“The goal of Integral Yoga, and the birthright of every individual, is to realize the spiritual unity behind all the diversities in the entire creation and to live harmoniously as members of one universal family. This goal is achieved by maintaining our natural condition of a body of optimum health and strength, senses under total control, a mind well-disciplined, clear and calm, an intellect as sharp as a razor, a will as strong and pliable as steel, a heart full of unconditional love and compassion, an ego as pure as a crystal, and a life filled with Supreme Peace and Joy.”
– HH Sri Swami Satchidananda, Founder of Integral Yoga
Yoga of the Heart
Yoga’s aim of maintaining our natural condition of a body of optimum health and strength includes having a healthy heart.
A large number of studies show that yoga benefits many aspects of cardiovascular health and helps those recovering from heart events including a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction), coronary artery bypass surgery, chest pain (current stable angina pectoris), heart valve repair or replacement, coronary balloons and stents (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary stunting), and a heart or heart-lung transplant.
Swami Satchidananda’s approach to mind-body health was decades ahead of its time in the United States. He defined disease essentially as a state of “dis-ease” that could be prevented and even remedied by a vegetarian diet, stress reduction through the Yoga practices and philosophy, and living a useful life of selfless service.
Yoga for the Heart is based on this approach.
A vegetarian diet can contribute to one’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being, including to one’s cardiovascular health. Both new and long-time vegetarians can benefit from information on when to eat… and when not to eat, how to eat, the properties of food, handling compulsive eating, the effects of food on the mind, and healing through diet.
Yoga practices that contribute to stress reduction include mindful postures, deep relaxation, and breath control. Balancing and controlling the mind utilizing the concentration and meditation techniques outlined in yoga’s primary philosophical texts promotes healing of the mind and the body - including the healing of the heart.
living a useful life
When actions are done as selfless service with willingness and immense delight and with no expectation of personal reward, the spiritual heart strengthens as does the physical heart.
I am recognized by Yoga Alliance as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, certified as a Yoga Therapist by the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and ordained as an Integral Yoga Minister. I specialize in sharing yoga for cardiovascular health and in teaching other yoga teachers to do the same.
I am also a Senior Trainer of Stress Management (yoga and meditation) for Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ by Sharecare.
The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program is so effective at reversing heart disease that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid has made it available to Medicare members. Ornish Lifestyle Medicine is the first integrative medicine treatment program of its kind to receive this level of support.
As a Senior Trainer of the Stress Management element of the program, I help train hospital staff in bringing yoga and meditation to heart patients as part of the hospital’s delivery of the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program.
I also serve as a Stress Management Specialist (yoga and meditation) on the interdisciplinary team at Cardiovascular Center of Marin that delivers the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program to its heart patients.