Yoga Health Foundation

What are Lifestyle Prescription®?

“Don’t just mop up the floor. Find the root-cause and turn off the faucet.”

What are Lifestyle Prescriptions®?
Lifestyle Prescriptions™ are offered by doctors, naturopaths and licensed health professionals to help patients identify specific unhealthy lifestyle choices and provide step-by-step and very specific guidance for optimal organ, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.

Why using a Lifestyle Prescription®?
Recent research shows that most diseases can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Science has proven over the last decades that heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even cancer can be stopped or reversed by improving nutrition, physical exercise, social contact and finding purpose in life. But the major problem is that for most people creating the necessary lifestyle change is very difficult and can be extremely confusing. It seems too many options are available.

How to get a Lifestyle Prescription®?
Join LifestylePrescriptions.TV to chat with or get a complementary lifestyle prescriptions from a certified expert. Based on your symptoms you will learn the root-causes, which specific stress triggers, emotions, beliefs and lifestyle choice are affecting your organ symptoms and how you can activate your body’s innate self-healing response.

Lifestyle Prescriptions are based on newest research in Lifestyle Medicine, the Organ-Mind-Brain-Lifestyle Connection and the Art and Science of Self-Healing.



Why National Yoga Month - The Cost of Poor Health

How it all started?

In 2006 I was co-founder of the Intl. META-Medicine Association which trains health professionals in advanced mind-body-social diagnosis and therapy based on the organ-emotion-trigger-belief connection (amazing new healing paradigm, check it out at To research the link between emotions, traumas and cancer we started the Breast Cancer Foundation in 2007. At our kick-off event, the Heal Breast Cancer Awards and fundraiser in Beverly Hills, CA we invited Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Carl Simonton, Dr. Christine Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish and many others to attend and support our cause. Still today, I am amazed by the knowledge, wisdom and inspiration from these amazing teachers and over 500 attendees felt the same way. What an amazing event it was!

We were so inspired and motivated that we planned a Yoga for Cure national campaign to bring attention to yoga and it potential to help people heal. But after some research into Breast Cancer Awareness month we noticed that there are almost no national awareness campaigns that are focusing on what we really want in life - which is HEALTH. Hence, National Yoga Month was born .. inspired by Eckhart Tolle, Christine Northrup, Dean Ornish, Carl Simonton. Thanks to Rachel Levine, who organized Yoga Week at the National Institute of Health in Washington DC at that time, we were approved the same year as a national observance as listed by

From the start we felt it was necessary to build National Yoga Month as a grassroots, community-based awareness campaign with the mission to educate about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle. To kick off Yoga Month we organized a 10 City Yoga Health Festival tour in September 2008 with events in major yoga cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, Denver, Chicago, Miami, San Diego and Boston. Since 2008 Yoga Month has grown into a powerful national campaign with over 2,200 yoga studios participating in the ONE WEEK FREE YOGA new student program and over 1,000 events listed and happening throughout US and worldwide. 

Since 2008 every September thousands of yoga studios and teachers participate in National Yoga Month to educate about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle. But why? Why do we need a campaign like National Yoga Month?

Why Yoga Month - The Cost of Poor Health

Today, more than 70 million Americans suffer from one or more types of cardiovascular disease with an annual cost of nearly $400 billion. Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability. 46 million Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Arthritis costs the economy $86 billion a year. According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure and its complications are expected to cost the U.S. $66.4 billion in 2007. Back pain costs Americans around $15 billion per year in medical care and disability payments.The annual direct health care cost of asthma is approximately $11.5 billion; indirect costs (e.g. lost productivity) add another $4.6 billion, for a total of $16.1 billion dollars.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive strain injuries, including carpal tunnel, are the nation's most costly occupational health problems, with a price tag of more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation.

The Future of Health Care

“Over 35 million US adults use mind/body medicine for better health” says Dr. Herbert Benson, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director Emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine

In June 2006, the National Cancer Institute granted $2.4 million to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to fund a study of Tibetan yoga in breast cancer care.In 1999 Congress established the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Funding appropriated in 1999: $50 million. Funding in 2007: $121.4 million. Nike, HBO, Forbes, and Apple all offer on-site yoga classes for their employees. These and scores more Fortune 500 companies consider yoga important enough to offer classes as a regular employee benefit.

Hundreds of smaller companies including George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic, Viking Corporation, Candle Corporation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Ritz-Carlton and Loews Hotels, and UCLA Medical School offer onsite yoga classes to their employees as well. The Complementary Health Care Benefits program at Blue Cross Blue Shield costs only $23 for a yearly membership and provides discount access to a national network of wellness practitioners such as Yoga, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage/Bodywork, and Mind/Body and Relaxation Techniques.

Challenge: Obesity
Obesity rates in the United States have reached epidemic proportions: 58 Million Overweight; 40 Million Obese; Eight out of 10 adults over age 25 Overweight; 78% of American's not meeting basic activity level recommendations; 25% completely Sedentary; 76% increase in Type II diabetes in adults 30-40 yrs old since 1990; In 2001 25% of all white children and 33% of African American and Hispanic children were overweight.

Solution: Vigorous Power, Vinyasa, or Ashtanga yoga classes done for 90 minutes at least 3-5 times a week will produce weight loss. Yoga keeps people more in tune with their bodies making them aware of aware of bad habits, such as eating because of stress, boredom or depression. The first study investigating the effects of yoga on weight was recently conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA.

Challenge: Hypertension
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, remains the most common reason for office visits to physicians for non-pregnant adults in the United States. About 72 million people in the United States age 20 and older have high blood pressure. Despite its prevalence and the complications associated with it, control of the disease is far from adequate. As a result, hypertension will likely remain the most common risk factor for stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease for years to come.

Solution: Research has just begun. In one study, small but significant reductions in blood pressure were shown in just three weeks of daily yoga, and in another study, one hour of daily yoga for 11 weeks revealed that both medication and yoga were effective in controlling hypertension. In one of the best quantitative studies, systolic blood pressure (the top number) decreased from 142 to 126mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) decreased from 86 to 75mmHg after 40 days of a yoga regimen.

Challenge: Heart Disease
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease has topped the list of killer diseases in America every year since 1918. Today, more than 70 million Americans suffer from one or more types of cardiovascular disease.

Solution: Several trials have found that yoga can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and resting heart rates, and help slow the progression of atherosclerosis—all risk factors for heart disease, says Erin Olivo, PhD, director of Columbia University's Integrative Medicine Program.

While almost any exercise is good for the heart, experts speculate yoga's meditative component may give it an extra boost by helping to stabilize the endothelium, the lining of the blood vessels that, when irritated, contributes to cardiovascular disease. Since the lining is reactive to stress, and meditation can lower stress hormones, yoga may be causing a cascade of events that could reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Challenge: Breast Cancer
Every three minutes a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2006, an estimated 212,920 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed, along with 61,980 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. Breast cancer is the leading cancer among white and African American women. African American women are more likely to die from this disease. Breast cancer incidence in women has increased from one in 20 in 1960 to one in eight today.

Solution: Research is becoming clear on this: Women who do yoga during and after treatment experience less physical discomfort and stress. Earlier this year Duke University scientists reported results of a pilot study in which women with metastatic breast cancer attended eight weekly yoga sessions. The doctors found that the women had much less pain and felt more energetic and relaxed.

Challenge: Menopause
Hot flashes, irregular heart beat, mood swings, trouble sleeping, fatigue, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, disturbing memory lapses, incontinence, sore joints, muscles and tendons and a host of other conditions are symptoms of menopause.

Solution: A preliminary study at the University of California, San Francisco, found that menopausal women who took two months of a weekly restorative yoga class, which uses props to support the postures, reported a 30 percent decrease in hot flashes. A four-month study at the University of Illinois found that many women who took a 90-minute Iyengar class twice a week boosted both their energy and mood; plus they reported less physical and sexual discomfort, and reduced stress and anxiety.

Challenge: Chronic Back Pain
Mechanical low back pain is one of the most common complaints expressed to emergency physicians in the United States, and accounts for more than 6 million cases annually. As a health problem, back pain is the 3rd most expensive disorder, after heart disease and cancer.

Solution: When doctors at the HMO Group Health Cooperative in Seattle pitted 12 weekly sessions of yoga against therapeutic exercises and a handbook on self-care, they discovered the yoga group not only showed greater improvement but experienced benefits lasting 14 weeks longer. A note of caution: "While many poses are helpful, seated postures or extreme movement in one direction can make back pain worse," says Gary Kraftsow, author of Yoga for Wellness, who designed the program for the study.

Challenge: Asthma
Asthma is the most common chronic disorder in childhood, currently affecting an estimated 6.2 million children under 18 years; of which 4 million suffered from an asthma attack or episode in 2004.

Solution: At the Northern Colorado Allergy Asthma Clinic in Fort Collins, a controlled clinical study of university students (19 to 52 years old) with asthma concluded that yoga techniques seem beneficial as an adjunct to the medical management of asthma, according to the 1998 published abstract. Using a set of asanas, pranayama, and meditation, the yoga group practiced three times a week for 16 weeks. Though pulmonary functions did not show a significant variance between yoga and control groups, "analysis of the data showed that the subjects in the yoga group reported a significant degree of relaxation, positive attitude, and better yoga exercise tolerance. There was also a tendency toward lesser usage of beta adrenergic inhalers.

Challenge: Depression
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, In any given 1-year period, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 20.9 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness. Pre-schoolers are the fastest-growing market for antidepressants. At least four percent of preschoolers -- over a million -- are clinically depressed. The rate of increase of depression among children is an astounding 23%. 30% of women are depressed. Depression will be the second largest killer after heart disease by 2020 -- and studies show depression is a contributory factor to fatal coronary disease. Low brain levels of the neurotransmitter GABA are often found in people with depression.

Solution: Yoga, it seems, can boost GABA. Preliminary research out of the Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard's McLean Hospital found that healthy subjects who practiced yoga for one hour had a 27 percent increase in levels of GABA compared with a control group that simply sat and read for an hour. This supports a growing body of research that's proving yoga can significantly improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
"The development of an inexpensive, widely available intervention such as yoga that has no side effects but is effective in alleviating the symptoms of disorders associated with low GABA levels has clear public health advantage," stated Perry Renshaw, MD, PhD, Director of the Brain Imaging Center, McLean Hospital.

Challenge: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Currently, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects over 8 million Americans. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the #1 reported medical problem, accounting for about 50% of all work-related injuries. Approximately 260,000 carpal tunnel release operations are performed each year. Only 23% of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients were able to return to their previous professions following surgery. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome results in the highest number of days lost among all work related injuries. Almost half of the carpal tunnel cases result in 31 days or more of work loss. The U.S. Department of Labor has concluded that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the "chief occupational hazard"-disabling workers in epidemic proportions. Women are twice as likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as opposed to their male counterparts.

Solution: A randomized, single-blind, controlled clinical trial at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia concluded, "In this preliminary study, a yoga-based regimen was more effective than wrist splinting or no treatment in relieving some symptoms and signs of carpal tunnel syndrome." The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998, also noted that "Subjects in the yoga groups had significant improvement in grip strength and pain reduction, but changes in grip strength and pain were not significant for control subjects."

Challenge: Arthritis
An estimated 46 million adults in the United States reported being told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia. By 2030, an estimated 67 million of Americans aged 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

Solution: At the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, a yoga-treated group with osteoarthritis of the hands improved significantly more than the control group in "pain during activity, tenderness, and finger range of motion." The randomized controlled clinical trial, published in the Journal of Rheumatology in 1994, concluded, "This yoga-derived program was effective in providing relief in hand osteoarthritis. Further studies are needed to compare this with other treatments and to examine long-term effects."


Although more funding is being allocated for CAM research, it is clearly not enough to offset the staggering costs of our nation’s poor health. It’s time for each of us to take control of our own health and well-being. Yoga has been proven to relieve or solve a variety of health challenges. With a little basic knowledge, people of all socio-economic backgrounds can improve their health. The key is INSPIRATION.

Our grassroots events are created to meet people where they are, surrounding them with the things they already know and love. Local venues, local celebrities, local musicians - each Yoga Month event is designed to get ordinary people to participate in the most accessible system for health and well-being. Our website is interactive, providing incentives for both individuals and organizations to get involved.

Yoga Month will motivate and educate. We’ll focus on solutions, providing the tools and techniques necessary to begin and sustain a healthy lifestyle. We hope you’ll join us and support Yoga Month.


The Science of Yoga’s Health Benefits

We have been asked many times if there is research about yoga and its health benefits. And yes there is. Plenty. Even though this list is for sure incomplete it will give you plenty of information and reasons to satisfy your mind and to motivate you to take action and start practicing yoga. There has never been a better time then National Yoga Month September.

New to Yoga

Health Benefits of Yoga explained

10 Reasons why to practice Yoga (PDF)

Other links:

WebMD - Yoga Health Benefits

Mayo Clinic - Tap into the benefits of yoga

Dr. Timothy McCall - Yoga as Medicine

Dr. Deepak Chopra

Intl. Yoga Therapy Association


META-Health University Announces New Partnership with Yoga Health Foundation and National Yoga Month

META-Health University announces a new partnership with Yoga Health Foundation, the non-profit organization that coordinates National Yoga Month in September.

"It is a fact that our current health care system is broken beyond repair. Disease management and symptom treatment are important but should not be the main focus in health care. We know by now that it is possible to stop and reverse a majority of health issues (especially chronic symptoms like blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, angina or depression) by changing what we eat, how we respond to stress, how much exercise, love & support we experience in our life.

National Yoga Month and META-Health University are leading the way to inspire millions of people around the world to live a healthier lifestyle. Prevention and creating specific lifestyle changes are the wave of the future and a corner stone in the new emerging health care system. META-Health University offers courses, diplomas and trainings for yoga teachers and health professionals to be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to be leaders in Integrative Medicine and META-Health.

"Being aware and integrating the Art and Science of Self-Healing into a yoga practice, therapist or health coaching session will create powerful transformation in clients and students", says Johannes R. Fisslinger, Founder META-Health University.

About National Yoga Month

In 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services designated September as National Yoga Month, one of a select number of national health observances. That same year, thousands of yoga and health enthusiasts participated in a 10 City Yoga Health Festival Tour featuring yoga classes, lectures, music, entertainment, exhibits. Since then, the initiative has taken root as a global awareness campaign, educating, inspiring and motivating people to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Yoga Month is coordinated by the Yoga Health Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Yoga studios, teachers and organizers are encouraged to offer free yoga classes and events in their community and list them at

About META-Health University

META-Health University offers a full program of cutting edge Courses, Diplomas and Degrees in Integrative Medicine and Meta-Health designed for all health professionals and especially yoga teachers.  Our expert faculty teach a revolutionary new healing paradigm based on the very latest scientific research into the causes of disease. It is based on the Organ-Stress-Emotion-Belief-Social-Lifestyle Connection and the 9 major Points and Phases of Healing. Their mission is to create leaders and authorities for the emerging new health paradigm.



Yoga Insurance Plus Donating Proceeds to Yoga Health Foundation

Yoga Insurance Plus extends Donating Proceeds until Yoga-Recess-Day January 25. 

December 17, 2012 – To celebrate the giving spirit of the holidays, Yoga Insurance Plus will be donating
a portion of their December proceeds to benefit the Yoga Health Foundation, coordinators of National
Yoga Month and the upcoming Yoga-Recess-Day, Jan. 25, 2013.

Nicole Hayman-Sherman, executive director of Yoga Health Foundation, stated, “We thank Yoga
Insurance Plus and are grateful for their continued support of Yoga Health Foundation. It’s through
continuous support such as theirs that make our programs like Yoga Recess and National Yoga Month

Individuals who purchase or renew their yoga instructor insurance policies in December will help support
the Yoga Health Foundation’s efforts to grow awareness of yoga for health, life and happiness year-
round. This holiday promotion runs through Dec. 31, 2012.

Matthew Nachbauer, director of institutional sales and marketing at Yoga Insurance Plus, said, “We are
proud to support the Yoga Health Foundation and their commitment to educate our youth through their
Yoga-Recess-in-Schools campaign.”

Parties interested in participating in this special holiday offer can visit the following link to sign up: http://

About the Yoga Health Foundation

The Yoga Health Foundation, a 501 (c) 3
nonprofit organization, fosters an awareness of
yoga’s proven health benefits and provides
individuals with actionable guidance and tools
to enhance their own well-being. The
foundation coordinates the national (and
global) awareness campaigns Yoga Month and

Visit them at

About Yoga Insurance Plus

Yoga Insurance Plus (YIP) offers a comprehensive liability insurance program for yoga instructors, and it
is the only program that includes ID theft protection at no additional cost and also provides a free website
for its instructors to market their practices. YIP is committed to supporting yoga education, health and
wellness initiatives. YIP also aims to assist the ever-growing community of yoga professionals by
providing marketing resources and practice support.

For more information on YIP, visit or call (800) 222-1110. Connect
with YIP on Facebook at; on Twitter at
; and on Google+ at


Support Move with Me and Partnership for a Healthier America

Support Move with Me and Partnership for a Healthier America and help end obesity in America. Move with Me has been selected as 1 of the top 10 best ideas for ending childhood obesity by Partnership for a Healthier America. w, for me to now win the opportunity to pitch our movement and mindfulness programs to Michelle Obama and other leaders at the Health Summit in DC in 2013. Help Leah Kalish to win and to introduce Yoga for Kids and Move with Me to Michelle Obama.

Vote for Move with Me at



Creative Yoga for Children by Adrienne Rawlinson Author Q&A

Creative Yoga for Children by Adrienne Rawlinson Author Q&A

1. Your book is broken down into three age groups (4–6, 7–9, 10–12). What is
the significance of starting at age 4? Is there a benefit to starting earlier or is
this the earliest age for kids to become actively engaged with yoga?

The program offered in my book is quite structured and I have observed that
children under the age of four benefit more from a yoga routine that is more
playful, and they are developmentally often not ready for a structured one hour
class. However, they are not too young to be introduced to the world of yoga. I
have two and a half year olds in my Montessori class who love to do a few
minutes of yoga every day, choosing pose cards from a basket to do on a mat by
themselves or with a friend. Babies and toddlers can reap the benefits of yoga
and there are many age appropriate programs out there. Setting the stage for a
lifetime of yoga benefits really starts at birth.

2. Are there certain yoga styles (Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram) that you find easier
or harder to teach to children? For instance, I would imagine that Bikram
would be slightly more challenging …

My yoga classes do not follow a particular style, but are designed to give the
children a taste of many yoga styles (Vinyasa flow, Iyengar, Ashtanga, etc.)
with a huge emphasis on fun and education and simple body awareness. We
aren’t teaching a style, we are just planting seeds of curiosity. The children
are simply there for an experience, from which we hope that they will go on
to engage in the world of yoga and will grow up to pursue styles of yoga that
appeal to them personally.

3. How is yoga beneficial to classroom learning? What do you tell parents who
might think it’s a distraction?

It is important for parents to see that yoga in school can only promote lifetime
wellness. It will give their children a tool that they can use to help them focus in
all academic subjects, so it can really be seen as a subject in and of itself. Yoga
will improve their capacity for retention of information and will give them the
capacity to later handle the stresses of life. The idea that it may be a distraction
is hard to imagine.

4. In Creative Yoga for Children you mention that part of your inspiration for
writing the book came from your own teaching experience at a Montessori
school. How does Montessori education complement yoga? What are the
challenges in bringing yoga into non-Montessori schools?

I observed so many similarities between yoga and Montessori that I
incorporated it into my classroom curriculum as soon as I had finished my
yoga training. Both are completely noncompetitive and concern themselves
with an ever evolving process, and not any end product. Both are personal, and
are there to further the development of the person, and not for “producing”
something for someone else. Also they are both philosophies that increase
self-esteem, concentration, and self-awareness. It is easy to add yoga to a
Montessori classroom, as it just becomes a piece of material that the child
can choose to do when they prefer, but adding it to the routine of a traditional
classroom does not have to be difficult. Yoga can simply be a three- or four-
minute activity added on to the day, practiced in between subjects, as a sort
of “warm down,” or “warm up” to the next activity. Guided meditations and
relaxations can be added into a class just before tests, in order to further focus
the children’s minds. Teachers can use yoga as a tool throughout their daily

5. What is the easiest way to start introducing kids to yoga? Is there a
particular time in the school day that’s best?

I think that would depend on the group of children that you have, but I have
found that the first thing to do is to let them choose poses and practice them on
their own, in order to build a bit of a repertoire for themselves. When they have
learned some poses then you can invite them to do some of the group activities
outlined in the book. I think observing the children and letting them see that
yoga is fun and nonthreatening is an easy way to begin. You can build from

6. There has been a lot of hype recently about yoga-based injuries. How do you
keep children safe during practice? Are there certain poses that should be

In every class it is paramount that the children remain totally safe. We
encourage them not to force or strain in poses and to just have fun while
practicing. We never talk about perfecting poses, and do not discuss
the “perfect” pose. There is a huge range of poses in this book, from
relaxations to full body poses, to simple facial movements, so all children
can participate. When doing more challenging poses such as handstands and
headstands we always spot the children carefully.

7. How do you explain concepts like karma or Namaste to children? Are there
concepts in yoga that might be easier to start with?

We begin introducing such yogic concepts as karma, Namaste, and mudra
in a simple, playful way with no emphasis on having the children memorize
these terms. For example, when explaining Namaste, I sit with my group at
the end of a class and have them bring their hands to their hearts and say to

them, “The light in me honors the light inside of you.… Namaste.” And that is
all, no further explanation is given or required. It is the repetition of this little
ceremony at the end of every class that solidifies the concept of Namaste in the
child’s mind.

8. How do you teach the spirituality of yoga (meditation, mantras) without
imposing on a child or family’s religious beliefs?

Our classes do not touch upon any specific religious concepts.… The spiritual
side of yoga is really for everyone, and is religion-free as we teach it. We do not
talk about gods or religion in class, but we do focus on getting the children to
honor and love themselves, their environment, and everyone on earth. We are
careful not to dictate beliefs other than self-love and love of others.

9. Are there certain poses that kids tend to grasp more easily? Poses that are
more challenging?

Interestingly, children are so open at this age to trying any and every pose that
they find their easy resting spot in all of the poses. They have not built up the
fears and inhibitions that adults have yet, so are keen and ready to try all poses,
and are so flexible that they are successful in achieving their expression of each
pose. They also do not feel like they have to perfect any poses, and simply do
them in a carefree manner.

10. How do you bring focus back when kids get distracted in class?

The children sometimes get very boisterous and silly when doing some of the
group activities and games, so it is important that I have an effective way of
bringing them back to center and calm them, so they are ready for the next part
of the class. I usually introduce chimes, a Tibetan singing bowl, or a special
gong of some sort at the beginning of class. I ring it to let them know that they
should come back to their mats, sit in their favorite sitting pose, and get ready to
listen. They are generally wonderful at responding to this.

11. What is your favorite way to close a class?

I enjoy leading the children through a guided meditation at the end of every
class, that enables them to close their eyes and regroup on their mats for five
minutes or more. I even give them an herbal eye pillow or stuffed toy to help
keep them centered. We then stretch and come up into a seated position with
eyes closed, and we listen to the chimes ring. We then say, “Namaste” and bow,
and that ends the class. It is a little ritual we do that the children look forward
to and often tell me is their favorite part of the class.

12. Are there any major differences in introducing kids to yoga, rather than
adults who are unfamiliar with it? Do you find that kids are more open to it,
or is there generally a lot of similarity across age groups?

It was common when I was teaching yoga to adults to observe the many layers
of inhibitions people build up throughout their lives that really deter them
from fully relaxing and letting go in their classes. They are often not there for
inner reflection, but feel they must pressure themselves to go deeper into poses,
sweat more, and they often feel exhausted at the end. Children, however, are
refreshingly uninhibited, curious, and open to anything new. They are not
there to be hard on themselves and I have always found teaching the children’s
classes much more rewarding than teaching adult ones. Children can embrace
the true spirit of yoga without even trying.

Enter for a chance to win a free copy of Creative Yoga for Children at


Global Mala Project and Shiva Rea connect with Birth 2012 and UPLIFT 2012

Global Mala Project connect with Birth 2012 and UPLIFT 2012 to encourage yoga practitioners around the world to celebrate this rare moment and herald the birth of a new paradigm of consciousness by offering a yoga mala (18-108 cycles of Surya Namaskar in your own home, within your community or in a larger gathering.

You can register your event on UPLIFTFestival 2012, Birth 2012 and Global Malas will be broadcast to an international audience via live streaming as part of the global event Birth2012, founded by leading evolutionary Barbara Marx Hubbard and The Shift Network's Stephan Dinan (

We invite you to join us for this inspiring and unprecedented event from December 20th to 23rd 2012. Four days of inspiration, celebration and positive action. Download PDF of Flyer here


Yoga Insurance Plus: Now a Great Time to Celebrate Past and Future

Yoga Insurance Plus (YIP) wishes everyone the warmest wishes for the winter season! As 2012 comes to a close, now is a great time for reflection on the year passing and introspection for the year approaching. We at YIP are glad to have joined the Yoga Health Foundation (YHF) community this year, and look forward to promoting events, such as the upcoming Yoga-Recess Day on Jan. 25, as well as a new year of opportunities to support the greater yoga community. May you celebrate your past successes and find new ways to enjoy the coming year!
Also, special for yoga instructors within the YHF community, please check out our Winter Wonderland Special on liability insurance! Having some peace of mind is priceless any time of year, and we are pleased to support YHF’s yoga teacher network with a special rate.

About Yoga Insurance Plus

YIP offers a comprehensive liability insurance program for yoga instructors, and it is the only program that includes ID theft protection at no added cost and also provides a free website for its instructors to market their practices. YIP is committed to supporting yoga education, health, and wellness initiatives. YIP looks forward to supporting the year-round efforts of the Yoga Health Foundation in bringing yoga awareness to individuals worldwide.




Yoga in Schools - Article by Jack Belk (a 15 year old high school student)

Way back in the Stone Age, when my parents went to school, they played things like dodge ball and flag football. Yoga didn’t even exist yet.  And after having a first-hand experience of high school P.E., it appears to be a typical case of “more of the same.” However for the up and coming generation of kids, good ol’ P.E. class may be a thing of the past. With some new (and not so new) research showing the benefits of yoga, kids may be about to experience a whole new world of physical education.

Hugo Navas, the health and fitness director of a charter school in South Side Chicago, has worked to incorporate yoga into students’ daily routine.  One year since the program’s beginning, the results are amazing. Mr. Navas commented, “The students are ready and open to learn after yoga class”. Hugo says that teachers are constantly coming up to him, raving about how much more focused and attentive the kids are.  Mr. Navas states that after harsh cuts to schools budgets, several years in a row, physical activity programs are becoming a rarity. His recent findings on how exercise such as yoga benefits more than just the physical aspect of these high school students may have resounding consequences.

Mr. Navas is by no means the first to find that extra-curricular programs such as sports and music have benefits that reach into the classroom. However the most current research is leaning towards yoga as the best option for implementation in schools. Here’s why: Yoga provides a whole body approach to the academic, social, emotional, and physical aspects of kids without getting children overly energized.

Aggressive, high energy sports such as basketball or football definitely address the physical and social (maybe even emotional in some cases) sides of the child, but they leave the academic facet largely unaddressed. In addition, those competitive sports leave kids hyped-up and not ready to sit down and study Shakespeare or Algebra. On the other hand, when you look at activities such as chess or band, the academic benefits are undeniable, they’re a good way to make friends, and some kids might benefit emotionally, but sitting still for long periods of time does nothing good for the physical aspect of the child.

Now we get to Yoga; it provides nearly all the benefits of any other extracurricular activity without most of the drawbacks. Yoga enhances focus, attention, comprehension, and memory. It provides opportunity for patience and reflection which in turn reduces jitters and impulsivity. And it also wakes up sluggish minds and inspires creativity.

Secondly, anyone who has really done yoga knows that it’s no cake walk. During an hour of even beginner level yoga, the average number of calories burned is the same as if you had walked two miles. And the main reason that yoga is possible in the middle of the school day is due to the fact that yoga doesn’t involve many sharp and aggressive movements; it’s all about finding your balance, staying calm and breathing well. This works to keep the students calm in spite of the fact that they are getting good exercise.

Third, yoga eases anxiety and jitters, promotes a relaxed attitude, and brings kids into the present moment. It calms the entire class down, and there are no winners and losers. All of these things work together to advance the emotional aspect of the classroom.

Lastly yoga has been shown to increase confidence, to increase self-esteem (two things that can help kids feel more comfortable when making friends) and provide a noncompetitive way for everyone to work together. And do you want to hear the best part: Yoga is almost completely free. After the cost of instructing teachers on how to lead a basic 15 minute class, all that’s needed is some open space and time.

If you still aren’t convinced of the benefits of having yoga programs in schools by now, then take it from the people who have actually participated in some school yoga programs:
"You have made such a difference at Central School! Thank you so much for all you’ve done for our staff and our children. One of our 3rd grade boys was frustrated yesterday – he used his breathing strategy, slowed down (even cried a little bit) and then was able to share about his frustration and return to the activity. Being aware of his body/tension and knowing what to do – what a relief for him! That never would have happened at the beginning of last year. What a gift you have given him (and all of us!)"–V. S., School Principal

“The kids and I are really enjoying the yoga AND they are really getting that it is something that they can use anytime – how exciting is that?! I think their showing their learning to parents is indicative of the carry over. This is such a fabulous program!” –A.C., Grade 2 Teacher

“I like taking yoga breaks because I can focus and concentrate better afterwards.” –A.G., Grade
3 Student

“I just got back from my yoga class and my son Jack asked what poses I did, I told him "Warrior pose, do you know what that is?" and he said: "Warrior I, II or III?" HAA! I also wanted you to know that my daughter (Pre-K) and son (1st grade) and I practice yoga at home where we play--"do you know this one?" and show each other yoga poses we have learned and then all try them out. Every time we play this, I always learn something new from them! My son particularly likes the breathing exercises he has learned and uses them when he is feeling upset or having trouble sleeping. Thanks so much to you and Sharon for bringing yoga to his school.” –L. Jones, Parent of Grade 1 Student

With all the research supporting yoga, you may be wondering why all schools don’t have yoga programs. The answer isn’t a simple one. But in essence it’s because yoga doesn’t have enough support from the community yet. There is a simple solution though; all it’s going to take is a grassroots movement to make a change.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. –Dr. Seuss

About the author: Jack Belk is a 15 year old high school student who swims for his school, runs in Spartan Races, and practices yoga regularly. He enjoys reading as well as writing and hopes to study neuroscience in college.

Works Cited

Harrison, Rosanne. "Yoga in Two Chicago High Schools: Lessons to Be Learned." Yoga in Two Chicago High Schools: Lessons to Be Learned. N.p., July-Aug. 2005. Web. 12 Nov. 2012.
Seuss. The Lorax. New York: Random House, 1971. Print.
"Testimonials." Yoga 4 Classrooms. ChildLight Yoga, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2012.
"Yoga 4 Classrooms Supporting Research." Yoga 4 Classrooms. Childlight Yoga, Sept. 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2012.