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Media’s portrayal of meditation and yoga

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Media’s portrayal of meditation and yoga

  1. 1. WESTERN MEDIA’S PORTRAYAL OF MEDITATION AND YOGA Erica Hett
  2. 2. EASTERN RELIGIOUS ORIGINS OF MEDITATION AND YOGA <ul><li>Hinduism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meditative yoga leads to samadhi- deep concentration leading to liberation of self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yoga = system for attaining liberation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Knott, Hinduism ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Buddhism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meditation involves visualization and concentration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Samadhi and Siddhi </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Visualize Buddha world and living in it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enables people to navigate through life and escape samsara. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>( Lopez, The Story of Buddhism ) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. FROM THE WEST TO THE EAST… <ul><li>“ How Yoga Won the West” </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/opinion/sunday/how-yoga-won-the-west.html?_r=1 </li></ul><ul><li>Vivekananda (1863-1902) brought yoga from the East to the West. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus of yoga: religion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduced religious yoga to the West, not the type of yoga seen today in the West. </li></ul></ul>Vivekananda, who traveled widely to deliver his spiritual message, in Pasadena, California, in 1900.
  4. 4. THEMES SEEN IN WESTERN MEDIA: <ul><li>Yoga and meditation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces stress and clears the mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improves overall health and can improve health conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases body fitness (flexibility and strength) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yoga studios </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Meditation reduces everyday stress <ul><li>Media often conveys meditation as a “quick-fix” to our stressors </li></ul><ul><li>“ 10-Minute Meditation For a More Peaceful Holiday Season” </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-davenport/meditation-tips-_b_1097870. html </li></ul><ul><li>Holiday season is stressful, but meditation can help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meditation leads to a “more tranquil mind and compassionate awareness.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This 10-minute meditation routine includes three sections: Body Wise, Heart Wise and Soul Wise </li></ul></ul>http://www.jackiepetersonpaintings.com/images/Winter%20Meditation.jpg
  6. 6. “ Meditation: A simple fast way to reduce stress ” <ul><li>Written by the Mayo Clinic staff: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits of meditation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decrease stress levels, helps certain medical conditions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced physical and emotional well-being </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meditation: a type of mind-body complementary medicine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relaxation and peaceful mind </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yoga- leads to a more flexible body and calm mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elements of meditation: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focused attention, relaxed breathing, quiet setting, comfortable position </li></ul></ul></ul>http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meditation/HQ01070
  7. 7. Meditation improves health <ul><li>Meditation helps with a variety of health problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers use functional magnetic resonance imaging scans (fMRI) to look at how meditators’ brains are different than those who don’t meditate. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience meditators have decreased activity in areas of brain called the default mode network. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leading to “lapse of disorders such as anxiety, ADHD, and buildup of beta amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease.” </li></ul></ul></ul>“ Meditation may help brain tune out distractions ” http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/news/meditation-may-help-brain-tune-out-distractions Picture above is a fMRI scan of experienced meditators. “The areas shaded in blue highlight areas of decreased activity in meditators’ brains.”
  8. 8. Yoga in schools improves students’ concentration “ Class is in session at Achievement First Bushwick Elementary School, a charter school where students are taught in a hallway by instructors from Little Flower Yoga.” “ In Schools, Yoga Without the Spiritual” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/nyregion/in-yoga-classes-at-schools-teachers-avoid-the-spiritual.html?_r=4&ref=religionandbelief   <ul><li>Yoga in schools is presented as non-religious. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ No om. No prayer position with the hands. Nothing that anyone could look in and think, this is religious.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bent on Learning program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaches yoga to children in school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improves students’ concentration and reduces their stress levels. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Yoga enhances the body and mind <ul><li>“ 9 Yoga Poses to Connect the Body and Mind” </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elena-brower/yoga-wellness_b_1092453.html </li></ul><ul><li>Yoga helps increase muscle flexibility and wellness of your mind </li></ul><ul><li>Yoga sequence: Nine poses that enhance your body and mind </li></ul>At left is the first two poses of the yoga sequence: “ From standing with feet parallel, inhale your arms high overhead. With eyes soft, exhale your arms out wide to shoulder height. Repeat this 9 times. Breathe under your arms, into all sides of your heart & let your breathing tell you when to move. Feel your body absorbing that motion.”
  10. 10. Competition between yoga studios <ul><li>“ Off the Mat, Into Court: Lawsuit Pits Bikram and Yoga to the People” </li></ul><ul><li>http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/off-the-mat-into-court-lawsuit-pits-bikram-and-yoga-to-the-people/?ref=yoga </li></ul><ul><li>Two studios (Bikram Yoga NYC and Yoga to the People) in New York offer Bikram Yoga </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competition between the two studios led to a lawsuit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Founder of Bikram Yoga is suing Yoga to the People for copyright infringement. </li></ul></ul>Bikram Yoga- series of yoga poses done in a heated room.
  11. 11. Diverse yoga classes <ul><li>“ Downward Facing Dude” </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/articles/2011/11/10/how_two_broga_enthusiasts_hope_to_make_yoga_more_accessible_for_men/?page=full </li></ul><ul><li>Broga class (blending of the words “bro” and “yoga”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose: To have men feel more comfortable while doing yoga. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasizes yoga as physical exercise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yoga is “slightly more aggressive”(includes push-ups and squats between poses). </li></ul></ul></ul>Broga enthusiasts hope to make yoga more accessible for men.
  12. 12. CONCLUSION <ul><ul><li>The portrayal of yoga and meditation in the media has a large influence on the way people interpret the purpose of these practices. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Western media emphasizes that meditation and yoga are ways to maintain physical health. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreases stress levels, clears the mind, increases body fitness, and improves overall health. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The religious origins (Buddhism and Hinduism) of yoga are not seen in Western media. </li></ul>

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