1998, January – Regular practice sessions begin at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Lanham, MD
2000-2004 – Training sessions for new people over 4 to 6 week period
2004, Fall – University of Maryland sessions begin in College Park, MD
2005, May – Evening sessions begin at Narayanan’s home in Silver Spring, MD on one week day – began on Thursdays when University was not in session, then moved to Tuesdays and now on Wednesdays.
2005, November 19 – Retreat to discuss yoga, the nature of practices and understanding life through yoga
2005, December 5 – Commemoration Dinner of the Yoga group
2006, February – Discovery of AtmaVyakta Mudra
2006, March 2 – Presentation at the Washington Naval Yard, DC
2006, March – Discovery of Tryambaka Kriya
2006, March 24-26 – First Introductory Yoga Retreat in Silver Spring, MD
2006, April 2 – First teacher training session
2006, April 8 – Life in Yoga Foundation formed
2006, April 9 – New weekly session begin at JSS Mission in Gaithersburg, MD
2006, June-July – First course on Yogic Management of Asthmatic Problems
2006, August 3 – Beginning of River Road, Potomac session on Thursday evenings
2006, September – Discovery of Atma Poorna Mudra
2006, October – Creation of Dance Yoga regimen
2006, November - Statement of Life in Yoga 5 Fold Approach
2007, September - Development of 3 Exericise Methods or Formats
2008, May - Statement of Life in Yoga 5 by 3 by 1 Approach
2008, June - Development of Gentle Yoga Regimen
2009, January - Weekend course format instead of Retreats
2009, February 4 - Indian Express in Chennai under their 'Express Buzz' section reported on Dance Yoga demonstration by Dr. Rajan Narayanan.
2009, May - Beginning of Yoga Sutra session Course
2009, December - Presented Dance Yoga Course in Vivekananda University, Bangalore, India
2010, October - Launched first CME course called Intro to Yoga Therapy for Medical Professionals with the joint sponsorship of Howard University College of Medicine Office of Continuing Medical Education offering 16 CME credits.
2011, October - CME course expanded from 2 days to 3 days with 22 CME credits.
2012, April - Life in Yoga brings together major yoga institutions of the world to form the Council for Yoga Accreditaion International, and becomes a charter member..
2012, September - Maritime Institute Conference Center becomes the preferred site for CME courses.
2012 - First Physician monitored therapy for COPD patient - yoga was shown to reduce drug dependence.
2013, April - Began Obstrutive Sleep Apnea study at the Clarksburg Medical Center that later proved to be very effective.
2014, January - Clarksburg Medical Center makes yoga therapy available one-day a week with Life in Yoga volunteers.
2014, December 6 - Life in Yoga Institute becomes the first ever yoga institution to get CME accreditation - provisional accreditation for 2 years.
2015, January - Clarksburg Medical Center expands yoga therapy available twice a week with Life in Yoga volunteers.
2015, June 21 - Life in Yoga unveils Measured Yoga Therapy and Unified System of Medicine at the Capitol Mall next to the Washington Monument (Sylvan Theatre) at the first International Day of Yoga observance.
2015, September - A Physician of Envision Medical Center of Michigan applies Measured Yoga Therapy on a trial basis and finds it very successful.
2015, January - Clarksburg Medical Center expands yoga therapy available three times a week with Life in Yoga volunteers.
2016, May 23-26 - The intro course in yoga therapy is relaunched as Overview of Yoga Therapy for Healthcare Providers with expanded objectives of going beyond developing awareness and physician competence to developing ability to bring yoga therapy into practice impacting physician performance and patient outcome. Now offered as 23.5 CME credits.
2016, July 16 - Launch of a one-day intro CME program focused on developing awareness (limited competence) called Yoga As Medicine in Houston, TX. Marketing and logistic support is provided by Sewa International.
2016, July 22-24 - Launch of a 15.5 CME program called Yoga Therapy for Cardiovascular Disorders.
2016, September – Measured Yoga Therapy introduced in Houston.
2016, December 26 – Patient suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was fully reversed after practice began on July 17, 2016
2017, January – Began Measured Yoga Therapy training in Houston, TX
2017, February – Mitral value regurgitation of about 35% was reversed with yoga
2017, September 16 – One-day CME course Yoga as Medicine conducted in Phoenix, AZ
2017, Oct-Dec – Measured Yoga Therapy for Sleep Apnea and Diabetes was demonstrated with 7 patients at the Beeler Manske Clinic in Texas City.
2018, January 13 – Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Life in Yoga at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Maryland.
2018, January 20 – Establishing clinic and training of Measured Yoga Therapy in Phoenix, AZ
THE UNPLANNED BEGINNING
In January 1998, following a two week course on Yoga by Swami Bua of New York, a group of people began doing Yoga every Saturday morning in the premises of Sri Siva Vishnu Temple at Lanham, Maryland. These practices included physical yoga exercises, breathing exercises, and mantra-based meditation.
As more beginners wanted to join the practices, beginners training classes were held over 4 to 6 weekly sessions, each of duration 2 to 3 hours. Such sessions would cover both the practices and theory of Yoga, while the Saturday morning sessions were considered as a time for group practice. Such training sessions held were typically once or twice a year. On two occasions, between 2001 and 2003, upon the request of Rajdhani Mandir, a temple in Northern Virginia, Dr. C. Rajan Narayanan, the principal teacher at that time, also conducted these training sessions over 4 to 6 weeks. A weekend practice group also began in that temple.
Since Fall of 2004, Dr. C. Rajan Narayanan began teaching breathing and meditation techniques at the University of Maryland, College Park, one evening, typically on Thursdays from 6:30 pm. This was organized by a Student Association group.
The practices have not remained the same over the years. Various forms of practices from other traditions like Buddhism (Vipassana) and western mysticism (Rainbow Bridge of Alice Bailey tradition) have been included in the practices. Our recent research has added some mudras and dance steps with breathing techniques. From an initial hour or two, today the Saturday morning sessions at Sri Siva Vishnu temple extends 3 hours and 30 minutes from 7 am to 10:30 am. This growth of exercises, incorporation of various traditions, and the need to expand the duration of practice embodies in it the seed of a new school of thinking with regard to yoga – going to the roots of yoga (beyond the common thinking of yoga as primarily physical exercises) and going beyond the tradition of yoga (by incorporating exercises from other traditions).
THE SEEDLING OF LIFE IN YOGA FOUNDATION
Over the years, regular practitioners of Yoga have benefited significantly in physical and mental well-being. Some of the deep experiences of various participants resulted in a thought that a charitable, non-profit group should be formed to propagate the learning of these practices to wider audiences within and outside the Washington, DC- metro area.
On November 19, 2005 in Perryville, MD, practitioners of this Yoga met to discuss the benefits and implications of these various practices on the body, mind and spiritual domains. On December 5, 2005, a Yoga dinner was organized at the home of one of the regular participants. It was at this dinner that the question of certification and teacher’s training arose. It was seen as a critical element to bring this to others. The need for publication – books and audio/visuals was also there. It was here that a firm need for an organization was felt, culminating in the formation of the Life in Yoga Foundation on April 8, 2006. The Foundation was deeded as a Charitable Trust under IRS Code 501(c) (3) with the seven founding trustees.
OPERATION OF THE LIFE IN YOGA FOUNDATION
The Foundation is operated by volunteers and a Board of Trustees with by-laws for their election and operations as appropriate for a public charity. Board meetings are typically held on the last Saturday on every second month and is open to all.
MAJOR ACTIVITIES OF 2006
On March 2, 2006, a presentation on Yoga was made by one member of this group at the Washington Navy Yard to the employees of the US Navy. Over the weekend of March 24-26, starting Friday evening, a retreat for beginners called “Introduction to Yoga” was organized at the home of one of the regular participants in Silver Spring, MD.
On April 9, 2006 a new yoga session began in Gaithersburg, MD, organized by one of the regular participants.
In the months of June and July, 2006, a six week program called Yogic Management of Asthmatic Problems was conducted.
On August 3, 2006, a weekly yoga session was started on River Road, Potomac, MD at 6:30 pm in the evenings.
Another introductory yoga retreat is also planned between November 23 and 26 in Potomac, MD.
However, for 2006, the current focus is on teacher training and publication. On April 2, 2006, a day long advanced yoga session was conducted as a teacher’s training session. This is one of two sessions intended as a complete training routine for advanced practitioners of Yoga who have gone through the theoretical content of introductory yoga. The second session was held on July 4, 2006. Another session was held end of August and still another is planned for the first week of November.
PROGRESSION FROM 2007 TO 2010
Over the fall of 2007, DVDs were developed. During 2007 and 2008, the approach was to have two teachers' traning session and two retreats each year. Since we were run on a donation basis, and there was not enough volunteer funding coming, and volunteers who were doing the task of arranging the retreats were getting burned out, in 2009 we adopted a course strategy with a recommended donation for each course. In 2009 June, we also formed the Life in Yoga Institute and in 2010 we have converted fully to fee-based courses. 2010 will also see the launch of Yoga Therapy course for Physicians.
LAUNCH OF CME PROGRAM FROM 2010 TO 2014 WITH HOWARD UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
Thanks to Dr. Arvind Nandedkar and the Howard University College of Medicine Office of Continuing Medical Education from October 2010 to November 2014 saw ten CME courses under the name of Intro to Yoga Therapy for Medical Professionals conducted in the DC Metro area. The 2010 course was conducted at the Howard University College of Medicine. 2011 course was held in College Park, MD at a hotel. From 2012 on all the courses were held at the Maritime Institute Conference Center.
ADVANCEMENT OF CME AND PHYSICIAN EDUCATION - 2013 to 2015
The objective of CME courses is to bring useful knowledge and skills that can help licensed physicians bring it to practice to help their patients. The feedback from attendees helped us improve the course with better content and better activities. 2013 saw two important developments. Life in Yoga Institute decided to apply for independent accreditation and the filings in two steps resulted in Life in Yoga Institute becoming the first yoga institution to get CME accreditation on November 30 2014. The second development to improve physician education was the beginning of yoga therapy in a clinic. Dr. Harpal Mangat and Dr. Harminder Kaur of The Clarksburg Medical Center invited us to work with yoga therapy in their clinic. We learned that patient behavioral management that ensured compliance with daily practice was the key to yoga therapy success.
MEASURED YOGA THERAPY, UNIFIED SYSTEM OF MEDICINE and NATIONAL PROLIFERATION FROM 2015 TO 2018
In June 2014, Life in Yoga bought the Electrophotonic Imaging system called Bio-well. Working
with it, we realized that it was a much improved version of EAV (Electroacupuncture According to Voll)
that we had been testing since 2010. The findings from it resulted in the development of Measured Yoga
Therapy, a method of to predict the long term effect of a yoga practice by taking measurements before and
after a specific yoga practice. The first International Day of Yoga was a platform to release this finding.
This has also resulted in a research publication in the International
Journal of Yoga to be published in the Jan-April 2018 issue.