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Montclair State University launches Meditation Program, Hindus welcome the move

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North Carolina: Hindus are commending launch of seven-week long “Mind. Body. Being.” Program at Montclair State University (MSU) in New Jersey, calling it a step in the positive direction.

It combines yoga and meditation “with the goal of developing a more compassionate relationship with food, body and self.  Members will learn important skills for relaxation, connecting with one’s body and attending to its need for nourishment,” a program announcement says

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked MSU for recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education and utilizing yoga and meditation for connecting with self. He further urged all universities and colleges of USA and Canada to offer meditation programs if they were serious in the all-round development of their students.

He noted that meditation had been valued in Hinduism for ages and Hindus had been traditionally practicing various forms/levels of meditation; including manana, pratyahara, dhayana, upasana, dharana and samadhi; to achieve oneness with Brahman. Hindus sought to train the attention inward—training the mind to focus internally and not wander.

MSU, founded in 1908, with main campus encompassing about 250 acres,  serves about 20, 500 students in about 300 majors-minors-concentrations-programs, including 134 graduate degree programs. Forbes’ listed MSU among America’s Top Colleges and MSU claims to have offered first doctoral program at a state college. Dr. Susan A. Cole is the President, while George J. Hiltzik is Trustees Board Chair.

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Yoga a Boon for Breast Cancer Survivors

The more the women in the study practised yoga, the better their results

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Yoga a Boon for Breast Cancer Survivors
Yoga a Boon for Breast Cancer Survivors. Pixabay

Breast cancer survivors, if they practise yoga for as little as three months, may significantly reduce fatigue and inflammation, shows research.

“Modest yoga practise over a period of several months could have substantial benefits for breast cancer survivors,” claimed Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University in the US.

“The results could easily generalise to other groups of people who have issues with fatigue and inflammation,” added Kiecolt-Glaser.

To reach this conclusion, researchers asked 200 participants to practise yoga in small groups twice a week for 12 weeks.

Women in the control group were instructed to perform normal routines and not to do yoga.

Results showed that on average, fatigue was 57 percent lower in women who had practiced yoga compared to the non-yoga group, and their inflammation was reduced by up to 20 percent.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“The participants had completed all breast cancer treatments before the start of the study,” said the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The more the women in the study practised yoga, the better their results.

“Though many studies have suggested that yoga has numerous benefits, this is the largest known randomised controlled trial that includes biological measures,” Kiecolt-Glaser said.

Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous health problems, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and alzheimer’s disease.

A secondary analysis showed that more frequent yoga practise produced larger changes in fatigue, vitality and depressive symptoms as well as between an average 4 to 6 percent reduction in two of the three pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Also Read: Avoid Diabetes With Yoga, Weight Lifting

The yoga group also reported significantly improved sleep compared to the control group.

“Yoga has many parts to it – meditation, breathing, stretching and strengthening. We think the breathing and meditation components were really important in terms of some of the changes we were seeing,” Kiecolt-Glaser stressed.

Reducing fatigue enables women to engage in other activities over time. So yoga may have offered a variety of benefits in addition to the yoga exercises themselves, added the study. (IANS)

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