Teaching Yoga in Schools
Minnesota students are experiencing a mental health "crisis." Yoga and mindfulness can help kids prosper, but bringing these practices into schools can be challenging. This talk explores the past, present, and future of yoga in American schools. It covers topics such as the legal battles to block the teaching of yoga in California and Transcendental Meditation in New Jersey to the work of present-day nonprofit organizations that bring yoga in schools.
How Old Are Yoga Poses?
We often hear that yoga is 5000 years old. Historical evidence suggests most modern yoga poses are only 100 years old. Debates about "authenticity" in yoga can get contentious. This talk summarizes recent debates about the history of yoga poses. It connects modern yoga practice with yoga history.
Yoga in the Workplace: What the Science Says
People make all sort of wild claims about the benefits of yoga, but what does the science say? In the past two decades, the research into yoga as a workplace intervention has increased dramatically. In this talk, I discuss how scientists define yoga and the survey the latest research into the effectiveness of workplace yoga interventions for increasing mental health, fitness, self-regulation, awareness, and other areas.
Reclaim Your Attention
In our society it is becoming increasingly difficult to focus the mind and pay attention. In this workshop, which grew out of an article in MN Yoga + Life Magazine and a presentation at the MN Yoga Conference, participants uncover sources of distraction and reconnect to their purpose. This workshop features some yoga philosophy as well as yoga poses, meditation, and music to focus and calm the mind.
Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness is the practice of being present with things as they are. It promotes not just individual wellness, but also healthy relationships and a more compassionate world. In this workshop participants learn about, and get a chance to practice, each of the four foundations of mindfulness: mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of the feelings, mindfulness of the mind, and mindfulness of the phenomena. This workshop started in a yoga studio and community center and since then I have also offered it in corporate settings and churches.
This workshop includes discussion and opportunities for reflection on the practice of "deep listening" developed by the composer Pauline Oliveros. Deep listening incorporates aspects of improvisation, electronic music, ritual, and meditation, inviting participants to listen and respond to environmental conditions. Oliveros describes Deep Listening as "a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible, to hear no matter what you are doing." This workshop grew out of a presentation at a church.