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.
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.
Mindfulness practices aim to reduce mind wandering, while Acem Meditation allows spontaneous thoughts, images and sensations to pass freely, in order to increase stress tolerance, robustness and energy. Øyvind Ellingsen, MD PhD, explores similarities and differences.