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Om at the Airport: Helsinki Offering Yoga for Stressed Travelers
Posted on 2014/7/9 17:02:35 ( 295 reads )

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HELSINKI, FINLAND, June 10, 2014 (New York Daily News): Passengers departing Helsinki can now reduce the stress of travel by participating in pre-flight yoga and Pilates classes being offered through the airport's TravelLab, which aims to improve the experience of flying. As part of a testing phase, a limited selection of Om sessions are available to all passengers, regardless of which airline and class of service they selected.

Classes are held in the newly opened "Kainuu" relaxation space near gate 30, designed by TravelLab with a great outdoors theme. During the test phase, classes, which are 20 minutes long, have been few and far between, meaning passengers looking to pop into a session may have a hard time finding one that corresponds with their flight schedule. The Kainuu relaxation space is open 24 hours per day, however, so passengers looking to practice independently may do so at any time. (A final yoga class was scheduled for June 10).

Helsinki Airport is the latest of several to add a yoga program: others include San Francisco, Dallas Fort Worth and Chicago O'Hare.

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How Church Sales Reflect the Shifting American Demographic
Posted on 2014/7/9 17:02:28 ( 292 reads )

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UNITED STATES, July 2, 2014 (The Atlantic by Tanya Basu): In early June, I visited my hometown of Glendale Heights, about 25 miles west of Chicago. Making my way through the old avenues that had marked my childhood, I noticed something curious: The churches that had dominated the street corners of my suburban youth--from magnificent stone structures with ornate stained glass windows to homey, unmarked brick buildings--were either getting demolished or being sold to become Hindu temples.

As strange as it may be to see "Gayatri Gyan Mandir" on the outside of a building that could be next to the dictionary entry for "church," it's part of a larger story of the changing demographics of American society. It's not just in Chicago, and it's not a unidirectional trend. Synagogues are becoming mosques, Baptists are changing hands with Korean congregations, pagodas are moving into office buildings.

The handover in houses of worship across the country is not a straightforward case of an increase in non-Christian immigrants in the United States. In fact, many church sales can be attributed to shifts among Christian denominations.Roman Catholic weekly service attendance has slid from 75 percent in 1955 to 45 percent in the mid-2000s, while Southern Baptist and Evangelical churches have seen big drops in attendance.

Beyond the Christian faith, immigration is shaping the religious landscape of America and influencing the church purchasing process. A recent map from the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies of the second most popular religions in states across the country showed that Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism were represented strongly across the country. Though Christianity remains the overwhelmingly dominant religion of choice in the U.S., other faiths are quickly growing, such as Hinduism in Arizona and Delaware and the Baha'i faith in South Carolina.

More at source.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/9 17:02:13 ( 236 reads )

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In my silence, I experience one vast garden, spread out through the universe. All plants, all human beings, all higher devas are about it in various ways and each has his own uniqueness and beauty. Their presence and variety give me great delight. Every one of you adds in a special way to the glory of this garden."
-- Sri Anandamayi Ma, (1896-1982), Bengali mystic

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Admar Mutt Appoints Junior Pontiff
Posted on 2014/7/8 17:28:41 ( 301 reads )

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KUNJARGIRI, INDIA, June 20, 2014 (The Hindu): Vishwapriya Tirtha Swami of Admar Math on Thursday anointed a junior seer of the math, which is one of the eight monastery or Ashta Maths of Udupi. Ishapriya Tirtha Swami (29) was anointed after he accepted sannyas diksha or intitiation as a sannyasin monk. He is the 33rd seer in the lineage or guru parampara of Admar Math.

Various rituals, including Pattabhishekha, were conducted amidst chanting of mantras at Sri Durgadevi temple, which is located atop a hill here. All the rituals took place under the guidance of Vishvapriya Tirtha Swami. Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swami of Palimar Math was also present. Ishapriya Tirtha will study shastras under his guidance.

A large number of devotees had come to witness the event. A BE degree holder in Mechanical Engineering, Ishapriya Tirtha Swami is the first highly academically qualified seer at the Ashta Maths. Herga Vedavyasa Bhat, priest at Sri Krishna Math, Udupi, told press persons that before giving sannyas initiation to a person, his inclination towards spirituality was checked. His horoscope was also consulted.

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Group Offers Yoga in the Face of Violence
Posted on 2014/7/8 17:28:26 ( 324 reads )

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, July 3, 2014 (Houston Chronicle): With their brightly colored mats spread along a sidewalk, Tameka Lawson's yoga students try to follow her instructions: concentrate on their breathing and focus on the beauty of their surroundings. But this is Englewood, one of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods, where streets are dotted with boarded-up houses and overgrown lots, and residents are as familiar with the crackle of gunfire as the chime of an ice cream truck. So while the students stretch their arms to the sky, a man the size of a refrigerator stands guard over the class.

It seems odd, all these slow movements, deep breathing and talk about being centered in a neighborhood ruled by drug-dealing gangs. It's simply the latest attempt to curb violence in a city where the number of homicides and guns seized leads the nation. The hope is that yoga's meditative focus will help cooler heads prevail the next time violence or vengeance looms.

The students "live in an environment where everything's rushed, everything's pressured. So if you breathe through certain things, you are able to see clearer. You really are," said Lawson, executive director of a nonprofit group called I Grow Chicago. "Then they can act rather than react."

The idea has even caught the attention of police. At least one officer has made Lawson's class part of an anti-violence program for at-risk youths. With yoga training, "when they get in a tense situation, they can breathe and relax and make the right decision instead of jumping out at someone and hitting them," officer Daliah Goree said.

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