Tag Archives: batman

VOD: Batkid Saves Gotham and Charms the Entire Internet

If you were near any digital device with WiFi on Friday you probably heard about Batkid. To his parents he’s known as Miles. He’s five years old and has been battling leukemia since he was a baby. The cancer is currently in remission, but that didn’t stop the Make a Wish Foundation from making Miles’ dream of being the Caped Crusader come true.

Thousands of volunteers in the San Francisco area pitched in to help create Miles’ special day. He started off taking a ride in his Batmobile, saved a damsel in distress from the Riddler, ate a little lunch and still had time to apprehend one of Gotham’s most treacherous villains – the Penguin! For all of his hard work Batkid was awarded a key to the city by San Francisco’s mayor Ed Lee. The police chief Greg Suhr even dressed up as Commissioner Gordon to signal Batkid when new trouble was arising. Gigantic crowds followed the action, filling in as the Gotham populous while everyone at home watched on. Even President Obama chimed in to offer his encouragement to Batkid. Even more impressive is that the San Francisco Chronicle printed a special edition of the paper to document Batkid’s heroic day – with articles by Clark Kent and Lois Lane and pictures taken by Spider-man alter ego Peter Parker.

The most heartwarming thing about this story is the sheer amount of people it took to make this happen. Everyone was there to support the dreams of a little kid, and this is the type of thing that reminds us of the virtues of humanity. What was the latest good deed you performed? Tell us your thoughts and give your support for Batkid in the comments below!

Superheroes: Do We Have a New God in Town?

Who do you pray to when you’re in a jam? Superman, of course! In this week’s episode of “Holy Facts” on The Chopra Well, Gotham Chopra discusses the spiritual side to superheroes, from Hercules to Jesus to the Marvel gang.

Even if we don’t all regularly pray to Wonder Woman or Batman, there is no denying the beloved place these heroes occupy in our collective imagination. As far back as ancient Greece, we have legends of larger than life warriors and leaders. Figures like Agamemnon and Achilles, if true to the tales, would have been giants among men. Superheroes in the flesh.

When times get rough, it’s comforting to think a hero with super-human powers might rush to our assistance. We appeal to higher powers through prayer, visualization, and affirmation, hoping that even if we aren’t powerful enough to right every wrong, perhaps there’s a force out there that is. Deepak Chopra might remind us that we actually have much more control over our environment and circumstances than we’d imagine. And perhaps we should begin acknowledging the superhero aspects within ourselves – the heroes and heroines of the everyday.

But, Superman, if you’re out there and reading this, we won’t put you out of a job. You can come save the day anytime you want.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well, and check out Gotham and Deepak’s book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes!

3 Ways Yoga Can Solve The U.S. Military’s Mental Health Crisis

With recent shootings and deaths involving military or former military personnel, as well as the many reports of depression and suicide amongst soldiers,  yoga can help address what appears to be a military mental health crisis.

While effective psychotherapy for soldiers is important and yoga by itself can be very good, having a more integrated understanding of the relationships between body and mind may be a missing piece.  The experiential component that happens in yoga can retrain the brain and nervous system while providing an environment for integrated healing to occur.

A non-clinical practice like yoga can also aid in shifting the perception of PTSD and the need for therapeutic work to being an ordinary part of maintaining mental health for every soldier.

1) Let’s acknowledge that military training and combat are inherently traumatizing, both physiologically and psychologically.

Yoga practice can be used as an ongoing way to calm the nervous system, process overwhelming experiences and spend a little time each day re-balancing body and mind. Having this be an integral part of basic military mental health would make soldiers better able to cope with the high-stress experiences that are part of the job.

2) Understand PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) through the lens of somatic (or body-based) psychology.

It is fantastic for soldiers and their families that the military is seeking to acknowledge and clearly define PTSD, and reduce the stigma.

A next step would be to include a more mind-body research-based understanding of what is going on in the nervous system and brains of soldiers suffering from the condition —as a way to address the problem more comprehensively.

3) Let’s train a group of yoga teachers to serve the military in two specific ways:

a) With an understanding of somatic psychology and the basic neuroanatomy of trauma, and in how to use yoga to support discharge of unresolved nervous system energy, safe integration of traumatic memories and using breath and body awareness to become more self-regulated and “resourced.”

b) With basic knowledge of the warning signs that will assist in identifying soldiers who have been pushed into extreme states of depression, paranoia, or delusions that would indicate the need for psychiatric assistance. It is no the fault of these men that they become a danger to themselves and others, and the sooner this can be recognized the safer it will be for all concerned.

It is essential that we take better care of our soldiers and their communities. The above suggestions could make a significant difference by using a science-informed, psychologically aware model of yoga to resolve, heal, and integrate PTSD more effectively.

The The Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind yoga teacher training provides a good grounding in the relationships between somatic psychology, neuroscience, yoga and healing trauma. For more information, click here

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