Express Your Genes
Is our fate in our genes?
Recent research shows us that our external environment can modify considerably the expression of our genes through the pioneering science of “epigenetics”. This means that the external influences we all face have major repercussions that affect us all the way down to our genes. The modification of your genes is more or less lasting and can be passed on from one generation to another. It is important to note that whilst our genes are inherited from our parents, they must be ‘expressed’ or transcribed to affect you. If a gene is not expressed it remains silent, as if it were absent.
This excerpt is from ABC Catalyst program and really explains what we are dealing with…
“Groundbreaking Australian studies have revealed extensive genetic tagging occurs in our brains during early childhood. There’s evidence to suggest adversity during this time can tag our genes in a damaging way. Mice pups with inattentive mothers display changes to their genetic expression that make them more anxious and less likely to nurture their own babies. In humans, a 2008 study of the brains of suicide victims also revealed an abnormal level of epigenetic change in the hippocampus, particularly among those who had been abused as children. But – and here’s the astonishing part – epigenetic changes can be inherited. Mice experiments at the Florey Institute have shown raising stress levels of male adult mice can lead to higher anxiety levels in their unborn pups.”
“If the levels of stress hormone in a father mouse are increased, then that will change the behaviour of the offspring. Even if the father mouse hasn’t been with the mother during pregnancy nor any contact with the Father, but some information is being passed through the sperm to the next generation. And so the lifestyle activities and experiences with your parents may be carried into your body and your brain through epigenetics to the next generation. That may be carried from you into your children. It’s intriguing and it has huge public health implications.
Professor Anthony Hannan
This raises concern and questions as to how early childhood trauma affects generations to come and may also explains cycles of childhood neglect. However, whilst bad experiences may affect genetic expression, so too do good ones, which brings us to karma.
Karma and epigenetics
It turns out that we may not remember our formative years, but our genes do. What you ate, how you responded to events, how your parents treated you and what you learnt… All of this places chemical makers on your DNA. Those tags affect how your genes are expressed throughout your life.
In light of this, the very memories that make us ‘who we are’ are a complex combination of evolution, ancestry, experience, chemistry, chance and the choices we make.
If nature is your genetics and your genome, then it can influence how you experience different lifestyles. Conversely, through epigenetics, your lifestyle, your experience, your environment can change how the genome is expressed, and everyone is a very complex combination of genes and environment, and it’s not one or the other.
Nature and Nurture- it is bidirectional.
In yoga and Buddhism – strangely enough – we call this very ancient idea “karma”, which refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect. This is where the intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. The effects of karma are often thought to travel down the ancestral line- as we see through epigenetics.
Depression and Anxiety in abused children leads to major epigenetic changes
It may also be noted here that children who have been severely abused are 50 per cent more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Sad to say – that epigenetic modifications lasted long after the period of abuse. The cortisol – the stress hormone remains high – even if they were in good health and no longer experiencing the abuse.
Recurring depression could be explained by the persistent vulnerability associated with epigenetic modifications in their neurons at the time they were victims of this abuse.
Compassionate and loving care affects our gene expression positively.
Luckily for neglected mice and for others, further experiments under a team at the University of Montreal showed that during the first ten days of life if these stressed young mice pups were given to mothers who were incredibly caring with their youth, ie licked them and groomed them and had as much physical contact with them as often as possible….
With this caring and loving connection – the expression of their genes connected to anxiety was blocked and the genes were not expressed for the entire lives of the mice.
Sadly, for the baby mice who were not given this support and motherly love, they became fearful and anxious for the rest of their lives.
It seems OUR GENETIC FATE IS NOT ENGRAVED IN STONE.
How fast can we make these changes?
So it appears that training the mind lead us to cultivate positive emotions and eliciting the relaxation response through meditation and yoga are leading to epigenetic changes. Dr Herbert Benson is the father of modern mind body medicine. He may have single handedly started the whole field of psycho neuro immunology with his understanding of how to elicit the relaxation response and how he has found that it can change people’s health.
He is now in his 80s and his cutting-edge wisdom continues to this day, to the point that recently they’ve just discovered that meditation can flip the switch on genes that affect disease. What is even more remarkable is that it’s not just in an eight-week meditation course that they observed this happening, they observed it the moment people started eliciting the relaxation response through practices such as yoga and meditation.
Furthermore, a Spanish geneticist named Perla Kaliman agrees and has seen that within 8 hours of meditation in one a day on mindfulness, altruistic love, and compassion that we see major epigenetic modification.
This means we can all participate in voluntary training of the basic human qualities that lead to positive social change and development.
Ghandi was being quite scientific and correct in saying “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
Express your genes – altruistically – daily. This of course has a huge impact on our health and our children’s health. Brain epigenetics is pioneering – how our brains are shaped and our genes are expressed is a great frontier.
Here is the Buddhist prayer of compassion (metta):
May I be happy
May I be Healthy
May I be filled with deep compassion-
May I be at peace.
Here are some great upcoming events you can do to elicit the relaxation response and flip the switch on the genes that affect disease:
Restorative Retreat with Celia Roberts BSc and Jamie Denham
The BEST NEWS that you will hear ALL DAY – is that the Restorative Yoga Retreat is coming up this weekend on Sunday.
Furthermore – we have special guest Jamie Denham joining us to teach traditional restorative yoga – IYENGAR style.
I am toying with the idea of saying it is a “not to be missed event”, but those words personally irk me. So I am cordially inviting you with my whole heart to attend something I believe in so completely and fully….restorative yoga.
WEEKLY YOGA CLASSES
We have been having some fun at classes at present, with beautiful weather, great people, and shoulder stands in the sun. TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS 9.30am-11am. Casuals welcome. $20
Massage Appointments with trainee masseuse
Tuesdays and Thursdays with Summer at 1pm -2pm $50
Many people are experiencing Summer’s wonderful healing hands.
BCC Active Parks Program Events
Free yoga classes around Brisbane with YIMI and BCC
When? Every Saturday 7am – 8am from 25th July to 12th September 2015 with Trina Robbie
Where? Captain Burke Park, Kangaroo Point
Special event: Reiki treatment day with Inka Kilroe B Pharm
About Inka – Reiki Master
Inka obtained a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in South Africa and reregistered in Australia when her husband was transferred in the mid-nineties. Inka has worked predominantly in hospital pharmacy throughout her career and always had an interest in holistic and alternative medicine. Inka is a highly qualified Reiki Master and yoga teacher, having trained with Celia Roberts and YIMI and is also undertaking ongoing clinical aromatherapy studies.
Inka has found Reiki to be life changing for herself and feels privileged to be able to share this gentle healing practice with others.
“Rei Ki“ is universal life energy which enhances the body’s natural healing ability and promotes wellbeing. It supports western and complementary medicine and also stands alone as a healing practice. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and pain and provide a general sense of wellbeing. Inka finds the combination of yoga and reiki to be a wonderful synergy as they bring together awareness of body and alignment of mind, body and soul. Reiki can also be used for energy clearing of physical spaces such as homes.
What to expect from a Reiki treatment session?
This can last from 45 minutes to an hour and is undertaken fully clothed whilst the client lies comfortably on a massage table. After a short consultation, the Energy is accessed by the practitioner during the treatment and applied with various hand positions on or just above the body Inka is able to incorporate the use of crystals and aromatherapy into the treatment according to client’s wishes.
Bookings: Wednesday 9/9 or Saturday 5/9 with a special introductory rate of only $80 for hour.
Please email to book by responding to this email.
Kundalini yoga day with Delightful Sam Lindsay-German
Kundalini Yoga is considered the yoga of awareness, combining meditation, mantra, physical exercises and breathing techniques. The primary objective is to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each individual; that is, recognize our awareness, refine that awareness, and expand that awareness to our unlimited Self. Clear any inner duality, create the power to deeply listen, cultivate inner stillness, and prosper and deliver excellence in all that we do.
9am – 4:30pm on Saturday 5th September 2015 at Celia Roberts Upper Brookfield Retreat
Pregnancy Care with lovely Suzanne Swann
We are delighted to welcome expert teacher Suzanne Swan to the YIMI team. Suzanne is a certified pre/post natal teacher and has been in the field for over 15 years. Suzanne has a passion for birth and believes in the transformational power of yoga.
Yoga for pregnancy – 1 day course suitable for teachers and healthcare professionals wishing to further their training, or for anyone wanting to enhance their personal practice and learn more about pregnancy yoga for their own personal enquiry.
8am – 4:30pm Saturday 21st November at Upper Brookfield Retreat
New Intakes for Teacher Training
New intakes have now opened up for our 200 hour and 350 hour yoga teacher training courses. Whether you wish to teach, or simply delve deeper into your personal practice, YIMI teacher training is sure to inspire and teach you how to be the best practitioner you can be. Start your journey with us today. It may just be the best year of your life!
With altruism in mind and heart,
All In the Mind ABC RADIO http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/mind-body-connection/5882006#transcript
Altruism By Mathieu Ricard
Catalyst ABC TV http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4198637.htm