos of Kabat-Zinn for his take on how to build mindfulness and check out these "Six Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today" from Pocket Mindfulness.
How Mindful Are You?
Find out by taking the Greater Good mindfulness quiz, which is based on the Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale.
Page reviewers: Leah Weiss, LCSW, Ph.D., Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education; Steve Hickman, Psy.D., UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness.
Healing Meditation Technique, Good For The Body, Mind And Soul
This healing meditation is good for the soul, body and mind. First thing you want to do is sit in a comfortable position. This can be in a chair with your feet flat on the ground or in a crossed legged position on the floor. Once you are comfortable and feel like you are in a position that you can sit in for 20 minutes, it is time to begin the healing meditation.
Begin to imagine the body filling with a white Yoga Workout energy light. It is best to start with the feet and slowly move up the body. Take your time with this, there is no rush. As you move up the body and this energy flows into you, feel the body relaxing. Continue this until the entire body has been encompassed in this energy. After this, the next step in healing meditation is to imagine any pain or diseased areas are surrounded by a dark energy mass. As http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=power+yoga you imagine this, see the white energy light taking over those areas and turning them into this energy.
Next step in healing meditation is to see this white energy shinning out from your eyes. As you imagine this have the light bend and target the areas that have been giving you troubles, pain or are sick. This white energy light penetrates these areas and transforms any remaining dark energy into shining white energy light. As you are doing this, fill your heart with love and send that love through the light to these areas also.
The last step is to feel this white energy warming the entire body. This warming sensation should feel like you are being wrapped in love. Sit for several minutes and feel this sensation of being wrapped in love.
Relax, open your eyes and remain seated for a couple minutes as you give thanks for the incredible white energy light that has been given to you for the purposes of healing.
Meditation: Re-Wiring Your Brain for Happiness
A quiet explosion of new research indicating that meditation can physically change the brain in astonishing ways has started to push into mainstream.
Several studies suggest that these changes through meditation can make you happier, less stressed -- even nicer to other people. It can help you control your eating habits and even reduce chronic pain, all the while without taking prescription medication.
Meditation is an intimate and intense exercise that can be done solo or in a group, and one study showed that 20 million Americans say they practice meditation. It has been used to help treat addictions, to clear psoriasis and even to treat men with impotence.
The U.S. Marines are testing meditation to see if it makes more focused, effective warriors. Corporate executives at Google, General Mills, Target and Aetna Insurance, as well as students in some of the nation's classrooms have used meditation.
Various celebrities also are known meditators, including shock jock Howard Stern, actors Richard Gere, Goldie Hawn and Heather Graham, and Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of the band Weezer.
In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the http://www.thesecretsofyoga.com/ brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants' brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.
READ: Meditation 101: Tips for Beginners
Recently, the Dalai Lama granted permission for his monks, who are master mediators, to have their brains studied at the University of Wisconsin, one of the most high-tech brain labs in the world.
Richie Davidson, a PhD at the university, and his colleagues, led the study and said they were amazed by what they found in the monks' brain activity read-outs. During meditation, electroencephalogram patterns increased and remains higher than the initial baseline taken from a non-meditative state.
But you don't have to be a monk to benefit from meditation, which is now gaining acceptance in the field of medicine.
Physicians have increasingly started prescribing meditation instead of pills to benefit their patients. A Harvard Medical School report released in May found that more than 6 million Americans had been recommended meditation and other mind-body therapies by conventional health care providers.
Perhaps the most mind-bending potential benefit of meditation is that it will actually make practitioners nicer. Chuck Raison, a professor at Emory University, conducted a meditation study in which he hooked up microphones to participants who had been taught basic meditation and those who hadn't. He then recorded them at random over a period of time. Raison found that these newly-trained mediators used less harsh language than people who had yoga workout video no meditation experience.
"They were more empathic with people," Raison said. "They were spending more time with other people. They laugh more, you know, all those things. They didn't use the word 'I' as much. They use the word 'we' more."
However, even the Dalai Lama admitted that meditation is not the silver bullet cure-all for every ailment or emotion.
"Occasionally, [I] lose my temper," he said. "If someone is never lose temper then perhaps that may come from outer space, real strange."
The Dalai Lama also cautioned that meditation takes patience, so new mediators should not expect immediate results.
"The enlightenment not depend on rank," he said, laughing. "It depends on practice."
Some scientists believe that in a generation, Americans will see meditation as being as essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle as diet and exercise.
ABC News' Maggy Patrick and Lauren Effron contributed to this report.
Best yoga DVD workouts for your home practice
It can be difficult to find challenging quality yoga workouts for your home practice and there is nothing worse than wasting money on DVD's that just collect dust. The work has been done for you. Here are three of the best free yoga workouts on youtube yoga practices that will inspire, motivate and keep your attention for years to come.
Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Yoga for Weight Loss with Ashley Turner is a true mind body practice that will work your entire physique from head to toe. Ashley holds a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and she applies this unique approach to her yoga instruction. The workout is flowing and challenging through a Vinyasa practice that increases the heart rate and burns calories. It is an exceptional 45-minute routine that you will go back to time and time again. Check out the Yoga for Weight Loss DVD on Amazon here.
Skinnygirl Workout with Bethenny Frankel and her talented instructor Mike McArdle will completely sculpt your body. The demanding 45-minute workout can also be broken down into segments of shorter practices depending on how much time you have available. There is also a bonus 12-minute stretch at the end that feels wonderful.
Bethenny adds her sense of humor to the workout; which makes it fun and reminds you not to take anything in life too seriously. The Skinnygirl workout is tough but worth the effort because not only will you feel fabulous after your practice but will also look even better. Check out the Skinnygirl workouts on Amazon here.
Yogalosophy just can't get enough press because it stands out and is unlike any other hybrid practice. Mandy Ingber combines traditional yoga poses with traditional toning exercises that we all know well (like squats) into a workout that will get you into the best shape of your life.
Mandy is a bonus for this practice because she too http://www.yogabasics.com/ has a terrific sense of humor, is incredibly lovely and down to earth. She is Jennifer Aniston's personal yoga trainer among other celebrities. Once you complete this workout you will understand how they all are able to maintain their beautiful bodies. Buy the Yogalosophy DVD here.
The best part about practicing yoga at home with one or all of these DVD's is that it's just about you and your yoga mat. There is no one to impress, other than yourself, there is no extra time needed in getting there, you can incorporate your kids and there is no additional money spent, just enjoy.
Recommended by the author:
7 of the best workout videos that work
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Check out her health and wellness blog Skinny Healthy Girl here.
Take a peek at her website Whole Mind and Body here.
9 Great Yoga YouTube Channels
Interested in yoga but don't want to pay for an expensive class or be seen flopping around on your mat like a fish out of water?
YouTube has tons of yoga channels that are great for yoga enthusiasts who prefer to salute the sun from their own backyards.
Of course, not all yoga channels are created equal, nor are they right for every person. Many may lack the proper instruction and expert leadership needed to make them particularly helpful to you. However, there are some truly standout yoga YouTube channels you should look into, nine of which are listed below.
This channel is led by Tara Stiles, who introduces viewers -- along with guest instructors -- to yoga moves that range from basic to challenging.
Strala is dedicated to making yoga a fun experience for all people who want to get the physical and mental benefits of this ancient fitness method.
The best thing about Strala? The examples are easy to follow, so it isn't hard to understand what's occurring or to start to emulate what you see.
While you will need to pay to download Strala's complete yoga workouts (about $15 a video), you can preview the different workouts on the YouTube channel to decide which ones are right for you, before you pay for them.
This YouTube channel is an extension of the magazine and website of the same name. It's especially popular with beginning yoga devotees because of the simple way the videos instruct viewers.
There's a nice mix here of instructional videos and down-to-earth interviews that make yoga come alive.
PsycheTruth has its roots in Swedish massage, but integrates yoga videos as well. These yoga videos often focus on yoga sessions meant to achieve a particular end, whether it be yoga for relaxation, yoga for energy, yoga workouts for your abs or even yoga for menstrual cramps.
An attractive feature of subscribing to this channel is that there's a new video just about every day. This provides a wealth of variety for viewers who constantly want to up their games.
One of the first aspects of Yoga Online that stands out is that it focuses on https://trello.com/b/LWO2JUll/jimmie-jenkins the mind-body connection of yoga, not just the purely physical benefits of this type of fitness regimen.
Yoga Online has a mix of female and male instructors, which offers a different perspective for viewers who may be accustomed to seeing mostly female YouTube yogis.
Adriene, the host of this YouTube channel, presents herself and her art with a down-to-earth easiness that will make even newbies relaxed from the start.
Her 30 days of yoga series is a terrific place to begin learning about yoga, as well as practicing simple-to-moderate moves.
Strength is a key focus of Interval Yoga and inspiration is around every corner. A new video is posted approximately once http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yoga per week, and are meant to get viewers as buff as possible.
This channel may be better suited for yoga aficionados comfortable with the basics and seeking more challenging moves.
Variety is the spice of life, as well as the proper seasoning for viewers who want their personal yoga routines to reflect their days.
If a day is particularly hard, a tough yoga workout with tons of activity may be beneficial. If a day has been stressful, calming yoga poses may be a nicer fit. This channel can provide any yoga routine for any mood.
Moms and dads who want to do their yoga exercises but have younger kids to entertain will appreciate Cosmic Kids Yoga.
The moves are geared toward the younger set and feature brightly colored backgrounds and easy-to-follow instructions, but parents can join in on the fun and get a workout, too. It's family time at its healthiest!
Yoga House is less about the cosmic link between yoga and the surrounding life forces and more about pure movement and poses.
For those looking for a variety of moves from different types of yoga, such as bikram, power and ashantanga yoga, Yoga House is an ideal channel to bookmark.
As you become more attuned to your own yoga leanings, you may want to start a YouTube channel yourself! In the meantime, seek out soem experts and embrace the adventure. Namaste.
All videos are from YouTube.
Meditation | Buzzle.com
Meditation at Work
In an increasingly hectic work-culture, meditation is fast gaining recognition as an effective way to combat stress. Know the various meditation techniques to adapt it to your work routine, for inner peace and work productivity.
Active Meditation During Daily Activities
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Reading Fiction as a Form of Meditation
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Clearing Your Consciousness into a Blank Slate
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Meditation is known the world over to bring mental and physical relaxation, peace of mind, and relief from stress. Visualization meditation is equally effective and is soon catching up. Many attribute their newfound selves and...
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Meditation Techniques for Stress
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Buddhist Meditation Techniques
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Christian Meditation Techniques
Christian meditation techniques keep us in touch with God and help us reflect upon His revelations. It is a structured meditation which not only praise the miracles of God, but also thank Him for bestowing beautiful things in and...
Practicing certain meditation techniques daily can help to relax the mind and ease the stress. There are various forms of meditation like Mantra meditation, Flame meditation, and Zazen, which you can choose for utmost relaxation.
How to Sleep With Your Eyes Open
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Meditation Techniques for Beginners
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How to Meditate Deeply
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Healing on a Cellular Level Through Meditation
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Third Eye Meditation
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Meditation Techniques for Sleep
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10 Best Meditation Apps
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How to Lead a Guided Meditation
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Your First Time Meditation
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Yoga Poses for Meditation
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There is nothing more essential than water, except maybe air - and water is one-third oxygen. Use various forms of water in your meditation to clarify your thought process, like yin yoga video podcast nature's visual aid - even if it's only a puddle.
Mandala Creation Meditation
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Five Senses Meditation
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Meditate Anywhere, Any Time
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How to Meditate for Beginners
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What is Holosync meditation? How is it different from the other forms of meditation? Read on to find the answers.
This article gives an explanation of the meditative process of praying with the rosary.
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Bikram Yoga Founder Accuser Awarded Over $7M in Sexual Harassment Suit Feels 'Vindicated'
One of the most successful yoga gurus in the world the founder of Bikram yoga will now have to pay more than $7 million in damages to his former lawyer after a Los Angeles jury determined he sexually harassed and ultimately fired her unfairly.
I feel vindicated, Im elated, Minakshi "Miki" Jafa-Bodden told ABC News' Nightline in an interview Tuesday night.
Bikram Choudhury was ordered to pay nearly $6.5 million in punitive damages in addition to $924,000 in compensatory damages to Jafa-Bodden, who was general counsel to Bikrams Yoga College of India.
My professional relationship ended when I was fired by Mr. Choudhury, Jafa-Bodden said.
She convinced the jury that the 69-year-old guru repeatedly sexually harassed her and subjected her to obscene comments about women. She also claimed she was fired after she tried to investigate another womans sexual harassment and rape allegations against him.
Perhaps the first one or two surprised me, but after I began to see a pattern, they no longer surprised me, Im sad to say, she said.
Six former students and employees have claimed he sexually assaulted them. Nightline spoke to three of the women in 2014, one of whom, Larissa Anderson, told Nightline she felt speechless because she saw Bikram as a father figure.
Accuser Sarah Baughn told Nightline at the time, Someone can look him in the eye and say no, and it doesnt matter,
I said, Please dont, youre a guru. The world believes in you, another accuser told Nightline. He said, Im just a man.
When Nightline first interviewed Bikram in 2012, it was before any of these allegations had surfaced in court. But already there had been rumors of inappropriate contact with students.
When asked about that, Bikram told Nightline at the time, The hardest problem in my life ... is to stay away from women. Women like me, and I have to run, city after city, country after country, all my life to stay away from the women.
During the interview, he denied ever having any sexual contact with his students or followers.
Every women loves me, Bikram said. You know, presidents daughter, you know, prime ministers daughter, you know, billionaires daughter, super star, actress, singers, but yogi is supposed to be yogi. They cannot involve with the women.
During the trial over Jafa-Boddens allegations, Bikram strongly denied sexually assaulting any of the women.
One of the accusers, Larissa Anderson, told Nightline she was assaulted in Bikrams mansion while his wife and kids were sleeping upstairs.
It didnt last very long, she said. He didnt use protection. He stood up, put his shorts back on, and went back into the other room, and sat down on the couch like nothing happened.
Authorities in Los Angeles have declined to press criminal charges in any of the womens alleged claims. The women are bringing civil suits on their own.
Bikrams wife of 31 years, Rajashri Choudhury, has since filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Petra Stark, the former president of Bikrams company, has resigned as well and is filing her own lawsuit. At stake is Bikrams yoga empire, potentially worth millions.
Bikram was one of Yoga Fat burning Workout the pioneers of yoga in the United States, setting up shop in Beverly Hills in the 1970s. His clients list is a whos who of the rich and famous. Now his yoga studios are franchised worldwide, a booming business hes proud of.
Back in 2012, he showed Nightline his car collection of Bentleys and Rolls-Royces. But in court, Bikram testified that his legal problems have taken a serious toll on his finances, putting him on the brink of bankruptcy. He told the court his car collection now belongs to the state of California. He testified that he intended his collection to become a Bikram auto engineering school for children so kids could learn about cars.
For Bikrams alleged victims, the jurys decision this week is a victory, and the women who spoke to Nightline will all have their day in court later this year when their trials begin.
Your Complete Guide to Mindfulness
Photo by Dylan Luder
By Alison Feller for Life by Daily Burn
Does your Monday-Friday grind mean an onslaught of meetings, appointments and responsibilities? Us too. Our "go-go-go" society has glorified being busy: working lean, swift and hard for maximum efficiency.
However, there's been recent backlash to this non-stop mentality, with the proliferation of meditation apps, coloring books and other tools and devices to help individuals cope with stress, impulsivity and anxiety. Behind all these stress-busting activities, tips and tools, though, underlies one common philosophy, which can also be put into practice (if you aren't already!): mindfulness.
Ellen Langer, PhD and professor of psychology at Harvard University, who has been studying mindfulness since the 1970s, defines mindfulness as "the very simple process of noticing new things, which puts us in the present and makes us more sensitive to context and perspective." It is the essence of engagement with one's own thoughts and actions, she says. Here's exactly what you need to know about mindfulness, how it can help you manage stress, earn that raise or allow you to finally figure out how to make "family first" a reality.
Think of mindfulness as a state of mind, says Melanie Greenberg, a clinical psychologist in Marin, CA. "A mindful approach to life means being more kind, accepting and self-aware of your own thoughts and actions. It's about learning to go with the flow, being open and experiencing the present moment," she says.
"One of the key ingredients of mindfulness is not falling into an automatic reactive state," says Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of Insight Meditation Society. Furthermore, Salzberg adds that mindfulness is "being aware of our perception of what's happening in the present moment without bias." This way of thinking allows for a clearer sense of reality, rather than a perceived notion of what's happening.
How to Practice Mindfulness (No Extra Time Required!)
If it seems like adding a mindfulness practice to your already busy life will be overwhelming, don't worry: You're probably already living more mindfully than you realize. Utilizing mindfulness doesn't have to mean making any kind of drastic lifestyle change. For most of us, it just means paying attention to our choices, actions and behaviors a bit more closely.
"Part of being mindful is just being connected to http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/beginner-yoga-poses/ what's happening in the moment," says Greenberg. "Whether you're with your children or in a meeting, it's about being fully present and not cheating yourself by half-thinking about something else and letting your mind wander." Being mindful is recognizing that your mind is wandering, and bringing it back to the present moment.
Think about the things you do every day, and take note of how you can do them with more intention and awareness, whether it's walking the dog, cooking dinner for your family, taking a loud spin class or spending time with that coloring book. "Notice everything you see while you're out for your walk," says Greenberg. "Pay attention to everything you smell and hear, focusing on your senses in the moment." If you've jumped on board the adult coloring book bandwagon, don't "zone out" with it -- use this as a time to zone in.
How Mindfulness Improves Your Health and Your Life
"Research shows that being mindful actually changes the brain," says Greenberg. "Brain scan studies find that acting mindfully increases brain activity in the areas associated with positive emotion instead of negative. It makes you feel more centered, light and powerful, and less stressed. Learning to live mindfully will increase Yoga your wellbeing, lower your blood pressure, help productivity at work and help you sleep better, too," she notes.
Plus, leading a more mindful life could ultimately improve your relationships with others. "Couples fight all the time," says Greenberg. "We get triggered and rapidly go into fight or flight mode -- we get angry or we shut down, run away or avoid. Mindfulness can help you stop, slow things down, back off and give your brain time to catch up with your body's emergency response. You'll be able to calm down and figure out the most effective way to communicate," she says. So instead of yelling at our spouse for not taking out the trash -- again -- we can find a more compassionate way to have a conversation, not a battle.
Perhaps most importantly in today's world, mindfulness teaches us to stop freaking out about the past and future so much, and to just relax with where we are. "So put your cell phone down," says Greenberg. "Savor the present moment."
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How I Lost 80 Pounds in Just Under One Year
9 Weight Loss Success Stories You're Going to Want to See
How This Man Lost 100 Pounds, One Small Change at a Time
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Mindfulness Mantras To Improve At Work
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