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4 Ways to Inspire Children to Learn

Education is a big part of our lives. If you think about it, by the time we’re twenty, most of us have spent three quarters of our lives, if not more, attending school. It’s the key time in our lives when we’re given the chance to explore who we are, what we can do, and what we want to do.

Our early experiences lay down a foundation for life, how we view the world and our relationships with others.

The Atlantic has posted an interesting article called ‘The New Preschool is Crushing Kids : Todays young children are working more, but they’re learning less'

The author discusses the current push to formally educate kids earlier and earlier—as early as preschool, and how “much of the conversation in today’s preschool classrooms is one-direction and simplistic, as teachers steer students through a highly structured schedule, herding them from one activity to another…”

Additionally, the article sites a study called “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?,” where researchers reported that teachers’ rising expectations for children to read by the end of the year and to spend more time “with workbooks and worksheets, and less time devoted to music and art”, is indeed affecting kids.

The result?

It’s no surprise that most children lose their enthusiasm to learn when what comes naturally to them, like play, spontaneous discussion, and thinking out loud, are not emphasized. As a parent I know that to help a child develop, it’s important to take the time to learn how a child thinks, how they see things, and what they’re interested in. Given what they need, children will thrive and relationships grow strong.


How can adults help kids learn?

Get to know them

Find out what makes them tick, what they like and don’t like. What does this person have an affinity for? Incorporate that into their learning. This basic, often overlooked approach recognizes we’re all individuals. We naturally have different personalities, tastes, interests, and skills. This is key. It gives us a launch pad for kids to retain information. For instance, if you have a child that likes to cook, you can help them learn math with a recipe. The possibilities are endless.



It’s easy to get in the habit of just instructing. Kids need that but it’s also important to hear them. If a child has a difficult time answering questions about a story, find out why. Did they relate to the character in the story? Why didn’t they? Did they like the story? Why not? What part of the story was confusing? By reading those parts through again and allowing the child to spontaneously discuss, think out loud, and formulate opinions, helps reveal where they’re at. Taking interest in what they have to say engages them and peaks their interest.


Talk to them

Kids pick up an awful lot of information through conversation. Simply by talking to adults and each other, kids learn how things work, they explore concepts they wouldn’t have thought of themselves, they gain insights and they reveal themselves. They also develop a broad vocabulary naturally. They hear new words being used and they hear the context and they naturally pick them up.


Give them a role in the process

Like all of us, kids tend to withdraw when they don’t have any say. When a child is allowed to make decisions, it’s extremely motivating. For instance, allowing them to choose a writing topic, giving them a choice of stories or books to read, or which hobbies they want to pursue, are all essential in helping them to succeed.

Wishing you Well,
Wai Lana


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A Yoga Lifestyle Can Help Prevent Addiction

Addiction is not something that only affects “other people”. If you look carefully, nearly all of us have some form of addiction, whether we consider it a problem or not. There are so many things a person can become addicted to: alcohol, pornography, shopping, gambling, watching TV, playing video games, using a smart phone, food, and prescription or recreational drugs.

Yoga teaches us that if we want to solve a problem, we should first try to understand its root cause. When it comes to addiction, we need to recognize that we are all experiencing inner emptiness to one degree or another. We are craving for something to give us pleasure and make us happy.

That’s because as an eternal living being, or spirit-soul, it is actually our natural condition to be happy. However, if we falsely identify ourselves as our body, we will be pulled around by the demands of our mind and senses in a futile attempt to fill our inner emptiness. It’s like trying to fill a barrel with water, but there’s a hole in the bottom and the water keeps leaking out.



If we’re engaging in activities that are detrimental to our body or mind, the more likely we are to experience frustration, agitation, and depression—even to the point of becoming destructive. With this increased emptiness inside, we automatically turn to whatever it is we are already addicted to. It’s a viscous cycle and it’s very, very difficult to break free from the shackles of addiction, no matter what the habit is.

But a yogi understands that we are not the body, and therefore material “enjoyment” will never truly satisfy us. What we need is a higher happiness—we need spiritual food. The real solution to avoiding or letting go of bad habits is to experience and cultivate a higher taste.

I’ll give you an example. I have a Canadian friend. If you were to offer her artificial pancake syrup, there’s just no way she would use it. She’s had a taste for pure maple syrup, and for her, there is no substitute. Once you experience a higher taste, there’s just no turning back to things that may have previously been desirable.

In regards to addiction, the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be more true. It’s much easier to prevent getting a negative addiction to something in the first place, than to break the cycle of addiction.

It’s only common sense that a person will be more likely to get addicted to things like drugs or alcohol if they lack a deeper purpose or meaning to their lives. Through a yoga lifestyle, we can stay grounded and strong within and experience an inner satisfaction that will prevent us from seeking fulfillment in things that only lead to emptiness and turmoil.

Simple lifestyle changes, like eating more healthfully, being aware of our environment, getting plenty of fresh air, engaging in sports or outdoor exercise like swimming, hiking, or bicycling are all positive steps towards preventing addiction.

By following along with the Yoga Wisdom meditations found in my Easy Meditation for Everyone Kit, you can develop a deeper outlook on life. Simply contemplating upon one quote a day can help you experience a more meaningful and purposeful life.



The practice of Chakra Meditation, also in my meditation kit, is a wonderful tool to help you become more aware of the subtle energy flowing throughout your body. If you appreciate that the source of this subtle energy is the jiva atma, or spirit-soul, then you can begin to experience and realize that you are not the body, as we discussed earlier.

There are also several other practices of Yoga Sound Meditation in the kit that people of all ages and backgrounds can apply to experience the inner satisfaction we all seek. Through meditating on sacred yoga mantras, each of us can cultivate a deep, spiritual happiness. By immersing yourself in these relaxing and purifying mantras, you can attain relief from stress and anxiety, achieve mental clarity, and experience a sense of relaxation and inner peace.

And this is only the start! The path of yoga is the path towards true and lasting happiness. Once you get a taste, you’ll have a truly positive addiction, which is sharing that spiritual happiness with others.

Wishing you well,
Wai Lana


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What People are saying about Wai Lana Yoga

Here are some videos testimonials by people who have experienced wonderful benefits from Wai Lana Yoga shows.


She takes you to a place of serenity


"I have been doing Yoga one and half year of my life or so I thought, so I thought, until Feb 13th of last year 2014 when I happened to play Wai Lana PBS show and my life has never been the same. Wai Lana Yoga seriously, that's when you start to really do yoga. That's when you finally start to get it what Yoga is. Because the way Wai Lana Yoga is, she just takes you to a place of serenity, where everything is ok. When you are doing her tapes, when you are doing her DVD's, you feel better, you start up may be feeling so good and then you stay with her and by the time you are done, you have a song in your heart, you have joy, you feel that you can conquer the world, that everything is ok and I have been doing her every single day pretty much without fail since Feb 13th of last year. Once in a while there is circumstances where I don't but usually every single day I get up an hour and half early from my job so that I have the time to spend doing my Wai Lana Yoga."


This is a very unique and beautiful experience


"What I like most about Wai Lana Yoga is it's a unique yoga experience. It's not like going to a yoga studio or taking a class at the gym, it's just her, you know in the beautiful locations and you hear her voice and she talks you through the yoga steps and you can almost put yourself where she is at that moment and it makes it very easy to forget the worries of the day, just focus on the music, her voice and before you know it, it's done and it would last longer and it has become a part of my life and I look forward to it every day and I know I can do this for the rest of my life, no matter how in shape, out of shape I am, it's something I can do and it feels great because you know I like to be healthier, I like to be active and Wai Lana has given me that gift of good health. And, So Thank You Wai Lana and keep up the good work."


My Speed Walking and Tennis has improved since doing this


"I do speed walking and I find that as result of doing Wai Lana yoga. I can, it's easier for me and I can go to a greater length also which is helping me a lot in playing tennis. I play tennis 2, 3 times a week during the spring and summer seasons and it helps me with indoors. The programs sometimes emphasize the, focusing doing sort of eye exercises and doing exercises which improve your balance where you have got to focus on one object in order to do it and so this is, can be transmitted to sport like tennis where you really focused and you are looking perhaps more clearly than I would have before I started Wai Lana Yoga"


Wai Lana Yoga helped me recover after the 9/11 attacks


"I survived in 9/11 terrorist attacks. I was, my life was saved by my co-worker and I suffered multiple blackouts in that day and I have been bed ridden for several years. I can't even walk more than one block on the street. I can't even get out. This is my service dog and he helps me, he helps me a lot and now even when I going to shower he never used to do that, he stays with me in the shower because I had so many bad incidents in the shower; collapsing, fainting. But he stays with me to make sure that everything is fine.

I found that Wai Lana Yoga and I started doing it and I started feeling better because it was the setting  plus she was not talking she was narrating her program and the meditation was absolutely unbelievable. The eye contact you just forget yourself completely and you get some submerged into that world, Wai Lana world. So I started feeling much better and I started doing every day, even the dances, her smile showing the, you know her service to humanity and all our life. It was so beautiful, the mantras and the scenery was absolutely spectacular."


When i hear her voice, i start to feel better



"When I listen to Wai Lana Yoga, when I hear her voice, as soon as it starts, I start to feel better, I feel that it kind of be ok. I can feel my shoulders come down as soon as I start seeing her. She has this serenity about her, this calm, soothing energy. My sister says I think she is your idol, She is. I have never known a practitioner of yoga which I have done like I said, one and half year of my life until I discovered Wai Lana Yoga and that's when I truly discovered Yoga. Everything about her, ahhh it makes me happy. She puts a song in your heart. She transcends beyond just the physicality of Yoga, she takes you elsewhere and it's just a calmness that puts me in a better space. It's just Aahh...hhaaa, and then you smile and then you feel better and then you can start your day because you know if you need her again she is waiting for you at the end of the day. So you can have Wai Lana Yoga in the morning, you can have Wai Lana Yoga in the evening, you can feel better all day and night. It's a wonderful gift. So Thank you!!"


This is the real deal & delivers on its promises


"There are so many things that promises so much and just don't deliver. You know and its nice you run into something  that makes the promises, you invest a certain amount of time and effort into this situation and there is a noticeable payback, there is a noticeable pay off. And that's kind of a snow ball thing; once you see, once you find a noticeable pay off, and I want to do just may be a little bit more or at lease keep add it.

When I keep add it there is more pay off and there is very few things that I found that actually produce what you know Wai Lana goes through this whole thing, sometimes benefit this, benefit that, benefit of the other thing and I am a great guy for looking at the TV and saying what a crock that is, ohh boy that propaganda. But I am listening to those, her affirmations and I am saying, wah, that's actually pretty true. It's actually you know which is nice to see something that is connecting to something which I can feel myself and you know that gives me a little bit more faith in anything, humanity."


This helped prevent soreness


"Wai Lana has definitely prevented soreness for me . I once worked in a farm in Hawaii doing work in a vegetable farm.We are out in the farm all day weeding and planting and it put a lot of strain on our body and afterwards when you come inside and do the Wai Lana yoga and I never felt the soreness. Only the first few days when I was not doing Wai Lana but after that I am including Wai Lana everyday and I never stopped because it prevented the soreness, it prevented the tension, so Wai Lana is really good for everything."


Wai Lana has a very relaxing presence and is very sincere


"I think I like about Wai Lana Yoga is, she is very soothing the way she speaks and she has a very relaxing presence and she is very sincere too. You know some of the other yoga programs are, they are very competitive that seems like and she is not competitive at all. And you won't feel that the need and you are in your own home too but somehow even in your own home but somebody's yoga programs you feel like letting the instructor down if you don't do the right way.

I like the fact that she, you know she is outside quite a bit and most yoga instructors in her productions, most yoga instructors are wearing you know yoga wear the very tight, revealing clothing and it's refreshing to have her wearing her silks, her blue silks, her pink silks. You know she is covered from head to foot, so you are not distracted by you know looking at what you are not, you know what you aspire to be. So it's bit of a blank   . You can see what she is doing. She looks wonderful. She is very colorful, but you don't have, you know the typical yoga pants and the yoga camisole that's different and refreshing too."


The relaxation by Wai Lana relieves tension

"Well, there are various things that I have enjoyed about the Wai Lana programming. At the end of her presentation she generally does a song or a little bit of dance or just lays down on her mat and relaxes and tells you to relax and that is a very meditative feeling for me. I know after I am done with my stretching, quite a often I will lay down and just I will feel the tension flow right through my spine and out and that's something that I really enjoy."


I encourage many of my friends to watch her

"I just wish the whole world know about her, I practice her yoga every day wherever I go, whenever  I have an extra moment, I, it's with me even all the time, when my breathing, when I am in the kitchen, cooking, she is with me all the time. I encourage many of my friends to watch her and even friends that I had at the gym, once I started doing Wai Lana, 2 weeks later, no I just go to the gym for the steam room. That's all. Not for the yoga anymore. Why? You have a personal teacher. It's a one on one relation with this amazing lady who is just absolutely gifted."


The Favorite part of the show is Wai Lana


"My favorite part of Wai Lana Yoga is Wai Lana. It is her presence, it is her serenity, it is her calm soothing voice, it is the way she helps you energize and relax at the same time. It is the way Wai Lana Yoga takes you on a journey, where you begin with physical movements but then you transcend it to a higher level. I think the most profound experience besides myself was with my mom. I felt like since this is helping me so much why can't Wai Lana yoga help her. Understanding that my mom is 87 years old at that time with a walker, with a wheel chair and yet she would stand here in my living room as she would practice Wai Lana Yoga."


It would start my day just right


"What I like best about Wai Lana yoga, it's something that I always look forward to. It starts my day way off just right. It could be raining outside, but when I am in front of the programming, I see beautiful scenery, I see a relaxed, kind, gentle person who truly cares about what I am about. Who helps me through the day and I just , it's such a big part of my life now, it's, it's wonderful, really really is"


The Yogic Outlook on Aging

Science News ran an interesting article entitled “healthy old age may trump immortality”. It had various points on aging and how a person's lifespan may one day be lengthened. It also explained that the effects of aging could be minimized through scientific advancements. The premise of the study seems to be that with a healthy body, free from the ravages of aging, a person would be happy. While we can appreciate that a healthy body does make us feel better, a yogic outlook on life offers a deeper perspective on happiness and aging.

                                                  Photo Courtesy:

My “Alive Forever” video shares the ancient yoga wisdom expressed as “Aham Brahmasmi”—meaning I am the eternal spiritual being. I am not my body, and I will not die when my body dies. This simple message has the power to free us all from the fear of aging and death.

Inevitably, no matter how much science can help us to age gracefully, these bodies at some point or another, will cease to be. However, we, the soul, are eternal in essence. The true self is ever-youthful and ever-lasting.

“Knowing I’m not the body, I am at ease.

I am spirit soul. I glide through life with inner peace.

Life has no end. Alive forever, I the soul, will be.”

Science has proven that we have an entirely new body every seven years because every molecule is replaced at certain points in our lifetime. Take a look at a photograph from seven years ago, and notice the subtle and not so subtle differences. What remains unchanged? You, the spirit soul residing in that body. This tangible example is simple evidence of this ancient Vedic truth of Aham Brahmasmi.

While we should do everything we can to eat healthily, exercise daily, drink water, and get enough sleep, we shouldn’t be afraid of aging or getting old. The true self is ever youthful and everlasting. Taking refuge in this knowledge is where true inner peace can be found. While very simple, this message is very profound and the real solution to the issues caused by aging.

Wishing you well,
Wai Lana


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Introvert vs. Extrovert, Chronic Anxiety, and Feeling Good Again

We’re all so different, no two of us the same, each with our own tastes, things we like, things we don’t like, and our own special lens with which we view the world and the people around us.As you’ve probably come to know, some people are more social and some people less social.Social people genuinely love being around others. Going to a concert or big event is exciting.  In a school setting, a social person might form a study group to take advantage of other people’s unique skills. Or perhaps after moving to a new neighborhood they might go out of their way to knock on someone’s door just to introduce themselves.

For a very introverted person, however, those things wouldn’t come easy at all. What comes naturally for a social person might feel like pulling teeth for an introverted person—downright draining and emotionally painful or distressing.

                                         Photo courtesy:

An introverted person needs time alone to recharge their batteries, collect their thoughts and feel rested. Not just every now and then, but most of the time in fact. An introverted person moving into a new neighborhood may be thankful they already have one or two close friends and not feel they need to meet anyone new. Spending nights at home, even if they haven’t gone out in months, will still be more attractive to an introverted person than going out. And studying alone will be far more productive and relaxed than the stress of having to study in a group.

Sometimes we think we should be more like others. An introverted person might wonder “why don’t I have as much fun when I do those same things?”The nice thing is, we’re not all meant to be the same, and understanding that, can bring relief. After all, it would be a very boring world if everyone was a carbon copy of us, right?


Let others know how you feel

One thing all of us do have in common is we all like to feel understood. It feels good when someone “gets” us, when we don’t have to explain ourselves. But it’s not always easy, especially because we’re so different. Sometimes we need to give others a clear idea of what we’re going through and let them into our world so they can help us.

                                    Photo courtesy:

That’s why an article I read today struck me as refreshing: “If you don’t have it, chronic anxiety can be hard to understand.” This article is made up of a series of relatable cartoon drawings, taking a light-hearted look at what it feels like to be an introverted person experiencing chronic anxiety and giving lots of tips on how to let others into your world so they can understand what you go through a little better.


How can yoga help?

This got me thinking about how great yoga is for charging my batteries. Not only asanas, which help sooth my nerves and balance my emotions, but also meditation, which brings me peace and joy.

Spending time daily, nourishing my body, mind and spirit with time-tested ancient yoga practices, is my key to experiencing wellness and health. Although I love spending time with my family and close friends, I can easily identify with those who crave solitude. It is, after all, a quality of a yogi to spend time alone in prayer and meditation, being thoughtful and undistracted.

I also know that for anyone who struggles with chronic anxiety, whether they’re an introverted person or social, there’s no straightforward answer. We can just do our best and take advantage of the tools we have that will help us understand ourselves better.

Wishing You Well,
Wai Lana


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Yoga Symbols and What They Mean

Whether you are new to the practice of yoga or not, you have likely seen some lovely symbols in yoga literature or in your yoga studio. Maybe it was an intriguing OM or the lotus flower. So, what do they mean and what is their significance within the practice of yoga? I recently came across a blog post Spiritual Yoga Symbols And What They Mean which discusses these increasingly widespread emblems.

Let’s look at some of the most popular: Mala Beads, OM, the Lotus, and Namaste – and what is their implication and importance in yoga.

Mala Beads
Mala beads, also referred to as japa beads, are traditionally seen as a type of necklace worn by yogis, or held in their hands as they engage in meditation. But the beads have more than a decorative purpose. They are used in the practice of Japa Meditation, a personal meditation that involves sitting or walking and softly repeating a mantra while your fingers keep track by moving from one bead to the next.

This is a very ancient form of yoga meditation and is highly recommended in today’s busy and over-stimulated atmosphere. I teach how to practice Japa Meditation in my Easy Meditation For Everyone Kit which also includes a set of japa beads.

Om (Aum)
The transcendental sound vibration Om is the principle word in the yoga literatures. It is the sound representation of the Supreme Soul, the cause of all causes, and the origin of everything animate and inanimate.

This sacred mantra Om is often chanted at the beginning and end of yoga classes and meditation practices. Another example is the five-syllable mantra “Om Hari Om” which you will find chanted at the end of some of my yoga workouts.

Beautiful silk shawls with embroidered Om are also available on my website. These are quite practical for keeping you warm while sitting during Japa Meditation, or after your yoga class as your body is cooling down.

The lotus is not only the national flower of India, it is a well-known and exquisite symbol in yoga. The lotus flower grows from the mud on the bottom of a lake. The yogis describe that the lotus rises untouched out of the dimness of the muddy water and into the sunlight. Similarly, through meditation, a person can live in this world untouched by its anxieties and feel the warmth of spiritual happiness.

That something so beautiful, pure, and luminous can rise above darkness is an appropriate symbol of yoga meditation.

Namaste is a greeting in ancient Sanskrit that is still used in India today and is growing in use all around the world due to the influence of yoga.

Namaste translates to mean that I, the individual soul within the body, recognizes and respectfully greets you, the individual soul within your body. I was inspired to write a song titled Namaste for International Yoga Day 2015, expressing the joy and meaning of Namaste.

Wai Lana


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Coping with Autoimmune Diseases

A friend of mine told me about an article she read about a woman dealing with people's reactions to her chronic illness. Having a chronic illness like an autoimmune disease can make life very complicated, as it’s difficult to get an accurate diagnosis of what is happening in your body. A general consensus from the medical community is that many autoimmune illnesses are not curable so the focus should be on treating the symptoms.

However, autoimmune disease symptoms, at different times, can be intense or minimal and can come and go. It is always good to check with your doctor before you try any new treatments, but there are two simple lifestyle changes that can help minimize the symptoms: diet and exercise.

Diet and exercise play such an important role for anyone looking to enrich their lives and sense of wellbeing. Transitioning towards a plant-based diet, rich in whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables, is a great place to start. And for exercise, obviously I’m a fan of yoga asanas.

Whether or not we suffer from an autoimmune disease or other chronic illness, each of us can alleviate our stress with the regular practice of meditation. I recently produced a very user-friendly & Easy Meditation Kit, which is suitable for all ages and health conditions. You can easily learn how to practice meditation in the privacy of your own home, and practice at a pace that suits your lifestyle and limitations. You can also find soothing relief and relaxation just by watching some of the inspirational yoga wisdom meditations like this below.

10 Minute Guided Meditation Experience by Wai Lana

Keep in mind that a person suffering from an autoimmune disease does not always display the external symptoms of someone who has, for example, a broken arm or a twisted ankle. And it may be hard for those of us who are physically healthy to grasp that some people just don’t have the energy to get out of bed for several days in a row. Two key principles of the yoga lifestyle are being humble and not judging others. By developing a non-judgmental attitude, we can make everyone we come into contact with, whether they have an autoimmune disease or not, feel valued and loved.

Wishing you well,
Wai Lana


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Busting Myths about Mental Health

People often approach the subject of mental illness with trepidation and fear. However, recently I read a blog article by Danielle Hark called 7 Myths That You Shouldn’t Believe About Staying in a Mental Hospital that gives readers a more realistic picture of what staying in a mental health facility is like.

Danielle describes her own short stays in several facilities as a far cry from the “creepy monochromatic clinical space filled with zombies and screaming people” that is perpetuated by the movies.  She paints a more down-to-earth picture of real people learning to cope.

Her article inspired me to share coping tools from a yogi’s perspective, to help break free from the myths that hold us back from experiencing real wellness.

What influences us
As sentient beings, we are impacted by our surroundings throughout our lives. TV shows, movies, politics, the news, popular music, and the conversations we have—including what we see and hear in our minds—all affect our consciousness. Sometime these influences can lead to suffering and or confusing.

Trying to be detached so that we don’t become too overwhelmed is a great challenge, especially when it comes to the influence the mind has on us. We’ve all experienced how hard it can be to bring stillness and peace to the mind.

Know thyself
A little perspective goes a long way….


    Yoga teaches us that just as we wear a pair of jeans or a winter coat, we, the eternal living being, also have on a physical covering—the body. The body we have can also be compared to a machine or a car since we use it to do things and to get us places.


Just as we wear external garments like pants and jackets, we also have undergarments, which in this analogy would be the mind. We can’t see it, but we experience the mind’s presence and flickering, unsteady nature. However, we are not our minds, as evidenced by the fact we can change or try to control our minds.


Through yoga we can come to experience the peacefulness and freedom from fear in knowing that we are actually spiritual beings, distinct from the physical body and subtle mind.We are the soul within the body which gives the body life and consciousness.

A yogi sees the deeper aspects
True Yogis see all beings as spiritual and recognize the need to not only take care of their own physical, mental, and emotional health, but also their spiritual well-being, in order to be happy and fulfill their true purpose.

This way of seeing our true selves gives real meaning to our human journey. It helps us get through the hard times, when our bodies are out of balance or sick and our minds are troubled. It gives us a way to stay steady and focused through life’s ups and downs.

Wishing You Well
Wai Lana


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The Root Cause of Back Pain

I happened to come across an article entitled 9 More Yoga Stretches to Help Relieve Hip & Back Pain. The largely sedentary lifestyle that many of us have adopted, no matter how fit we think we are, will inevitably lead to some sort of pain and discomfort in the body. According to the American Chiropractic Association, most cases of back pain are caused by how we move or don’t move throughout our day, not by serious conditions like arthritis, infection, fractures, or even cancer. What this means is that we can not only alleviate back pain but also prevent it, based on how and how much we move throughout our day.

There were some nice yoga stretches presented in that article. I even teach some of them in my Easy Series Yoga DVD because I know they work. Along with that, as I witness the bodies of my friends and family, as well as my own, aging, I have realized that hip and back pain prevention lies largely in the lifestyle choices we make. Whether I choose to take the stairs rather than the elevator; if I choose to drive a mile up the road rather than walk; whether or not I chose to begin each day with some yoga or walking rather than a quick cup of coffee; if I choose to watch a few hours of TV at the end of a long work day, rather than take a relaxing, contemplative walk.

Half of all Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. How can this be prevented? We can’t simply treat exercise like a prescription drug that we take for some time and then stop once the pain goes away. Eventually, it always comes back to the question: what can I do to relieve and prevent back pain?

One suggestion is that we adopt a regular well-rounded yoga routine that will not only relieve hip and back pain but prevent it from occurring in the first place. If a 30-minute practice doesn’t suit your busy schedule, then practice 15 minutes twice a day or even 15 minutes once a day. Or how about adding a brisk walk at the beginning or end of each day.

And don’t overlook the mental and emotional stress that can lead to back pain. A good friend of mine who is quite active in her daily life admits that when she is under stress, she eats more and moves less. As soon as she takes the time to slow down, take a walk, and become more contemplative, adopting some of the meditation techniques mentioned in my blog, 3 Tips for Integrating Meditation into Your Busy Routine, her back pain goes away. A new approach to your back pain may truly be life-changing.

Wishing you well,
Wai Lana


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Albert Einstein: So Much More Than E=mc2

Albert Einstein is arguably the most recognized scientist of the 20th century.  His claim to fame is his seemingly simple but ground breaking understanding of the correlation between mass and energy contained in his equation E=mc2. But there was so much more to the man than this equation.

In a most revealing article by UPLIFT, Albert Einstein marveled at the mystery of God in nature, and applauded the ideals of great spiritual teachers such as Buddha and Jesus. In comments, made in a series of meetings with William Hermanns in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, he gave us a fascinating glimpse into how he saw the world:

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“The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation. If we look at this tree outside whose roots search beneath the pavement for water, or a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees, or even our own selves and the inner forces that drive us to act, we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune, and the piper who plays this melody from an inscrutable distance—whatever name we give him—Creative Force, or God—escapes all book knowledge.”

Albert Einstein was exposed to eastern mysticism through his friendship with the Indian scholar and writer Rabindranath Tagore, the very first non-western winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 who was also a friend of Mohandas Gandhi.  His understanding of the interplay between what is spiritual and what is material was clearly influenced by his interest in the ancient Vedic literature, the source of much yoga philosophy.

“Creation may be spiritual in origin, but that doesn’t mean that everything created is spiritual. How can I explain such things to you? Let us accept the world is a mystery. Nature is neither solely material nor entirely spiritual. Man, too, is more than flesh and blood; otherwise, no religions would have been possible. Behind each cause is still another cause; the end or the beginning of all causes has yet to be found. Yet, only one thing must be remembered: there is no effect without a cause, and there is no lawlessness in creation,” he commented.

Remarkably, Albert Einstein said if he hadn’t an absolute faith in the harmony of creation, he wouldn’t have tried for thirty years to express it in a mathematical formula. “It is only man’s consciousness of what he does with his mind that elevates him above the animals, and enables him to become aware of himself and his relationship to the universe,” he added.

Einstein believed that the real scientist has faith in God.  “If we want to improve the world we cannot do it with scientific knowledge but with ideals. Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Gandhi have done more for humanity than science has done. We must begin with the heart of man—with his conscience—and the values of conscience can only be manifested by selfless service to mankind. Religion and science go together. Science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind. They are interdependent and have a common goal—the search for truth. Hence it is absurd for religion to proscribe Galileo or Darwin or other scientists. And it is equally absurd when scientists say that there is no God. The real scientist has faith, which does not mean that he must subscribe to a creed. Without religion, there is no charity. The soul given to each of us is moved by the same living spirit that moves the universe.”

The process of yoga is a quest to understand the truth as it is—regardless of whether the yoga practitioner wants to believe that truth or not. Albert Einstein was unlike many modern day scientists, who are predisposed to disbelieving in the existence of the Supreme Lord. So while everyone knows that Albert Einstein was a scientist, few realize that he was actually a yogi in the sense that he was seeking out the actual truth and open to accepting what was revealed to him.


Wishing you well,

Wai Lana


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