Scientific studies show tangible benefits of yoga and meditation. Dr. John Denninger, director of research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Teaching hospital, reports, “The kinds of things that happen when you meditate do have effects throughout the body, not just in the brain.”
He is in the midst of a five year study further corroborating through neuroimaging and objective blood tests that yoga and meditation maybe the a key to treating modern ailments. Conditions related to stress are varied from infertility to depression and cost U.S. companies at least $300 billion a year through lost workdays, turnover and low productivity.
The Alberta Health Services University of Calgary, Canada has found that meditation and yoga can actually alter cellular activity. The study, published in the journal CANCER, found that telemores, the protein caps at the end of chromosome that determine how quickly a cell ages, stayed the same length in cancer survivors who meditated or took part in support groups during a three month study. The telomeres of cancer survivors who didn’t participate shortened during the three month study. Early evidence suggests shortened telomeres are associated with the likelihood of surviving several diseases,like breast cancer and cellular ageing.Longer teleomeres are thought to help protect us from disease.
Obesity in the United States is epidemic.The Food Research and Action Center reports:
68.5% of adults are overweight or obese;
34.9% are obese;
31.8% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese;
16l9% are obese
30.4% of low-income preschoolers are overweight or obese.
Closer to home, Missouri is the sixteenth most obese state and ranked 26th and 23rd for hypertension and diabetes respectively. In Jefferson County 1 out of 4 residents are smokers, 40% of men are obese and 36% of women (2009 statistics), and half of the residents don’t get sufficient physical activity.
We seek to reverse the declining health and well being statistics in Jefferson County. Current classes are constrained by operating hours of the facilites where we teach and size of rooms available. Working members of the community and those with young children often need after business hours to meet their health needs.
Teaching a change of lifestyle requires more than an hour per week. Participants need to experience on a regular basis the benefits of a stronger body and focused thinking. With our own center we would have the flexibility to offer more programs of greater duration. We will teach classes in person and offer meditation and yoga programs from India and around the U.S. via video-conferencing.
Currently we can introduce participants to healthy food only rarely. We plan an addition to our building with a commercial kitchen. We will be able to serve healthy meals during longer programs and teach healthy cooking, as well as weight-loss.
Attendees of our programs/classes and workshops will learn many take-home techniques that will not only help them have a better relationship with food, but help them all aspects of their lives from healthy living to relationships to productivity.
Our site is beautiful and serene with view of a small lake. Fresh air and a bucolic, relaxing atmosphere enhance the power of meditation and yoga. We will offer walking and sitting meditation classes and yoga outdoors. Our center will be unique because of the peaceful setting, yet we will have the ability to connect with authentic teachers from all over the world.