Keynote address on the first day covered Vedic roots of medical use of yoga and meditation delivered by Prof Philip Clayton from Claremont school of theology.Alexander Smirnov, PhD, Staff scientist at NIH demonstrated breathing techniques and educated the audience on Taijiquan, and Qigong, also rather meditative physical practices.
The international workshop on Sept.21 covered Chinese and Tinetan Sonic and Subtle Energy bio energetic Medicine by Yuan Miao of Beijing. The laughter and practice delighted the audience, true to the spirit of Yoga of Joy.
Dr. H.R. Nagendra of SVYASA University, India gave the International Keynote address on “Evidence-based Yoga therapy for metabolic syndrome” highlighting completed and ongoing studies. The workshop he led included practical guidance of the audience into the Pranic Energization Technique to assess and relieve imbalances in the Pranic system.Rita D. Sherman, PhD., Swami Vivekananda visiting faculty in Hindu Studies was the key player in bringing the conference together. Sherma’s intention in bringing together the conference isto spread the idea of Dharma and the dharmic way of healthy living. In her words, “dharma leaves nothing out- medicine, art, psychology of emotion, art, astronomy, agriculture, aesthetics, and on and on, and it is what brings religion closer to us”. Simple ways of protecting resources can simply mean cutting down dependence on pharmaceuticals for maintaining health, so we don’t pollute the water with our chemicals that we don’t monitor over 90% of the time. This and other factors were discussed at length by Sherma’s mentee, Berka Burnison, who spoke on the topic of ‘Green Medicine: environment and integrative health.’The conference participants included over 25 students who are taking classes in Dharmic Studies with Sherma as part of their curriculum at USC. The students were clearly not only learning but also enjoying the participation in the conference. Varun Soni USC Dean of office of Religious Life made an appropriate presentation on ‘Mindful USC.’