Cinema and the Psyche

A PodCast by Matt Morreale

Matthew was born in Mississippi and raised in England. He spent many years living and traveling in Europe, soaking up the culture, playing music and writing poetry. Then, with the gravitational pull of a black hole, cinema devoured him.

His podcast is a vehicle for sharing his process and realizations about cinema, the filmmaker and the audience; and their effect on each other.

Matt in Los Angeles 2017

‘Cinema and the Psyche’ is a podcast for exploring the nature of the cinematic art form, the artist and audience, and the way they all interrelate. The focus will be on cinema as it appears in our multiplexes and independent cinemas.

I value the individual and the authentic artistic process as the means for achieving true cinema. Therefore, I’m less concerned with established ideas, academic outlooks and the views of current (non-filmmaking) ‘experts’.

We’ll be concerned with those great filmmakers throughout history who defined the medium, but most of all, with my own understandings and realizations; ever searching for what mainstream cinema can be.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey into the depths of cinema. I won’t always have the ‘right’ opinion or view, but it will be a genuine, individualist approach to discovering the depth of cinema, the psyche and their interrelation.

I expect to be posting at least one 20-30 minute episode each week. But, let’s see, as it is with all intuitional based works, anything can happen!

Lastly, the folks over at Patreon.com have created something wonderful. In their own words: “Patreon’s mission? Oh, nothing short of helping every creator in the world achieve sustainable income. We’re making this happen by building the best platform for creators to make money, run their creative businesses, and connect with the fans who matter most.”

So, go check out my Patreon page, and if you’re inspired by the podcast, or even want to become part of our core endeavor – making movies at www.yogamayafilms.com – give something monthly. All the details are over there, at www.patreon.com/cinema_podcast. Thanks for tuning in!

Episode One: Methodology for Understanding the Nature of Cinema

EEGWaves in Yoga

Research Studies

High-resolution EEG investigation of meditation
According to recent investigations, theta and alpha oscillations are defined as narrow frequency bands reflecting the activity of multifunctional neuronal networks.These are deferentially associated with orientation, attention, memory, effective, and cognitive processing. 128-channel ESI System (ESI-128, NeuroScan Labs.) and 64-channel QuikCap with imbedded Ag/AgCl electrodes (NeuroSoft, Inc.) were used inorder to record these EEG from 62 active scalp sites referenced to the tip of the nose along with both vertical and horizontal electrooculograms (EOGs). EEG spectral power and coherence was estimated in the individually defined delta, theta, alpha-1, alpha-2, and alpha-3 bands and were used to identify and characterize brain regions involved in the meditative states, in which focused internalized attention gave rise to emotionally positive ‘blissful’ experience.

Blissful state was accompanied by an increase in anterior frontal and midline theta synchronization as well as an enhanced theta long-distant connectivity between prefrontal and posterior cortex with distinct ‘center of gravity’ in the left prefrontal region (AF3 site). Therefore, subjective scores of emotional experience significantly correlated with theta waveforms whereas scores of internalized attention were correlated with both theta and alpha lower synchronization.

Conclusion
These results suggest selective associations of theta and alpha oscillating networks activity with states of internalized attention and positive emotional experience.

Spectral power changes between eyes closed and meditation conditions in the short-term (STM) and long-term (LTM) meditators in the theta, alpha-1, and alpha-2

Coherence changes between eyes closed and meditation conditions in the STM and LTM in the theta band. Solid lines indicate coherence increase whereas dashed lines point to coherence decrease (the thicker lines relate to error probability of P < 0.001, the thinner lines relate to P < 0.01

EEG WAVEFORMS

Traditional time domain EEG spectra are separated into fundamental bands qualitatively based on shape and range of frequency for clinical and research applications. These generally occur within the limits of 0.1 to 35 Hz for clinical and include alpha, beta, delta, and theta waves. When many of the individual bands occur repeatedly in a specific area of the brain, they produce a complex EEG waveform observed in traditional EEG recording methods.

Alpha wave

Normal alpha rhythms are characterized by sinusoidal waveforms occurring between 8 to 13 Hz. Although the specific amplitude varies from one individual to another, it typically ranges from 20 to 60 mV and rarely exceeds 100 mV. They are believed to originate in the posterior region of the brain and are generally observed in the parietal, occipital, and posterior temporal areas. Alpha rhythms are best detected when an individual is mentally inactive, and they are often seen when the subject is awake, relaxed, and in an environment relatively free of stimuli. These rhythms are inhibited by the ascending reticular activating system at the onset of an unanticipated stimulus or when an individual exhibits increased mental and visual activity. The rhythms disappear completely when a person becomes drowsy. This “alpha dropout” is characterized by the eventual replacement of the alpha waves by a low voltage, mixed frequency pattern. Once asleep, patterns known as sleep spindles may appear which resemble alpha rhythms but periodically produce clusters of extremely large spikes in 1 to 2 second interval (Niedermeyer, 1993). These spindle formations are referred to as spindle coma patterns when observed in comatose patients who have preserved their normal sleep patterns (Synek, 1988). Despite the somewhat similar appearance to alpha waves, spindle waves are clearly different and originate in the thalamus where they inhibit the synaptic transmission of that structure (Steriade, 1993).

Beta wave

Beta rhythms include all frequencies above 13 Hz with low amplitudes rarely exceeding that of 30 mV. They can exist simultaneously throughout the cortex at various frequencies but are most common to the frontal and central head regions in nearly all healthy adults. Beta rhythms can be extremely fast with an upper limit between 50 and 100 Hz. Enhanced or fast beta activity occurs over isolated bone defects and is also an effect of minor tranquillisers, barbiturates, and some nonbarbiturate sedatives. Remarkably accentuated beta rhythms are usually classified as only slightly abnormal unless they occur in unresponsive individuals, which may be an indication of a severe abnormality (Niedermeyer, 1993). Frontal beta activity may be one of the fastest EEG frequencies and is common in normal sleeping individuals. Posterior beta activity also may be present in some individuals where it mimics the alpha rhythms blocking and enhancement reactivity to eye opening. In addition, localized bursts of 40 Hz oscillations are characteristic prior to voluntary movement, such as wrist or finger extensions, and beta synchronization appears at approximately 20 Hz after movement (Pfurtscheller, 1992; Pfurtscheller 1996).

Delta wave

Delta rhythms consist of low frequency, high-amplitude waveforms recorded between 1 to 4 Hz with amplitude ranges commonly from 20 to 30 mV. Delta waves can be seen in the posterior regions of the head, and/or they can occur on either side of the temporal region. However, they are most often recorded over the left cerebral cortex. These rhythms are produced by thalamocortical neurons and are virtually absent in the EEGs of normal alert individuals. Delta waves are associated with periods of unconsciousness typically appearing in cerebral monitoring during sleep, coma, or after convulsive seizure. They also are common following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and can occur in conjunction with elevations in intracerebral pressure (ICP) due to an obstruction of the cerebral spinal fluid system or an expanding lesion (Rumpl, 1979). In such cases, waveforms of 0.5 to 5 Hz are recorded diffusely over the cranium. Customarily, waveforms below 1 Hz have been classified as delta waves. However, intracellular recordings indicate that these waveforms are derived from different mechanisms than those waves ranging from 1 and 4 Hz. The slower oscillations are generated by corticothalamic and reticular thalamic neurons, and they are significant abnormalities in severe coma patients (Steriade, 1993). ‘Psychomotor poverty’ is positively correlated with both delta and beta power and ‘reality distortion’ was significantly positively correlated with alpha-2 power (Harris, 1999).

Theta and Gamma wave

Theta waves measure from 4 to 7.5 Hz and have low to moderate amplitudes. They are presumed to originate in the thalamus and are associated with the hippocampus and limbic system. Theta rhythms can be recorded in the frontal, temporal, central, and posterior head regions and are rarely the predominant waveform, frequently mixed with alpha and beta waves. In fact, theta waves are most often seen in conjunction with alpha waves despite their different production mechanisms. Theta rhythms appear in various capacities at different stages of development and maturation. These waveforms also play a vital role in conditions of drowsiness and sleep in all ages and may be linked to the emotional processes in children (Niedermeyer, 1993). Frontal midline theta rhythm is a distinct theta activity of EEG in the frontal midline area that appears during concentrated performance of mental tasks in normal subjects and reflects focused attentional processing. Analysis showed bilateral medial prefrontal cortices, including anterior cingulate cortex, as the source of frontal theta, suggesting suggests that focused attention is mainly related to medial prefrontal cortex (Ishii et al, 1999). It has been suggested that immediate memory in humans may be mediated in the theta band (Towle et al., 1999).

Arousal may be a necessary condition for Gamma activity. In states of extremely low arousal (anaesthesia and non-REM sleep), there is minimal Gamma activity and evidence points to a positive linear relationship between arousal and level of Gamma. Sheer (1984) captured the essential role of arousal in the modulation of Gamma in his interpretation of Gamma activity as a `focused state of cortical arousal’. It has been hypothesised that in patients with schizophrenia, the integration, associating, timing, coupling or binding of spatially diffuse cerebral activity related to a specific cognitive task may be a key feature of the pathophysiology.

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Neuroimaging studies of hypnosis have identified many of the same cerebral responses posited in the model of meditation proposed by Newberg and Iversen. In both meditation and hypnosis, attention drives the prefrontal and cingulate cortices which interact with other structures including nuclei of the thalamus and brainstem as well as parietal cortices, resulting in states of decreased vigilance and increased attention.

Furthermore, hypnosis studies have demonstrated distinctive associations between certain brain networks and mental relaxation and absorption. Specifically, hypnotic relaxation involves brain areas known to regulate arousal and vigilance while mental absorption involves a brain network underlying attention mechanisms. Additional increases in occipital rCBF during guided meditation and hypnosis may reflect a decrease in vigilance and in cross-modality suppression, associated with decreases in the cortical release of norepinephrine, and leading to a facilitation of experiential changes. Meditative techniques form a dichotomy roughly akin to the extremes of the allegorical spotlight of attention. Concentrative techniques involve sustained focal attention (e.g. on the breath) whereas receptive techniques involve unfocused sustained attention (e.g. mindfulness meditation). Further, meditative techniques may be self guided or externally guided via an instructor or recording. Similarly, hypnosis can be self induced or induced by a hypnotist.

Considering the striking similarities in their experiential and brain correlates, meditation and hypnosis appear to be closely related phenomena and hypnosis may be conceived as a western form of guided meditation.

Check out out amazing Vedic Times & Chanting Yoga Retreats

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Meditation in Yoga

Facts and Myths

Yoga is not confined to attire
Yoga is not renunciation of worldly life
Yoga is not inactivity
Yoga is not torturing oneself
Yoga is not magic
Yoga is not an exhibition
Yoga is not a competition
Yoga is not merely difficult posture
Yoga is not mysticism
Yoga is not one’s inherited domain

Who, Where, When and How?

  • Yoga is recommended to everyone.
  • One must have patience and faith in the Guru (teacher).
  • One can start yoga and meditation at any time in their life after understanding the basic fundamentals.
  • As yoga and meditation facilitates to control kama (lust), lobha (greed), moha (attachment) and control indriyas (senses), hence, one should have good level of motivation and sincerity.

Experience of the self is the first stage which is followed by the second stage that is one of complete visualization and transcendence.

Meditation

The meditation approach is based on understanding of total personality and cure and not the symptoms alone.

Biologically and physiologically, the subconscious human brain is similar to the animal brain. It runs on preset patterns. The higher layer of brain tissue available to humans is the conscious brain, which provides the realization to free will and choice. If this higher faculty is not used to become more conscious of the higher aspects of life, it is taken away in the next lifetime.
Karmically, to have animals killed en mass in slaughterhouses creates such heavy Karma that it is paid by having humans slaughtered en mass in wars.
Killing plants/vegetables also is an act creating Karma. The protection from the reaction comes by offering those vegetables to the Supreme Person with love. Then the reaction (karmic) to the act is eliminated.

Yoga has been found to be efficacious in: Smoking and Alcohol dependence: Substance Dependence (Bowen et.al 2007), Anxiety and Tension / Stress (Burkett et al, 2006, Lee, 2007, Lindberg, 2005), Insomnia and Epilepsy (Yardi, 2001). Psoriasis, Chronic low back pain (LBP) (Williams, 2005). Immunity (Lindberg, 2005, Roggia, 2001), Cardiac diseases, Asthma/ COPD, Eating Disorders, Depression/ Dysthymia (Lindberg, 2005;Galantino, 2003, Pilkington,2005). Adjunct to Infertility Treatment (Khalsa, 2003; Khalsa, 2004). Chronic Fatigue syndrome, Psychosomatic disorders (Galantino, 2003). Perimenopause/ Menopause (Cohen et al.2007), Prostrate cancer, Carpal-tunnel syndrome (Garfinkel, 1998), ect..

The most important rationale is the growing acceptance of utilizing the human self-regulatory capabilities for the treatment of psychosomatic diseases. Yogic approaches are the prime example of such human self-regulatory capacities (Singh, 2006).

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the yogic technique that enables us to experience “self”. Experience of the self is the first stage which is followed by the second stage that is one of complete visualization and transcendence.

During these stages one would experience

  1. Emergence of consciousness
  2. Enlargement of consciousness
  3. Merging of consciousness with cosmic consciousness.

The meditation approach is based on understanding of total personality and cure and not the symptoms alone. The individual consciousness (jiva) falls victim to the desires, wishes, fears, doubts, convictions, pattern formations and drives which in turn lead to disturbance in the psychic energy and gives rise to suffering and disorders. Meditation helps in relaxation and uplifts a person spiritually. Meditation like Kundalini yoga regulates the neurotransmitters, hormones and enhances coherence between the two brain hemispheres. Chanting mantras, meditation, rhythmic movements have a positive effect on our emotions. The parasympathetic system is activated which facilitates relaxation (Aftanas 2002; Kjaer, 2002).

In the last two decades of research in meditation, scientific evidence suggest that meditation has improved immune response, decreased response to sympathetic nervous system, in modification of cardiac symptoms, reduction of pain, reversal of heart symptoms and slowing of the aging process.

Emotional and spiritual benefits through meditation are far more efficacious and early response is noticed as compared to cognitive restructuring and psychotherapy. It enhances self esteem and cultivates self dependence (Aftanas, 2002; Infant, 2001; Travis,2001).

And sign up now for one of our amazing Chanting Yoga Retreats

Vedic Times Foundation

Because Bliss is for Everyone

Welcome

The Vedic Times Foundation’s mission is to empower and enlighten all spiritual seekers to become stronger and holistically independent.

We’re manifesting revolutionary, caring and self-sustainable projects developed from 2015 to 2019 by Ana Lucia Alves (aka Aradhana dd), after she co-founded and successfully ran another Charity.

We’re also making movies with Yoga~Maya Entertainment (YME), so join us today.

The VTF projects are:

The Healing Arts ~ Starting with YME movies, to benefit all
Sadhu Huts ~ For your healthy retirement
Self Sustainable Eco-Villages ~ For spiritual growth & departure
Holistic Clinics ~ For you (the soul), your body and mind
Retreats Centers ~ To give knowledge & preventive medicine

The Master Plan:

In our Eco-Village Projects, funding can also be generated from our Holistic Clinics, Educational efforts and our cottage industries ~ our Sadhu Huts ~ and from its organic farming, honey sales, khaki cloth spinning, and other crafts.

Barter and exchanged services is also a paradigm of service we wish to exemplify. The residential village will be a vibrant place where events, workshops, kirtan, support groups, healing arts, and films with Yoga Maya Entertainment will be a mainstay.

Our Projects in more detail:

We look forward to developing these projects in different locations because this will assist the healthy growth of our wonderful ‘Spiritual Community’.

1. We aim to create employment to build, secure and maintain each community.
2. In each location, to have a VEDIC TIMES holistic clinic with first class treatments, free for local ‘spiritual seekers’ and paid for everyone else.
3. Retirement for devotees with our beautiful SADHU HUTS. This means income during its production and more employment for our ‘spiritual community’, because these ‘first class, healthy little homes’ will also be produced for selling outside.
4. Hospice Services (employment for carers, nurses, doctors, etc).
5. Out-Reach services (free and paid aid for the local population).
6. Holistic Education, free and paid, including religious education.
7. Preventive Health Care education (removing drugs, alcohol, etc). 8. Micro-Farming – Permaculture – Education (free and paid for).
9. Production of other “organic products” e.g. honey, dry fruits and flowers.

Find VTF also on Facebook, Vimeo, Twitter & Instagram

A ‘NEW WAVE’ FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

As physicists try to uncover the base structure of matter, Yoga-Maya is working to uncover the profound psychological nature of cinema.

Historically, ’emerging’ technologies (eg. sound, color, CGI) have caused many evolutionary paths in cinema to be prematurely abandoned, leaving its true potential largely undiscovered.

This focus on technology – rather than movies – has left audiences uninspired and studios relying on marketing rather than content.

Cinema’s renaissance is about the magic of cinema; conceiving, producing and experiencing it. Yoga-Maya is all about this 21st century ‘New Wave’.

Audiences are waiting

More about our ‘spiritually enhanced’ mainstream feature films here

‘Your Past is Waiting’ is YME’s first Transcendental Feature Film

Find YME on Facebook & Vimeo

Presenting CHANTING YOGA

Visit our website here

THE PRACTICE AND BENEFITS OF ‘CHANTING YOGA

Chanting Yoga is a sublime and simple process by which one can attain peace of mind, bliss and everlasting happiness. From the vedic age came the idea of meditating with a mantra – a word or sound repeated to aid concentration. “Man” is mind and “tra” is to liberate. Therefore chanting of mantras frees the mind from entanglements.

Chanting Yoga combines two of the ancient processes of yoga – meditation (dyana) and repetition of mantras by concentrating on sound vibration. Chanting yoga offers a practical solution to the pressures of our time.

According to the vedic calendar, we are now in the age of Kali which has also been called the Machine age or the Iron age. It is a time when it is practically impossible to practice traditional meditation because we are constantly exposed to noise – traffic, mobile phones, music – which has become an integral part of our existence.

The nature of the mind is to be restless and this makes it extremely hard to concentrate on what we are doing let alone sit in tranquil meditation. Plus the pace of life makes it hard to find any time for our self.

Chanting Yoga is perfectly suited to this modern time of stressful and busy lifestyles:

  • You can chant anywhere and anytime
  • You can chant alone or in a group
  • You can chant at work, while travelling or at home
  • You don’t have to wear anything special
  • You don’t have to sit in a particular position
  • You don’t have to carry out any gymnastics

Chanting yoga is based on the concepts of self-regulation, relaxation, and holism. If one wishes, these concepts can be extended metaphorically to create a philosophy of living, encompassing diet, health, lifestyle and relationships with others and the world.

You can join our Chanting Yoga on Facebook

You can support these efforts so we may manifest them sooner

Please consider ticking the ‘make this a monthly donation’ box as our efforts will be on-going. And contact us if you wish to assist otherwise.
Thank you!

Follow the Vedic Times on FB here.

And write us to get involved today!
Thank you!

Yoga as Preventive medicine

Stress Management

The term “stress” was coined by Hans Seyle, and defines as non specific response of the body and mind to any demand, and adaptation to challenge. This physiological and psychological response is called general adaptation syndrome.

There have been various models that explain the role of stress in the development of an illness.

Due to the constant hassles of daily living and work in the form of ongoing interpersonal difficulties, persistent threat to security, financial deprivation, and other life events (stress, distress) have acted as triggering effect on the illness. This has precipitated the illness at an early age, a concept known as “brought forward time”

Stress strains the coping mechanism resulting in sequences of internal changes, which are outwardly expressed as illness. The “crisis theory” as proposed by Lindermann and Sating states that stress produces disequilibrium (crisis) resulting in either adaptative changes or maladaptive changes (emotional and physical illness).

The cybernetic model by Kagan and Levi suggests that there is a two-way interaction between psychosocial stress and psychobiological program which determines the physiological and psychological reaction leading to precursor of disease. Yoga has been found to be efficacious in resolving this stress by enhancing the internal power, rather than banking on the chemical agents.

It delays the expression of illness. It must be emphasized here that yoga is not a substitute to pharmacological intervention in acute cases, rather has an augmenting and supplementing therapeutic effect with pharmacotherapy in illness.

Also visit out Chanting Yoga Website here

IN WORKPLACE

  • What prevents you from achieving at a higher level?
  • Lack of confidence in public speaking?
  • Anxiety, panic or a phobia?
  • Feelings of fear, greed, anger, depression, sadness, guilt, frustration, jealousy, hurt, resentment, stress or other?
  • Difficulty influencing others towards agreements?
  • Concept of what you are worth financially?
  • Burnt out?
  • Slumps in performance?
  • Substance abuse?
  • Your value system?
  • How to achieve success at the highest level?
  • How will this program help you?

A study on meditation in the workplace showed that meditation:

  • Increased effectiveness in the work place.
  • Reduced anxiety, work stress, insomnia and tiredness.
  • Reduced cigarette smoking and alcohol intake.
  • Increased job satisfaction.
  • It reorganizes your energy and vital force.
  • Heightens resistance to common diseases (viral infections).
  • Pranayam and meditation is known to boost your immune system.
  • Gain control of your emotions and mind.
  • Regularity and punctuality.
  • Better understanding in family and social life.
  • Increases memory.
  • Enhances Virtues like straight forwardness, generosity, honesty and productivity.
  • Managing negative emotions/feelings means an individual can achieve success at a higher level and an organization can perform closer to peak efficiency. The bottom line is increased job satisfaction and bigger profits.
  • Awakening our original consciousness.
  • Experiencing great peace and supreme knowledge.
  • Strengthen and recondition your entire body.
  • Meditation has been known to be effective in reversing heart disease, dealing with negative emotions, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, diminishing anxiety, stopping smoking, weight loss, eating disorders, addictions, boosting the immune system, and improving sports performance.
  • Regain youthful flexibility in spine and limbs.
  • Asanas (physical postures) have shown to improve the flexibility of the spine and help in the mobility of the joints.
  • Redistribute weight.

Illness and Yoga

1) Hypertension

In patients with anxiety, there is an increased level of catecholamine, particularly norepinephrine and epinephrine. Patients performing transcendental meditation had stable levels of catecholamine. This in turn regulated the sympatho-adrenenal medulla system, resulting in stable blood pressure (Infante, 2001).

2) Insomnia

Meditation has shown to be beneficial in sleep related problems.

3) Epilepsy

Transcendental meditation: A double-edged sword in epilepsy: Transcendental Meditation is derived from ancient yogic teachings. Both short- and long-term physiological correlates of TM practice have been studied. EEG effects include increased alpha, theta, and gamma frequencies and increased coherence and synchrony. Neuronal hyper synchrony is a cardinal feature of epilepsy, and subjective psychic symptoms, apnoea, and myoclonic jerking are characteristic of both epileptic seizures. Clinical studies of similar techniques suggest that meditation has a potential antiepileptic therapy.
In various studies, it has been suggested that behavioural phenomena have an underlying epileptic basis, and the potential efficacy for seizure reduction may translate into improved quality of life. However, more understanding is warranted by clinical trials before a blanket statement regarding the efficacy in seizure disorder is made (Yardi, 2000).

4) Smoking and Alcohol dependence: Substance Dependence

A study by Bowen et al. (2007), in a population of alcohol dependent explored the role of Vipassana, a mindfulness meditation practice emphasizes acceptance rather than suppression of unwanted thoughts. They concluded that Vipassana was effective in reduction in substance use as compared to controls. This was achieved as Vipassana meditation course volunteers reported greater reduction in attempts to avoid unwanted thoughts.

5) Psoriasis

In a study by Frankel (1998), in patients with psoriasis found that meditation helped as an adjuvant therapy. The rate of recovery of plaques was 3.8 times faster in the meditation group as compared to control, this was achieved in as little as four weeks time.

6) Chronic back pain

Back pain is an significant public health problem globally and is the most commonly reported reason for use of complimentary alternative medicine particularly yoga. Asthnga yoga and Iyengar yoga, have been found to be efficacious in patients with low back pain. Iyenger yoga has derived from Asthanga yoga, which consists of eight limbs including morale injunctions, rules for personal conduct, posture, breath control, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation and self realization (Williams, 2005). Krusen, known as one of the early fathers of physical medicine, has credited yoga posture exercises as a means to correct spinal slumping, and thereby improve the respiratory capacity. Stretching of muscles, which produce propioceptive stimulation thereby relaxing muscle tension and restoring optimal muscle tone and posture

7) Depression

Depression is among the five most common disorders seen in primary care. Disability caused by depressive disorder rivals that of coronary artery disease and is greater than disability caused by chronic lung disease and osteoarthritis according to medical outcome study. Cost of depressive disorders in terms of treatment, missed work and loss of function is 43 billion US dollars annually. There have been various studies that have shown to be efficacious as an adjuvant therapy in patients with depressive disorder. (Pilkington et. al., 2005)

8) Psychosomatic disorders

The above-described paths of yoga help the individual in integrating the personality and steadying the mind by changing the attitude and motivation, by developing health and correct habits and by modifying priorities and values of life.
Breathing exercises help in bio-energy control, which then stabilizes emotional upheaval of illness. Yoga Asanas manipulate nervous system and divert body energy to establish the equilibrium of physical, mental and spiritual aspect of the individual’s life. Yoga hygiene not only removes the habit of unhealthy nutrition, but also establishes homeostatic balance. Somatic symptoms evolve due to fault in psychic energy distribution as explained in psychology. Yoga helps in re-channeling the psychic energy (Singh, 2006).

9) Perimenopause/ Menopause

Restorative yoga for treatment of hot flushes has been found to be effective as there was a significant decrease in mean number of hot flushes by 34% from baseline after 8 weeks of intervention. It has no adverse effects and has been suggested to be efficacious in middle-aged women (Cohen, 2007; Khalsa, 2004)

10) Carpal-tunnel syndrome

Yoga in treatment of carpal-tunnel syndrome (Winston, 1999) : Carpel tunnel syndrome is compressive neuropathy of the medial nerve in the carpel tunnel, its more common in women than men, as women have smaller carpel bone, hence less space to accommodate the nerve of similar diameter. With the extensive use of computer keyboard, the wrong posture has led to an increase in the number of new cases in the recent past. In a randomized control trial, it has been shown that eight weeks of Yoga has been found to be beneficial. There was significant reduction in the pain, and better grip strength (Sequeira, 1999).

11) Cancers

Similar to breast cancer, studies of people with prostate cancer suggest that melatonin levels are lower compared to men without cancer, and test tube studies have found that melatonin inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells. Meditation is a valuable addition to the treatment of prostate cancer. The positive effects of meditation may be due to a rise in levels of melatonin in the body.

12) Obesity

With the practice of asanas and meditation one can achieve weight loss to a greater degree in a short span of time. Weight can be reduced faster then most diets.

Caring for our body

Man has unconsciously tried to be forever young. Man has adopted various methods to achieve this goal, which has been futile and vain to a larger extent. They forget that use of revitalizing lotions or toners to erase the wrinkles is not sufficient. Pharmacological and other toxic substances (viz Botox- Botulin for wrinkles) would not help, to attain youthfulness, vigor and vitality. Yoga and meditation is suggested here, which is devoid of side effects and has lasting effect. (Infant, 2001; Travis, 1999;Travis,2001).

It enhances flexibility, regulates blood circulation, toning muscles, and redistributing body mass and enhances alertness and clarity of faculties of mind.

Yoga is a divine science, taking the mankind on the path of positive thinking. Its basis is banked on the homeostasis of all the systems as proposed by George Engel. The learned saints of ancient India discovered this process. Yoga is complete in every aspect as it touches the every sphere of human life. It is a complete science that provides a healthy lifestyle and a complete preventive medication system. Above all, it is an enlightening spiritual art. Saint Patanjali brought Yoga 5000 years ago, in a disciplined manner to preserve and produce the eight yogic practices in the form of Yoga Sutra.

Moreover, the popularity of Yoga lies in the fact that it has never bounded itself within the narrow-minded attitude of sex, community, area, religion, caste, and language.

Join us in one or our Chanting Yoga Retreats

Please visit our Chanting Yoga website here
And see you soon!

Yoga Maya Entertainment

A ‘New Wave’ for the 21st Century

As physicists try to uncover the base structure of matter, Yoga-Maya is working to uncover the profound psychological nature of cinema.

Historically, ’emerging’ technologies (eg. sound, color, CGI) have caused many evolutionary paths in cinema to be prematurely abandoned, leaving its true potential largely undiscovered.

This focus on technology – rather than movies – has left audiences uninspired and studios relying on marketing rather than content.

Cinema’s renaissance is about the magic of cinema; conceiving, producing and experiencing it. Yoga-Maya is all about this 21st century ‘New Wave’. Audiences are waiting.

The Mastermind

Matthew J. Morreale (Director/Writer) and Ana Lucia Alves (Producer/Actor) are the hearts and minds behind Yoga-Maya’s vision for the future of cinema.

Ana Lucia left Brazil at 18 to travel the world as a top model. Some time later, following her true calling, she studied acting and produced documentaries and short films. She’s a polyglot, now running both Yoga-Maya Entertainment and The Vedic Times Foundation.

Matthew was born in Mississippi and raised in England. He spent many years living and traveling in Europe, soaking up the culture, playing music and writing poetry. Then, with the gravitational pull of a black hole, cinema devoured him. Check out his ‘Cinema and the Psyche Podcast’.

To see more please visit Yoga Maya Films

We’re now working on our ‘Art Club’ Movie,
a ‘micro budget feature film’ for Cinemas.

To #GetInvolved please visit Ana’s Patreon page

“Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream, it takes over as the number one hormone; it bosses the enzymes; directs the pineal gland; plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to film is more film.” Frank Capra
More @ YogaMayaFilms.com

Prana is Your ‘Life Air’

BENEFITS OF PRANAYAM

Pranayam can free the mind from restlessness and release the body from painful and unpleasant experiences.

The asanas only concentrate on physical aspects of the body however pranayam works on the subtle physical body much more than the asanas.

The benefits are:
• Physiological
• Mental
• Physical
• Spiritual

Physiological benefits

Most people do not breathe deeply – usually we use only 25% of the lungs, leaving 75% non-functioning. It is estimated that the lungs are made up of 73 million cells. During normal breathing only 20 million cells get oxygen thus 53 million cells remain starved of oxygen due to which the elimination of toxins is reduced causing several diseases.

Regular Pranayam can help in purifying the blood. Breathing air (prana) fills the lungs with the vital force circulating it through the entire body, first to the heart then to the lungs throwing out toxins like carbon dioxide through the process of exhalation.
In addition Pranayam can help with chronic respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, sinusitis and other ailments such as heart disease, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, liver cirrhosis, depression, anxiety and so on.

According to the ayurvedic medical science three items kapha, Pitta, vayu (phlegm, bile and air) maintain the physiological condition of the body. Ayurvedic process of treatment is based upon these three items (doshas). With pranayam a balance is achieved in the three doshas, vayu, pitta and kapha.

The prana vayu continues the life and the apana vayu stops the living force.

Mental health benefits

Great yogis find that chanting the omkara (Om sound) with breathing control allows one to bring the mind under control. This is the way of changing the habit of the mind. The mind and desires cannot be stopped. To develop the mind to function peacefully the quality of engagement by the mind has to be changed. The mind is the pivot of the active sense organs and as such if the quality of the thinking, feeling and willing is changed, naturally the quality of actions by the instrumental senses will also change.

Omkara is the seed of all transcendental sounds and it is the only transcendental sound, which will bring about the desired change of the mind and the senses. Even a mentally deranged man can be cured by the treatment of transcendental sound vibration.
Breathing control helps to keep the mind calm and free from negative thoughts. Also by regularly practicing these breathing exercises one develops practice of deep breathing which has several health benefits.

Well being that includes good concentration, mental ability and good memory are achieved with pranayam exercises.

Physical benefits

Pranayam has several benefits like: Longetivity, youthfulness and vigour.

Other benefits are in respiratory conditions, Allergies, Sinusitis, Asthma, inflammatory conditions like Arthritis and Rheumatism, in Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) Constipation, Prostate gland conditions, reducing blockage in Coronary Heart Diseases, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, Rejuvenation of skin, boosting of the Immune system.
With pranayam and meditation one achieves a transcendental state. In this state the neuro endocrine system is regulated involving the pituitary adrenal axis. The stress hormones like ACTH, Cortisol, Prolactin, Adrenaline and Noradrenaline are reduced and the other good hormones and Endorphins and Enkaphalins etc, increase thus helping in reversing the stress related diseases like Hypertension and Diabetes.

Pranayam brings a balance in the three doshas: kapha, Pitta and vayu (phlegm, bile and air).

Spiritual benefits

Consciousness is the sign of the living entity. The existence of the soul is manifest in the form of consciousness called jnana shakti. The activity of consciousness is performed through the air of life, which are called: prana, apana, udana, vyana, and samana.
Pranayam is meant for concentrating upon the localized aspect of Vasudev represented as Paramatma, the Super soul.
Pranayam brings stabilization of prana and calms the mind thus helping in the upward journey of prana from muladara chakra (base chakra) to sahastra chakra (cerebral) and helps in awakening kundalini (energy centers).

The various pranayam consists of:

Bhastrika pranayam
Kapal Bhati Pranayam
Bahaya pranayam
Anulom Vilom Pranayam
Bhramri Pranayam
Udgeeth Pranayam
Concentration on Breathing (Meditation)

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Why Chanting Yoga?

Chanting Yoga is part of a philosophy of living

THE PRACTICE AND BENEFITS OF CHANTING YOGA

Chanting Yoga combines two of the ancient processes of yoga – meditation (dyana) and repetition of mantras by concentrating on sound vibration.

Chanting Yoga offers a practical solution to the pressures of our time. According to the vedic calendar, we are now in the age of Kali which has also been called the Machine age or the Iron age. It is a time when it is practically impossible to practice traditional meditation because we are constantly exposed to noise – traffic, mobile phones, music – which has become an integral part of our existence. The nature of the mind is to be restless and this makes it extremely hard to concentrate on what we are doing let alone sit in tranquil meditation. Plus the pace of life makes it hard to find any time for our self.

Chanting yoga is perfectly suited to this modern time of stressful and busy lifestyles:

• You can chant anywhere and anytime
• You can chant alone or in a group
• You can chant at work, while traveling or at home
• You don’t have to wear anything special
• You don’t have to sit in a particular position
• You don’t have to carry out any gymnastics

Chanting Yoga is a sublime and simple process by which one can attain peace of mind, bliss and everlasting happiness. From the vedic age came the idea of meditating with a mantra – a word or sound repeated to aid concentration. “Man” is mind and “tra” is to liberate. Therefore chanting of mantras frees the mind from entanglements.

Chanting yoga is based on the concepts of self-regulation, relaxation, and holism. If one wishes, these concepts can be extended metaphorically to create a philosophy of living, encompassing diet, health, lifestyle and relationships with others and the world.

The benefits of Chanting Yoga

Success without stress
• Reduced stress
• Increased focus and concentration
• Enhanced creative intelligence
• Higher productivity

Better health
• Reduced depression and anxiety
• Increased physical health
• Longevity in elderly

Part of a philosophy of living

• Diet: determining ones diet based on ones physiology and season, promoting optimal nourishment and balanced diet.
• Health: physical fitness and good health through prevention – learning to prevent ill health through balanced daily and seasonal routines, proper diet, and higher states of consciousness.
• Lifestyle: relaxation and leading a life which is in harmony with law of nature by successfully controlling the expression of the “self”.
• Relationships: the deeper goal of yoga sifts out the unreal from the real thus enhancing relationships and family life.

How will Chanting Yoga help you?

A study on meditation in the workplace showed that meditation:
• Reorganizes your energy and vital force.
• Heightens resistance to common diseases (viral infections).
• Pranayam and meditation is known to boost your immune system.
• Managing negative emotions/feelings means an individual can achieve success at a higher level and an organization can perform closer to peak efficiency. The bottom line is increased job satisfaction and bigger profits.
• Meditation has been known to be effective in reversing heart disease, dealing with negative emotions, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, diminishing anxiety, stopping smoking, weight loss, eating disorders, addictions, boosting the immune system, and improving sports performance.
• Helps to gain control of your emotions and mind.
• Regularity and punctuality.
• Better understanding in family and social life.
• Increases memory.
• Enhances Virtues like straight forwardness, generosity, honesty and productivity.
• Awakening our original consciousness.
• Experiencing great peace and supreme knowledge.
• Strengthen and recondition your entire body.
• Regain youthful flexibility in spine and limbs.
• Asanas (physical postures) have shown to improve the flexibility of the spine and help in the mobility of the joints.
• Redistribute weight- With the practice of asanas and meditation one can achieve weight loss to a greater degree in a short span of time. Weight can be reduced faster then most diets.

Please read other articles regarding our practices here, here, here, and sign up for our next fabulous CY Retreat here!

And see you soon!

Our Website is Now UP

VCC REsignation

If you are reading this here, it could be because you have heard some gossip and wanted to hear from us (Matt and I) ~ to know our reasons for leaving the Vedic Care behind.

As per my FB post (below) at the time (Sept 2019), here is our side of the story! We have done all we could and are now continuing our seva ~ full on with the Vedic Times Foundation.

THIS IS A ‘PUBLIC NOTICE’ POST:

Hare Krsna dear friends and foes – I appreciate all of you.

Hare Krsna dear Vaishnavas. You’re the very reason I’ve co-founded and served so vigorously the VCC.

The VCC moto was *CARE, Based on Love and Trust * and the reason why we worked so hard. 

Please note that there were only three trustees for the past four years (and the word Trustee is used for a reason) – Roger Siegel (Gurudas), Aradhana (myself), both of us co-founders, and Richard Dench (Rama Nrsimha das) who I personally invited to join because he was an “old friend” from London.

Here are two versions of this story. At least from where I stand:

Short version: The very integrity of the VCC is now compromised being that restructuring was needed – and for a long time – but rejected once again. This project was created to do devotee care ‘fully independent’ of any other institution and to serve equally, all Vaishnavas and spiritual seekers in need. As it looks, our once dear VCC is now for sale and had a few members who are actively doing off the books and forceful fundraising, and a new comer that is up to do fundraising “by hook or by crook”. This being, to save the purity of the project my husband and I, who have done together 95% do the work, wanted to restructure, were not permitted, and so have now resigned.

And the long version:
For the readers, and who’ll appreciate more details.

After four years of long hours per day, every day including holidays, putting aside our own company YogaMayaFilms, my involvement with the Vedic Care – an organization I’ve founded with Gurudas prabhu and my husband, Bhakta Matt (behind the scenes), comes to an end.

I’ve now resigned from being its CEO, Trustee and the sole doer of anything boring as Contracts&Legal and all paperwork. I was its Media & Social Media Producer (much credit to Matt for this), Marketer, Online broadcaster on all platforms, Producer of all Newsletters & Presentations and 90% of the VCC written charts and spread sheets (Tina did some of these), all vision boards and all VCC business plans. I was also its Retreats Manager and promoter, leader of the VCC Core and all other teams, welcomer/encourager and manager of Volunteers and Causes, Carer, and Gurudas prabhu’ PA/Secretary. Meanwhile for the past two years, I’ve also looked for a proper and decent deal for Gurudas’ photo book; a version we’ll never see. And I was also leading a wonderful literary department working on correcting Gurudas’s previous books; which I’ll deliver when done.


The VCC Internal Affairs were crazy from the beginning. When we first created a website in 2015 it was soon hacked and a lawyer wrote us demanding that we send the funds we were collecting for devotee care to the BhaktiVedanta Hospice in Vrindavan. Then in the first two years we also had a few threats of being sued for using the words Vaishnava and Care, so even existing seems to be a problem. I mean, crazy stuff. But then we were left alone, but not without one senior devotee joining us (she never did anything, ever) who watched our website and Fb pages like a hawk.

In the past two years things were already on edge with the Core Team, mostly due to too much talking during our twice a week conference calls, followed by inefficiency and inaction. Also we had a few characters who, with the assistance of one Trustee, were trying to remove me (and consequently my husband) when we reached the two years mark. Bhakta Matt and I were the very persons doing 95% of the work. “The VCC engine” I was once called. 

Thank Krsna they failed at their first attempt.

Another major issue were some pushy and unpalatable fundraising techniques from a Trustee who, on the weekly calls (if he showed), was disrespectful of others’ time and our agenda, would often have someone else listening into our private calls; or if not, he was so interested that we could hear his snoring. Nevertheless we kept tolerating this, encouraging and we kept going.

Then just three months ago we finally got, with the grace of Subhadrapryia dd whom I adore, the 25+ rooms beautiful building in Vrindavan. Of course there was more work but no one came forward to assist and still no proper focus on urgent or needed tasks. No one really stepped up to the beautiful fundraising campaign – rather a second wave of “remove Aradhana” came in from London – now stronger with a Swami (who showed in January 2019) doing ‘whatever it is he does’. The same trustee had soon someone who I also thought to be a friend (and who really showed interest only after the building was there), jump on a call uninvited to suggest that I be removed. Even so, I kept going, confident that Gurudas prabhu was paying attention to ‘who is actually doing the needful’ and confident of his trust in me. After all it was four years of full on, complete and competent dedication.

It was my impression that we were doing real “devotee care”, to the best of the team’s ability, being that every-time I’d suggest more dedication I was soon corrected and preached to. So now we finally had the building in Vrindavan, and this, after a long time (4 years). During this time I had to personally defend the great VCC idea and its integrity online, by phone and emails, while pushing it with endless Fb posts and cool stuff online so to shake the community out of their hate toward anything related to ‘devotee care or neglect’ and especially “fundraising”. And often I had to personally inspire Gurudas prabhu to keep going.

After securing ‘single handed’ the Vrindavan building, and broadcasting the great news, creating all the promotional videos and materials regarding the VCC-Vrindavan fundraising campaign, our London Trustee kinda disappeared right after the second wave of “remove Aradhana’. And one can imagine that with everything else I was already doing, now there was more: like keeping up with sending proper emails to the many who came forward either for a paid position, or pushing to get in “by all means necessary”. Then a month ago, thank Krsna, two “real volunteers” (they’re precious) showed and that was beautiful. They were properly welcomed, cultivated and were working mostly with me and my husband till my resignation.

Inspired by Vrindavan, I went on to dedicate even more time to understand how to serve even better, so I did a dedicated assessment (as per the standards Matt and I defend) of the VCC services as it was provided over the past 10 months. 

Seeing the assessment result and being a responsible and progressive CEO & Trustee, after a phone call, a detailed report was sent to Gurudas prabhu stressing the already ongoing serious need to re-structure the VCC. This would be the removal of one member and the slight shift of another. There was also the need and urgency to be aware and address the unacceptable ‘by hook or by crook’ fundraising tactics of a new comer, in saffron. Now I know how dangerous the sloka/tilaka/saffron/charm combination actually is.

I don’t remember any place where SRILA PRABHUPADA encouraged criminal activities, or even accepted cheating anyone out of their money in disguise of charity.

Obtaining no support from Gurudas prabhu to execute the re-structuring – rather getting a flat out rejection to do so – and to keep my integrity, if not that of the VCC as it was created (a fully independent “devotee care” initiative based on love and trust), I choose to resign (as did my husband). Before sending in my resignation letter I sent another detailed email outlining the need for internal changes and why. As Gurudas prabhu instead decided to keep unqualified and questionable characters onboard, I sent in my resignation. Matt did the same, yet still hoping that the photo book he gave loads of time to, would still go ahead.

Much too soon and without a phone call, Gurudas prabhu removed me from the VCC Bank account (one that I had started with all its demands/logistics and included him in) and went public (on his Roger Siegel Fb page) associating me with words like “politics, hate, hostile and vindictive”, so I texted him asking that we make the transition in private. This request was denied and his fb post was kept. Most likely you’re as shocked as I am and this is the reason you are now reading this. 

Gurudas prabhu’s few words cannot describe the past four years.

Also, certainly most of us, who are not “blindly following” (as recommended by some in the movement) will understand. And many will condemn, gossip, etc. but if my above reasons are not enough to pack and leave, then what more reasons would one need?

The new team has enough of our work to “get on with their program”, and certainly they’re moving forward with a lot more then the 5% of their input and efforts. And our seva, done with so much love and care, mostly unappreciated by our very core team, will not be inherited by this new VCC; especially knowing that one is willing to encourage ‘criminal activities’, and the chosen leader (project manager) for the Vrindavan building has, in the past, hired (friends) unqualified doctors to serve the devotees in previous projects.

Furthermore – if the “VCC brand” is really for sale (and it’s looking like it is), then we can come to an agreement of “how much it’s actually worth”, then we’ll see if we wish to sell it. After that only Krishna knows if “devotee care” would even happen.

Do you know how easy it is to plaster a pretty photo online and show a one off success ‘devotee care story’ (done often) to encourage donors to give more? This is the very reason why we’ve had so few donors in the past, under 30 donors over all, mostly very small amounts.

So now, as always, I’ve personally written to all the ongoing VCC causes (one of them I’m still caring for as the main doctor is not doing it), donors, volunteers and team members, most of whom I’ve cultivated alone all these years; so my seva regarding the VCC is done. Srimati Radharani knows everyone’s seva, hearts, agendas, motivations and thoughts, and that is more then enough for Matt and I.

Lastly, please do not praise us at all (especially publicly) as that could be seen as hypocrisy, nor use my name or my husband’s for anything. Most definitely, we’re not for the new VCC ideals. And the activities that may be going on in the name of Vaishnava, devotee or spiritual seeker’s Care, is not our ‘cup of tea’.

AND AGAIN:
Real Care is not given on a website.
Real Care is not given on Facebook.
Care is definitely not given with “your opinions”
So, if you will, please get off your computer, get on the phone or in your car and go care for someone in need.

THAT IS DEVOTEE CARE!!!

My close friends know where to find me and anyone else who feels like getting in touch please contact me (remember that I’ve no interest in gossip), at YogaMayaFilms.Com website. Thank you.

And if I’ve offended any Vaishnava, any other ‘human being’ or living entity in this endeavor, please forgive me.

Hare Krishna!

Your servant,
Aradhana dd