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Natural Awakenings Philadelphia

Yoga Confence Intensive features Noted Experts

The 42nd annual Yoga Research Society Conference, Well Body, Well Mind, Well Being, on November 19 and 20, in the Dorrance H. Hamilton Building at Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Vijayendra Pratap presents a talk on Classical Yoga Asanas & Pranayama, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday and Classical Yoga Meditative Poses, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Pratap, a student of Swami Kuvalayanandaji, is director of the SKY Foundation, president of the Yoga Research Society, director of the yoga program at the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and author of A Teacher's Guide for Beginning Yoga, Yoga Vision, Secrets of Hatha Vidya and Yoga of Gheranda. He will address traditional yoga postures, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditative practices, and a discussion of the Yogic approach to well being.

Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman speaks on The Science of Imagination, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Kaufman is scientific director of the Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, conducting research on intelligence, creativity and well-being. He is the author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, and Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. Kaufman was the 2011-2012 recipient of the Mensa International Award for Excellence in Research. He will explore the relationship between meditation and creativity, the left/right brain myth for creativity and the role of imagination, attention and openness in creativity.

Gay Dillingham will screen the award-winning documentary, narrated by Robert Redford, Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary, followed by Q&A, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Harvard psychology professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert began probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics. Alpert journeyed to India, becoming Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher for an entire generation who still continues his teaching of service through compassion. Dillingham is an award-winning producer and director.

Presenters include Tao Porchon-Lynch on The Spiritual Side of Being, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. This 98-year-old yoga master exemplifies the goal of feeling young and being healthy at any age. Dr. Deepak Chopra says, “Tao is a mentor to me; she is one of the most acclaimed yoga teachers of our century.” She will be accompanied by Dr. Teresa Kennedy, a partner with Porchon-Lynch in appearances around the world. President of Power Living Enterprises, she has had an international impact helping thousands across the globe.  

Dr. Thomas Seyfried presents Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Seyfried has published a pioneering treatise, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer. The book provides extensive information showing that cancer can best be defined as a mitochondrial metabolic disease, rather than a genetic disease. This new concept, being praised by cancer research experts, has implications for the development of new, non-toxic cancer therapies, including the ketogenic diet. These therapies target and kill tumor cells while enhancing the health of normal cells.

Master Faxiang Hou will talk about QiGong for Well-Being, from 5 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Hou will lead the audience in the extraordinary practices of qigong. A master of medical qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine, he is the fifth generation in his family to practice this unique and powerful form of healing. His research includes a pilot study on qigong therapy for fibromyalgia,and an osteoarthritis study at RWJ Medical School. He is the director of the QiGong Research Society and co-author of QiGong for Health and Well-Being and Unleashing the Power of Food.

Admission for all programs is free for nonprofit YRS members ($75). Otherwise, one day id $50, single programs are $25 and the film is $10. Location: 1001 Locust St., Philadelphia. For more information and registration, call 215-592-9642 or visit

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