Arrived late last night in torrential downpour. Driving was hazardous, many are delayed and some people have cancelled. First thing for me was to check the internet connection.
Here in the main building of the Himalayan Institute is a tearoom where we can access the internet. As would be expected, late at night, the tearoom was full of students winding down, studying, and checking email. I couldn't escape overhearing their conversation about the 'scientific yoga conference tomorrow'.
One woman said she didn't understand why there would be such a thing as a scientific yoga conference. What were these people going to do, she asked her friends. A young man responded that it was like a science fair, they'd have posters and they'd stand beside them and explain how yoga works. Lots of eye-rolling. One wondered if there would be lots of booths so they could shop.
I chuckled a little at this, after all, these are students at the Himalayan Institute, founded by Swami Rama, who himself was one of the earliest research subjects on yoga practices. But it points out a prevalent attitude and lack of awareness toward yoga research by the general yoga community. The view is still held, that since we know yoga works, why should we have to prove it?
A few minutes ago I ran into Dr. Lorenzo Cohen in the hall outside the tearoom and he related to me, the story about the HI students that I just told you! We laughed about it, but here's the point. Yoga without research is fine if we don't care about the millions upon millions of really sick people who can benefit from the practices but have no awareness of it nor ability to avail themselves of it. As Dr. Cohen just told me, If we want to change the world we have to speak the language that will encourage and allow doctors, nurses, others who are responsible for people within the system, to use the yoga. For that, we need proof.
The pre-conference starts at 1 pm. Om shanti, Julie