National Institutes of Health

Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy Presenting at the National Institutes of Health - May 2008

Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy Presenting at the National Institutes of Health - May 2008

THE BUZZ… On Friday, I had the honor of speaking at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The NIH, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research. I gave a keynote speech on “Yoga as a Corporate Stress Management Tool.”

The crowd was so receptive. I must thank the pioneering efforts of Rachel Permuth-Levine at the NIH who put this event together. I got to chat with Dr. Timothy McCall who wrote the book, Yoga as Medicine and see Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Ph.D. again who is a pioneer in yoga research at Harvard Medical School. Yoga Alliance also had a presence at the event with the staff handing out materials on how to become a Registered Yoga Teacher.

It is my dream that one day we will truly honor the words Health and Care when we use them together. We use them as one in our society (i.e. “healthcare”) when we really don’t deserve to. Our conventional system is more focused on caring for dis-ease than health. The ancient science of Yoga, with its emphasis on self-observation, has a lot to offer the allopathic community. With the pioneering work of those mentioned above and others like Dr. Dean Ornish (whom I had the pleasure of seeing in Boston last week), I have hope. As individuals, we can do our part by taking steadfast care over ourselves. A lifestyle geared toward prevention is key.

Think about the legacy of Mohandas K. Gandhi. He insisted that personal change and the ability to bring about social change are linked. He warned that it is no use striving to implement principles such as nonviolence or justice in public affairs so long as one neglects them in one’s personal life. I would extend this principle to health care as well. We must be willing to take care of our own health, as we demand a healthcare system to support us. As Gandhi said,

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

With Purpose & Power,