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"This is the text that preservice teachers will take into practice and practicing teachers will turn to again and again to improve classroom culture and learning, with clear guidelines for essential SEL and academic linkages, a wealth of selective extensive teaching resources in multiple media and feedback from real teachers who have adopted this work in their classrooms"--

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson presents his research on how social and emotional learning can affect the brain. Read more about the topic, including how to use social and emotional learning to stop bullying, on our Edutopia website: http://www.edutopia.org/social-emotio...

"A call to advance integrative teaching and learning in higher education. From Parker Palmer, best-selling author of The Courage to Teach, and Arthur Zajonc, professor of physics at Amherst College and director of the academic program of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, comes this call to revisit the roots and reclaim the vision of higher education. The Heart of Higher Education proposes an approach to teaching and learning that honors the whole human being--mind, heart, and spirit--an essential integration if we hope to address the complex issues of our time. The book offers a rich interplay of analysis, theory, and proposals for action from two educators and writers who have contributed to developing the field of integrative education over the past few decades. Presents Parker Palmer's powerful response to critics of holistic learning and Arthur Zajonc's elucidation of the relationship between science, the humanities, and the contemplative traditions. Explores ways to take steps toward making colleges and universities places that awaken the deepest potential in students, faculty, and staff. Offers a practical approach to fostering renewal in higher education through collegiality and conversation. The Heart of Higher Education is for all who are new to the field of holistic education, all who want to deepen their understanding of its challenges, and all who want to practice and promote this vital approach to teaching and learning on their campuses"--Provided by publisher.

A call to advance integrative teaching and learning in higher education. From Parker Palmer, best-selling author of The Courage to Teach, and Arthur Zajonc, professor of physics at Amherst College and director of the academic program of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, comes this call to revisit the roots and reclaim the vision of higher education. The Heart of Higher Education proposes an approach to teaching and learning that honors the whole human being--mind, heart, and spirit--an essential integration if we hope to address the complex issues of our time. The book offers a rich interplay of analysis, theory, and proposals for action from two educators and writers who have contributed to developing the field of integrative education over the past few decades. Presents Parker Palmer's powerful response to critics of holistic learning and Arthur Zajonc's elucidation of the relationship between science, the humanities, and the contemplative traditions. Explores ways to take steps toward making colleges and universities places that awaken the deepest potential in students, faculty, and staff. Offers a practical approach to fostering renewal in higher education through collegiality and conversation. The Heart of Higher Education is for all who are new to the field of holistic education, all who want to deepen their understanding of its challenges, and all who want to practice and promote this vital approach to teaching and learning on their campuses

<p>The dynamic interactions among physiological rhythms imbedded in the heart rate signal can give valuable insights into autonomic modulation in conditions of reduced outward attention. Therefore, in this study we analyzed the heart rate variability (HRV) in different levels of practice in Zen meditation (Zazen). Nineteen subjects with variable experience took part in this study. In four special cases we collected both HRV and respiration data. The time series were analyzed in frequency domain and also using the Continuous Wavelet Transform, which detects changes in the time domain and in the frequency domain simultaneously. The shifts in the respiratory modulation of heart rate, or respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), reflect the different levels of practice among practitioners with variable experience in Zazen; in turn the modulation of the RSA may reflect changes in the breathing pattern as in the parasympathetic outflow related to the quality and focus of attention in each stage.</p>
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Cardiac vagal tone can be seen as a stable marker for the ability to sustain attention and regulate emotion, two factors associated with the quality of meditation. In this study, heart rate variability (HRV) has been monitored in different forms of Shamatha quiescence meditation: three breath meditations, Settling the Mind in its natural state, Awareness of Awareness, Loving-kindness and Tonglen. Establish and test a practical means of monitoring neurobiological effects of meditation. Over 6 weeks, two experimental groups practiced Shamatha meditation on a daily basis (n = 20). HRV patterns and cortisol tests were monitored at three measuring points during these weeks, and an attention focus test was performed at the start and after 6 weeks. Six weeks of regular practice in Shamatha meditation were associated with HRV indices suggesting improvements in the homeostatic regulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in 85% of the HRV recordings (tachogram and frequency specter) of all 20 subjects. Further, a substantial decrease in cortisol levels was also noted. The attention focus test showed a significant increase of 18.7% in sustained attention, moving from medium to high attention focus, with a significant result of t(20) = - 8.764 and p < 0.001. Participants reported positive subjective changes in attention focus, sense of happiness and calmness and increased abilities in emotional regulation and attunement. Six weeks of regular practice in Shamatha meditation contributes to a substantial increase of attention focus and a decrease in stress levels evidenced in changes in diurnal cortisol measures. HRV biofeedback shows that the sympathetic nervous system is counterbalanced by increased vagal tone, and autonomic balance is enhanced by all Shamatha meditations, not only breath meditations, but also mind meditations: Settling the Mind in its natural state, Awareness of Awareness, Loving-kindness and Tonglen. Although these results are promising, further research is recommended with HRV biofeedback instruments to report statistical analysis and to understand unique HRV patterns in Shamatha mind meditation.

Cardiac vagal tone can be seen as a stable marker for the ability to sustain attention and regulate emotion, two factors associated with the quality of meditation. In this study, heart rate variability (HRV) has been monitored in different forms of Shamatha quiescence meditation: three breath meditations, Settling the Mind in its natural state, Awareness of Awareness, Loving-kindness and Tonglen. Establish and test a practical means of monitoring neurobiological effects of meditation. Over 6 weeks, two experimental groups practiced Shamatha meditation on a daily basis (n = 20). HRV patterns and cortisol tests were monitored at three measuring points during these weeks, and an attention focus test was performed at the start and after 6 weeks. Six weeks of regular practice in Shamatha meditation were associated with HRV indices suggesting improvements in the homeostatic regulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in 85% of the HRV recordings (tachogram and frequency specter) of all 20 subjects. Further, a substantial decrease in cortisol levels was also noted. The attention focus test showed a significant increase of 18.7% in sustained attention, moving from medium to high attention focus, with a significant result of t(20) = - 8.764 and p < 0.001. Participants reported positive subjective changes in attention focus, sense of happiness and calmness and increased abilities in emotional regulation and attunement. Six weeks of regular practice in Shamatha meditation contributes to a substantial increase of attention focus and a decrease in stress levels evidenced in changes in diurnal cortisol measures. HRV biofeedback shows that the sympathetic nervous system is counterbalanced by increased vagal tone, and autonomic balance is enhanced by all Shamatha meditations, not only breath meditations, but also mind meditations: Settling the Mind in its natural state, Awareness of Awareness, Loving-kindness and Tonglen. Although these results are promising, further research is recommended with HRV biofeedback instruments to report statistical analysis and to understand unique HRV patterns in Shamatha mind meditation.

Day time activities are known to influence the sleep on the following night. Cyclic meditation (CM) has recurring cycles. Previously, the low frequency (LF) power and the ratio between low frequency and high frequency (LF/HF ratio) of the heart rate variability (HRV) decreased during and after CM but not after a comparable period of supine rest (SR). In the present study, on thirty male volunteers, CM was practiced twice in the day and after this the HRV was recorded (1) while awake and (2) during 6 h of sleep (based on EEG, EMG and EGG recordings). This was similarly recorded for the night’s sleep following the day time practice of SR. Participants were randomly assigned to the two sessions and all of them practiced both CM and SR on different days. During the night following day time CM practice there were the following changes; a decrease in heart rate, LF power (n.u.), LF/HF ratio, and an increase in the number of pairs of Normal to Normal RR intervals differing by more than 50 ms divided by total number of all NN intervals (pNN50) (P < 0.05, in all cases, comparing sleep following CM compared with sleep following SR). No change was seen on the night following SR. Hence yoga practice during the day appears to shift sympatho-vagal balance in favor of parasympathetic dominance during sleep on the following night.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia are directly associated with autonomic flexibility, self-regulation and well-being, and inversely associated with physiological stress, psychological stress and pathology. Yoga enhances autonomic activity, mitigates stress and benefits stress-related clinical conditions, yet the relationship between autonomic activity and psychophysiological responses during yoga practices and stressful stimuli has not been widely explored. This experimental study explored the relationship between HRV, mood states and flow experiences in regular yoga practitioners (YP), non-yoga practitioners (NY) and people with metabolic syndrome (MetS), during Mental Arithmetic Stress Test (MAST) and various yoga practices. The study found that the MAST placed a cardio-autonomic burden in all participants with the YP group showing the greatest reactivity and the most rapid recovery, while the MetS group had significantly blunted recovery. The YP group also reported a heightened experience of flow and positive mood states compared to NY and MetS groups as well as having a higher vagal tone during all resting conditions. These results suggest yoga practitioners have a greater homeostatic capacity and autonomic, metabolic and physiological resilience. Further studies are now needed to determine if regular yoga practice may improve autonomic flexibility in non-yoga practitioners and metabolic syndrome patients. Clinical Trial No 'ACTRN 2614001075673'.

Amidst the doom and gloom that dominates the headlines, a different kind of story about an alternative future is unfolding. The players are activists, visionaries and cultural innovators, the backdrop is the tipping point of our global and environmental challenges, and the narrative is the molding of a new paradigm to shape our collective future.


The first yoga text to outline a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to viniyoga--yoga adapted to the needs of the individual.• A contemporary classic by a world-renowned teacher. • This new edition adds thirty-two poems by Krishnamacharya that capture the essence of his teachings. Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who lived to be over 100 years old, was one of the greatest yogis of the modern era. Elements of Krishnamacharya's teaching have become well known around the world through the work of B. K. S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and Indra Devi, who all studied with Krishnamacharya. Krishnamacharya's son T. K. V. Desikachar lived and studied with his father all his life and now teaches the full spectrum of Krishnamacharya's yoga. Desikachar has based his method on Krishnamacharya's fundamental concept of viniyoga, which maintains that practices must be continually adapted to the individual's changing needs to achieve the maximum therapeutic value. In The Heart of Yoga Desikachar offers a distillation of his father's system as well as his own practical approach, which he describes as "a program for the spine at every level--physical, mental, and spiritual." This is the first yoga text to outline a step-by-step sequence for developing a complete practice according to the age-old principles of yoga. Desikachar discusses all the elements of yoga--poses and counterposes, conscious breathing, meditation, and philosophy--and shows how the yoga student may develop a practice tailored to his or her current state of health, age, occupation, and lifestyle.

OBJECTIVE: Cortisol reactivity to stress is associated with affective eating, an important behavioral risk factor for obesity and related metabolic diseases. Yoga practice is related to decreases in stress and cortisol levels, thus emerging as a potential targeted complementary intervention for affective eating. This randomized controlled trial examined the efficacy of a heated, hatha yoga intervention for reducing cortisol reactivity to stress and affective eating. METHOD: Females (N = 52; ages 25-46 years; 75% White) at risk for obesity and related illnesses were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of Bikram Yoga practice or to waitlist control. Cortisol reactivity to a laboratory stress induction were measured at Weeks 0 (pretreatment) and 9 (posttreatment). Self-reported binge eating frequency and coping motives for eating were assessed at Weeks 0, 3, 6, and 9. RESULTS: Among participants with elevated cortisol reactivity at pretreatment ("high reactors"), those randomized to the yoga condition evidenced greater pre- to posttreatment reductions in cortisol reactivity (p = .042, d = .85), but there were not significant condition differences for the "low reactors" (p = .178, d = .53). Yoga participants reported greater decreases in binge eating frequency (p = .040, d = .62) and eating to cope with negative affect (p = .038, d = .54). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides preliminary support for the efficacy of heated hatha yoga for treating physiological stress reactivity and affective eating among women at risk for obesity-related illnesses. (PsycINFO Database Record

We present a new subcortical structure shape modeling framework using heat kernel smoothing constructed with the Laplace-Beltrami eigenfunctions. The cotan discretization is used to numerically obtain the eigenfunctions of the Laplace-Beltrami operator along the surface of subcortical structures of the brain. The eigenfunctions are then used to construct the heat kernel and used in smoothing out measurements noise along the surface. The proposed framework is applied in investigating the influence of age (38-79 years) and gender on amygdala and hippocampus shape. We detected a significant age effect on hippocampus in accordance with the previous studies. In addition, we also detected a significant gender effect on amygdala. Since we did not find any such differences in the traditional volumetric methods, our results demonstrate the benefit of the current framework over traditional volumetric methods.
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In 2006, one of the hottest years on record, a “pizzly” was discovered near the top of the world. Half polar bear, half grizzly, this never-before-seen animal might be dismissed as a fluke of nature. Anthony Barnosky instead sees it as a harbinger of things to come.In Heatstroke, the renowned paleoecologist shows how global warming is fundamentally changing the natural world and its creatures. While melting ice may have helped produce the pizzly, climate change is more likely to wipe out species than to create them. Plants and animals that have followed the same rhythms for millennia are suddenly being confronted with a world they’re unprepared for—and adaptation usually isn’t an option. This is not the first time climate change has dramatically transformed Earth. Barnosky draws connections between the coming centuries and the end of the last ice age, when mass extinctions swept the planet. The differences now are that climate change is faster and hotter than past changes, and for the first time humanity is driving it. Which means this time we can work to stop it. No one knows exactly what nature will come to look like in this new age of global warming. But Heatstroke gives us a haunting portrait of what we stand to lose and the vitality of what can be saved.

“It is literally neurobiologically impossible to think deeply about things that you don’t care about,” says the neuroscientist Mary Helen Immordino-Yang.

<p>Context: In the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War, a project was initiated and designed to reduce tension in the children living in the area under bombardment. Aims: To assess the impact of yoga intervention in a group of Israeli school children residing in the region affected by the Second Lebanon War. Settings and Design: The study population included 122 school children aged 8–12 years in two elementary schools in Safed (n=55 and n=67, respectively) and their teachers (n=6). The children attended the third grade (n=28), fourth grade (n=42) and sixth grade (n=52)., Inclusion in the study was based on the school principal’s consent to participate in the program. Materials and Methods: Assessment was conducted using three questionnaires that have been previously validated in international studies and translated to Hebrew. Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical analysis of the results included Wilcoxon Signed Ranked Tests for pre- and post-intervention comparisons and the Kruskall–Wallis test for teacher and child cross-comparisons. Results: Based on the questionnaires completed by the children and their teachers, we found that the teachers reported many statistically significant improvements in the children’s concentration, mood and ability to function under pressure, although the children themselves were unaware of any change in their behavior. Enjoyment was reported by all participants, and almost all expressed an interest in continuing to practice yoga during school hours. We conclude that participation in yoga classes may be both enjoyable and beneficial to children living in stressful conditions. Conclusions: The study indicates that yoga may be beneficial as an intervention for children in postwar stress situations.</p>
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