Archive for July, 2012

***** Review by Max W. www.cdbaby.com/cd/meenamodi

Improve productivity
When I first read about flow in a paper by the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the idea of complete immersion in a single, well-defined task sounded great. I had even experienced being in flow at times — it felt like the distinction between a task and my performing that task completely disappeared. The only problem was that I couldn’t get myself into this state whenever I wanted: sometimes I happened to fall into it, but most of the time I didn’t and wasted a lot of time trying to force it.

This CD actually helps me get into flow whenever I want. Different tracks work well for different types of tasks. For example, if I’m about to practice the piano, I will listen to Still Body Clear Mind, whereas if I’m about to work on a math problem, I will listen to Insight into Problems. Now, I’m finding that I don’t always need to listen to those two tracks whenever I want to get into flow since the CD effectively trained me to get into flow on my own. So while I do continue to listen to both of those tracks, now I’m listening more to Stress to Rest and Sound of Silence to get into flow for tasks that are less well-defined than music practice or math problem sets.

If you’re looking for something that’s relaxing,  this CD works very well, but its real benefit comes from improving productivity. Once you’re in that state of flow in which you get things done so much faster than before, stress goes away on its own.

Note: As I cannot review my own work, this review is greatly appreciated. Thank you Max for your thoughtful, in-depth look at the meditations and the specific ways in which the individual tracks are helpful.

Profits will be donated to charity. As CD Baby (link above) deducts the least commission, we prefer the use of CD Baby as there will be  more funds for donations. CD Baby also has hard copies available for gifts that the other distributors don’t. Digital downloads are available from Amazon and Apple iTunes as well.

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A study conducted by Johns Hopkins, mentioned in the free online newsletter John Hopkins Health, Summer 2012, “Guys: The Truth About Anger Management”, angry and hostile men are more susceptible to a heart attack.

Negative emotions result in undesirable physiological effects such as high blood pressure and narrowing of the arteries. Most people realize this.

“Men are more likely to develop coronary artery disease that can lead to a heart attack in their 60s, about 10 years earlier than women.” (The Truth About Men Women And Heart Disease). The difference is believed to be because of the protective effects of estrogen in women.

The obvious solutions are anger management, reducing cholesterol, good diet, and exercise.

This blog has several helpful posts for stress and anger management and links to practical methods such as the breathing/pranayama and meditation audio tracks on www.mahasriyoga.com.

Music and chants can also be effective tools in reducing hypertension, stress, anger. https://yogamedblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/the-power-of-music-rhythm-chants-kirtan/

The on-line Harvard Medical School’s newsletter Harvard Health Beat also states that stress affects heart health and yoga is suggested as one way of managing the stress. https://yogamedblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/harvard-healthbeatstress-and-yoga/

A long-term practice of meditation actually changes the brain. https://yogamedblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/meditation-and-brain-stem/

Yoga Nidra based on Satyananda Yoga is a very easy and effective way to understand anger, anxiety, stress and root it out. https://yogamedblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/stress-focus-and-yoga-nidra/





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Image source: “Adipose Tissue”, Wikipedia.

Why does fat color matter? Isn’t fat just fat? It seems not. There are two colors of fat–white and brown. Natural “exercise” hormone transforms fat cells in Harvard Health Beat‘s June 23, 2012 issue describes the two types of fat and how the energy storing fat can be transformed to energy burning fat.

White fat is the adipose tissue referred to as body fat. It pads the internal organs, waists, bottoms, and dimples thighs. Each white fat cell is a large fat droplet that stores energy.

Brown fat cells are the energy burning cells filled with mitochondria. These cells burn energy to generate body heat. Babies are born with brown fat and it was believed that this fat starts disappearing in adulthood.

To lose fat, change the color of fat and have more brown and less white. The secret to color transformation is exercise.

According to this article, a team led by Dr. Bruce Spiegelmam, a professor of biology at Harvard Medical School, identified a hormone called irisin in both mice and humans. Irisin is produced by the body by exercise and it transforms white fat into brown energy burning fat–at least in mice. It is possible that the transformation also takes place in humans.

“This transformation helps the body burn more energy during exercise. The effect lingers, since brown fat cells keep burning fat even after you’ve stopped exercising. In addition, Spiegelman’s work showed that irisin also helps prevent or overcome insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes.”

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After our recent relaxation response-based yoga session, Yoga: A Journey Within, this study Relaxation response-based yoga improves functioning in young children with autism: a pilot study is particularly interesting.

What is relaxation response? Medical News Today states:

“The relaxation response is characterized by reduction in oxygen intake, increase in exhalation of nitric oxide, and lower psychological distress. Many experts see it as the counterpart to the ‘flight or fight’ stress response that has already been shown by a number of studies to have a distinct pattern of physiological and gene expression changes (called ‘transcriptional profile’).”

Researchers at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, Connecticut, developed and assessed movement-based complementary and alternative medicine for autistic children.

Twenty-four children, age-range of 3-16 years, participated in the study that took place at a medical school teaching hospital. The eight-week program included yoga, dance, and music therapy based on the relaxation response.

” The study outcome was measured using The Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2) and the Aberrant Behavioral Checklist (ABC).”

The most significant positive changes, unexpected, were found on the BASC-2 for 5-1 2 year children.

PMID:21992466[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID:PMC3221508[Available on 2012/11/1]

Relaxation response-based yoga improves functioning in young children with autism: a pilot study.
Rosenblatt LE, Gorantla S, Torres JA, Yarmush RS, Rao S, Park ER, Denninger JW, Benson H, Fricchione GL, Bernstein B, Levine JB.
Department of Psychiatry, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT, USA.

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Three new recipes have been added to www.mahasriyoga.com.

Kathryn’s Avocado Pate is good for any season. It is everything we want–great tasting, fast, easy, and super elegant. The pate is gluten-free. Kathryn has generously shared this delicately flavored recipe that can proudly hold center stage at any table.

Hira’s Cardamom Cracked Wheat is the Gujarati ormu served on special days. It is a very easy, simple dish to make for a crowd. In India it takes the place of bread in a main meal, but it can be eaten as a dessert. In a traditional Indian meal, dessert is not a separate course and sweet dishes are served alongside savory ones. This ormu is lighter on fat and sugar. It has a delicious nutty flavor.

Split Lentil/Masoor Dal is the last addition. Dals are quick, easy, and an excellent source of protein in a vegetarian and vegan diet. Split lentils cook in 20 minutes. In this low-fat dal (one teaspoon of oil per serving), the lentils are flavored with garlic and ginger. Recipes are highly flexible and so garlic can be easily eliminated if necessary. On hot, summery days, freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice lightens and brightens the flavors. The recipe is vegan, slow carb, and gluten-free.

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There is a fun vegan IQ quiz in The New York Times (Well Blog by Tara Parker Slope, April 18, 2012) that really challenges what we know about a vegan diet. As a life-long vegetarian, it was surprising how many questions I got wrong. Try it, it is a lot of fun and ties in with the blog posts on diet (Harvard Newsletter Limits Dairy Intake, Harvard Study Questions Safety Of Low-Carb Diet). Here is the first question:

“Which of these foods has the most protein per serving shown?”

Your choice of answers: 1 cup of peas, 1/3 cup walnuts, 1 ounce of Cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons peanut butter

The answer is in the link to The New York Times above!

The list of recipes on Mahasri Yoga (www.mahasriyoga.com/recipes) has grown and required some organization. Thanks to the hours Vikram has put in, it is now neatly organized in a collapsed menu. We hope this popular section will now be easier to explore.

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