This is a brief explanation of each practice that you can share with students to prepare them for doing the interviews. Meditative exercises are highly effective in reducing stress and are associated with providing health benefits. Some examples of meditative exercises include Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qigong. Yoga is one of the most ancient cultural practices of India. The word yoga in Sanskrit means "to unite,” and so yoga connotes a unitive discipline. In this sense, it is an exercise in moral and mental cultivation that generates good health (arogya), contributes to longevity (chirayu), and the total intrinsic discipline culminates into positive and perennial happiness and peace. Tai Chi, if looked at from a Western point of view, can best be described as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined.

Originally derived from martial arts, the slow, graceful movements also sometimes reflect the natural movements of animals and birds, designed to focus the mind and breathing through a complex series of executions. In Tai Chi, where the form is practiced in slow continuous fluid movement, muscles and joints are in motion. Breathing is regulated as an integral part of this exercise. The effect is a sedative upon the central nervous system which helps to stimulate improvements upon the body's other systems. It is calming and de-stressing, the movements themselves becoming physical poetry. When practiced properly, Chi energy is increased, and one often feels a 'tingling' of fingers and toes and a warming up of the body. The mind becomes clear and relaxed. The movements give a means for motor control, balance, etc. and can help posture and loosen tight muscles. Qigong or "Energy-Cultivation” is an aspect of Chinese medicine involving the coordination of different breathing patterns with various physical postures and motions of the body.

References: http://hinduism.about.com/library/weekly/extra/bl-yoga-define.htm

http://www.soton.ac.uk/~maa1/chi/taichi/whattai.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qigong

Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467