In 2018, Acem School of Yoga will celebrate 50 years [...]
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The World Retreat programme centres on the long meditations. They are preceded by morning yoga and followed by guidance groups as well as evening seminars with Acem's founder Dr Are Holen. Every day there is time for walking and talking in the forests, grasslands and mountains nearby. In addition, you can choose from several parallel workshops in the afternoon, and informal social activities in the evenings make it easy to get new friends and contacts from different parts of the world.
When a book is published in Norwegian, a language spoken by only five million people, it is usually expected to stay well within the borders of this small Scandinavian country. However, Are Holen and Torbjørn Hobbel’s book Meditative Yoga: Integrating Body, Breath and Mind has beaten the expectations.
According to recent studies, yoga and meditation practices may help us to lose weight, reduce our blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and slow down our pulse. Both psychological and physical quality of life seems to improve.
In yoga exercises, one stretches the muscles gently and without force. One maintains the stretch for some seconds without incurring strain or pain. In this way, the muscle fibers and tendons will slowly yield; their tonus is changed, and over time they become somewhat elongated. This kind of cautious stretching is easily combined with a calm and unrestrained breathing.
Meditative yoga is very different from the hurried, sweaty, gym-like yoga of many schools around the world. It brings the mind to silence and focuses on slow movement yoga with abdominal breathing for maximum relaxation. Says founder of Acem School of Yoga, Dr. Are Holen, in a recent interview.
After the successful publication in English of the full-colour version of Meditative Yoga: integrating body, breath and mind on Dyade Press earlier this year, a black-and-white Indian version was launched by Motilal Banarsidass in New Delhi in October. The authors Dr. Are Holen and Mr. Torbjørn Hobbel were present, as were a number of Indian dignitaries.
How old are the practice and ideas of yoga? Hindu traditionalists would say yoga dates back to mythological times and the god Shiva himself. Not quite so, according to the German documentary film "Der atmende Gott".