Empowering Youth through Yoga with Lara Benusis, Founder of Namasteens and Doctoral Student at Columbia University
Lara Benusis is a yoga instructor, researcher, and mental health advocate. As the Founder and Creative Director of Namasteens, Lara has worked to develop an experiential and informed curriculum of children’s yoga with an emphasis on developmentally appropriate educational creative programs. Lara previously taught at Equinox, Pure Yoga, and House of Jai in New York City, and was certified to teach since 1996, being one of the youngest certified yoga teachers in the world. Lara's work has led her to teach and conduct research all over the world, from New York City to Tokyo. She was also the Manager of Yoga & Exercise Programs at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. where she conduced yoga interventions for research. Currently, Lara is studying at the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Columbia University, conducting research in Applied Physiology and Behavioural Sciences. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/appSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stella-stephanopoulos/support
This week, I’m talking to Lara Benusis, a longtime yoga teacher and yoga therapist who has taught yoga in a healthcare setting for years. (She was the first full-time yoga teacher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.) She’s also on the PhD track at Columbia University studying applied physiology. Her focus is exploring the efficacy and mechanisms of exercise and yoga on the survivorship of cancer. Lara is a wealth of knowledge and a critical thinker. I love what he has to say about yoga research and her ideas for how yoga can be betterintegrated into the healthcare system.Some of the things we talk about are:* Why it’s important to study yoga from a scientific perspective, the challenges of defining yoga in a clinical setting, and the challenges of using human research subjects in studies* The research pyramid - and why some types of research or more reliable than others* What she thinks of Yo science and how to separate the good, research-backed data from unsubstantiated claims* How her role as a researcher has changed her approach to teaching yoga* Her advice for yoga teachers who are interested in working within healthcareShow notes: http://jasonyoga.com/podcast/episode63SHOUT-OUT TO OUR SPONSORSAUrate is a fine jewelry company made in New York City that was founded by women for women. They sell jewelry directly to the consumer, which keeps the quality high and the prices reasonable. For 15 % off your first purchase, go to AUratenewyork.com/yogaland and use promo code YOGALANDWe Love You (And So Can You) is a new podcast by Stitcher, a spin off on the show By the Book On the show, they send listeners on their own self help journey and they bring us around for the ride. Tune in at the end of this episode for a bonus episode of We Love You (And So Can You) or subscribe now on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, or anywhere you get your podcasts.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/yogaland. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27: Yoga in a Clinical Setting with Guest Teacher Lara Benusis
The Mentor Sessions
Today on the podcast we get to learn from the wisdom of Lara Benusis, a pioneer in translating yoga into hospital environments. She was the first full time yoga instructor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where she developed their in-hospital and outpatient wellness offerings. A certified yoga instructor since 1996, Lara is currently an advanced masters student in Applied Physiology at Columbia University and is focused on exploring the efficacy and mechanisms of exercise and yoga on the survivorship of cancer. On this episode you’ll hear about the research she has been doing on yoga within the cancer community including how are those studies designed, how they implemented and what are they are finding out. You also hear: Some of the most surprising research Lara has come across so far. Some things to keep in mind when teaching yoga in a clinical setting. How yoga teachers can take care of themselves to ensure a long career. Listen in to hear all about Lara is bringing yoga into a clinical, medical setting!
1:12 Lara Benusis Introduction 1:40 Yoga Research Protocols - Lara developed protocols for departments at Sloan Kettering. She also was a subject of research projects when she was at university. She also dropped out of one which gives her insight into the issue of keeping subjects continuing with the research study. Can give incentives, but incentives have to be acceptable to a wide variety of subjects for the research results to be applicable to the whole population that is being studied. Developing protocols is a collaborative effort which has positive and negative aspects. 1st step is literature review to look at what yoga research and other movement research has studied on the research question. 13:120 Medically trained and Ph.D.'s are becoming much more accepting of good quality yoga research and yoga in general but they need the expertise of experienced yoga teachers to add to the protocols developed. Lara is constantly applying the concepts learned from research to her teaching and research. 17:00 Yoga teachers generally have low interest in yoga research. Lara is contemplating a Facebook group like a book group to read and discuss yoga research. Wants to share her expertise to other yoga teachers. She speaks up about misuses of research (e.g., yoga (mats) cause plantar warts which led to cleaning yoga mats after every use) but this was based on 5 instances of yoga students having plantar warts among a podiatrist' s clientele. However the cause of the warts was not definitively yoga - could have been many things. 26:00 Yoga teachers also need to be more collaborative because if they don't they have to be a expert at everything. Teaching basic yoga may not need as much collaboration but when teaching students with health issues it becomes very important. Contacts: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: facebook.com/Larayogaluv Insta: #Larayogaluv Twitter: @Larayogaluv
1:26 Lara Benusis Introduction - Has been teaching yoga since 1996. Was recruited by Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer center as a yoga teacher and researcher. 6:15 Takes years to understand research and design of research. Quantitative research is data driven - reduces to numbers. Qualitative research is telling the story. Yoga teachers are qualitative researchers as they note what is happening with the body, during movement, breath and meditation. 9:21 Yoga research vs. generic research. Questions about yoga can sometimes be answered with other kinds of movement or rehabilitation research(e.g., exercise oncology). Research is reductive; can only at this time measure or describe the components (movement, breathing, meditation) of yoga, not the whole yoga experience. First step in research is literature review to see what has already been done in yoga and other complementary areas asking similar questions. Don't want to replicate completed research. 16:36 Differences between the Western and Eastern approach to yoga research. Data driven vs. experiential. Karen Sherman was the first significant (Western) researcher to research yoga's benefits. Her study was about back pain and compared yoga intervention to standard treatment at the time. Put yoga on the evidence-based map. Research pushes the conversation forward, but can't answer all of the questions. Parts of yoga will be missed because of the reductive nature of research. But different research projects can help shine a light on different aspects of yoga. email: email@example.com Facebook http://facebook.com/lara.benusis Twitter: @LarayogaLuv
026: Yoga for the Cancer Population with Lara Benusis
Mastering the Business of Yoga
Do you want to take your teaching from the general population to helping people with sickness and disease? Lara Benusis did too. Lara grew up with a mother with MS who practiced yoga, and so her yoga practice began at a young age. After many years as a professional dancer and a yoga teacher, Lara moved towards teaching yoga to people who were sick, as well as people who were healthy. For a number of years, she worked at a major cancer center in New York, and on today's episode, she's sharing her story. This episode is a little bit different from some of the other episodes of M.B.Om because we don't focus as much on the business aspect of Lara's career. Instead, she shares how began teaching yoga to the cancer population, what her research in this department is showing about the benefits of yoga for the cancer population, and much more. Enjoy! If you enjoy the podcast, join the community on Facebook and sign up for the newsletter.