October – December 2008

Lecture Series: Voluntary Modulation of Respiration Phase Duration and its Effects on Thought Suppression and Cortical Oscillations (details)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Speaker: Babu Adhimoolam, M.B.B.S, M. Phil, M.S., Department of Psychology, UCLA

Voluntary modulation of respiration has been practiced since ancient times as an integral part of yoga under the name of Pranayama. Across various schools of yoga, Pranayama has been practiced for achieving control of the mind and to modulate states of consciousness. The impact of such practices on mental health and well being has aroused immense scientific interest among neuroscientists pertaining to the neural mechanisms underlying such modulation. In my talk I will focus on the potential neural substrates that could underlie such modulation and also discuss the implications of such modulation to the therapy of various neurologic and psychiatric disorders.


Lyrics & Writing for the Soul in Uncertain Times (details)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Life can bring uncertainty in areas such as health, relationships, work, and purpose – on individual and global levels. Through the power of music and lyrics, participants will write about their experience of uncertainty and how they respond to it.  Participants will have the opportunity to share and reflect upon one another’s insights – as collective wisdom unfolds. The workshop will be centered in the framework of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey and its stages.  The emphasis of this program is on the process of writing for self-discovery; thus, it is well suited for those who do not aspire to be professional writers.


Lecture Series: Yoga as a Complementary Treatment (details)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Speaker: Dr. Dave Shapiro, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control listed more than two dozen commonly used complementary and alternative health practices (CAM) of which yoga is one.  These practices, some of which are practitioner based, have been increasing in use in recent years for various reasons nicely summarized by Eisenberg in 2002, mainly the failure of the current health care system to provide good care.  It is estimated that more than 15 million people practice yoga in the US, many of whom are motivated by such concerns as back, joint, and muscle pain and depression and anxiety.  The history and philosophy of yoga go back thousands of years, and many competing “schools” of yoga exist.  The National Library of Medicine lists more than a thousand papers on yoga, and the NIH currently lists 36 research grants on yoga and meditation.  The rationale for yoga as a treatment will be considered, followed by a presentation of research evaluating it as a complementary treatment of depression and anxiety, problems of research design and interpretation of findings, and future directions.  The talk will focus on Iyengar yoga, which Dr. Shapiro has practiced for about 15 years.


Memories to Memoirs: Leaving Words on the Page of Time (details)

Monday, October 6, 2008 – Monday, November 3, 2008

Memories of everything that has ever happened to you are stored in your unconscious. There are hundreds of stories residing inside you.  These stories are your identity.

Using combined techniques of relaxation, visualization, and Fast Flow Writing™ to access emotions, sensory memories, and life experiences, Dr. Ballon will help participants transform their memories into memoirs.

Dr. Ballon brings a unique expertise as an international writing consultant and longtime psychotherapist in facilitating self-exploration, self-discovery, and a powerfully authentic voice in writing.

Each workshop will involve a combination of listening, writing, sharing, and receiving feedback. Sharing what one has written is optional. The program is well-suited for adults and high school students. No writing experience is necessary.