IAM – Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique
IAM is a simple combination of yoga, pranayama and meditation that takes just 20 minutes a day. It is a meditation technique for modern days.The technique is a synthesis of traditional, time-tested methods suited for the current mental conditions, time-constraints and needs of modern man. Amma’s disciples teach the technique, free of charge, in all parts of the world.
IAM Technique® is not only taught to Amma’s devotees, but also to organizations throughout the world, including corporations, education institutions and correctional facilities.In July 2007, MAM undertook the massive project of teaching IAM Technique® to India’s 2.5 million paramilitary personnel,in addition to teaching the technique in many business corporations, such as Infosys (one of the premier software companies of the world), BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited – a giant public sector undertaking Indian Telephone Industries), IIM (Indian Institute of Management – the premier management institute of the country). Students of various Universities have also been introduced to this technique.
The remote control of our mind should rest firmly in the palm of our hand – Amma
Meditation is the art of mastering the mind. The way we perceive the world around us completely depends upon our mind. In our search for happiness, we essentially have two options—modify the entire world so that everything turns out exactly the way we want it or modify our mind so that we are able to be happy, content and peaceful, regardless of what happens in the external world. The former is obviously impossible. We have very little control over our external world. The only hope for happiness lies in controlling the inner world. Meditation is a key element in this process.
Amma says, “The remote control of our mind should rest firmly in the palm of our hand.” Imagine one with such mental control. Emotions, ideas and memories are at his beck and call. If anger comes, he can change the channel. The same with jealousy and greed. He can recall any past event, like reversing a DVD. If he wants ideas, he only need turn to the “idea channel” and a stream of creative ideas will flow forth. No more staring at the blank screen of writer’s block. Total and complete mental control—this is what IAM Meditation offers.
The mind is like a machine. But it is completely up to us to maintain that machine properly. Only then will we be able to get the maximum potential out of it. We should also know how to turn the machine off. This, sadly, has become a lost art, and the very reason we see so many people around us “blowing fuses.” IAM Meditation Technique is a daily mental maintenance system.
Through focusing on objects, sounds and sensations during meditation, our power of concentration increases. Observing our mental and vital functions, we gain awareness. Relaxing the mind removes stress. Expanding our concept of our self similarly expands our thinking in general, making us more creative.
IAM—Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique lowers stress hormones, according to a study recently published in the 2011 volume of the international journal Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (eCAM), published by the Hindawi Publishing Corporation. The five-year study, titled “The Effect of Meditation on Psycho-Physiological Variables,” examines the effect of IAM Technique on various psychological, physiological and biochemical parameters.
According to the study, practitioners of IAM Technique experience a reduction in stress-hormone adrenaline within 48 hours of beginning the practice. This reduction was shown to sustain in IAM Technique practitioners throughout the eight-month monitoring period accounted for by the study. The study also showed a decline in stress-hormone cortisol following eight months of practice. Other physiological results documented by the study include a significant decrease in the heart and respiratory rate of practitioners, as well as significant increase in IgA levels, which are associated with immunological benefits. Through the study’s psychological-evaluation component, a major change was also recorded in the attitude of practitioners towards ‘stressful events.’ This study was conducted by Ms. Vandana Balakrishnan (research scholar), under the guidance of Dr. Harish Kumar, Head of the Department of Endocrinology; Prof. L. Saraswathy (HOD); and Prof. G.K. Suseeladevi of the Department of Physiology, at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) in Cochin. Prof. K.R. Sundaram, HOD, Department of Biostatistics at AIMS, provided the statistical support. The results of the study have given rise to further research, including a study on the effect of IAM Technique on relieving stress amongst cancer patients undergoing treatment, as well as the impact of the technique in relieving hypertension.
IAM Technique is taught free of charge throughout the world by representatives of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), the non-governmental organization of renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma). It comprises a combination of yogic postures, breathing practices and mental-concentration exercises. MAM has been teaching the technique to the public since 2003. In 2008, at the request of the Indian government, MAM began teaching IAM Technique on a widespread scale to India’s military and paramilitary soldiers. The technique is also being taught in schools and colleges throughout India, as well as to employees of businesses corporations, including Infosys, BSNL and IIM.