Excellence in Action resulting from students optimizing brain functioning


hair salon
Heather Carlisle (back row center)wants to use the knowledge she gained through her degree to develop and empower the employees (shown with her above) of the three salons she oversees.



Integrating health and personal development
by Maharishi International University, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, Achievements
20 August 2020

Heather Carlisle is a licensed cosmetologist and massage therapist from Algona, Iowa, with 24 years of experience. Although she lives only four hours away from Fairfield, she had never heard of MIU until ads for the university started showing up on her Facebook feed. She had wanted to get her bachelor’s degree and she found Maharishi International University (MIU) intriguing. She came to a Visitors Weekend in July 2018 and registered two weeks later.

Heather was interested in Maharishi AyurVeda and decided to create an individualized major, which she called integrated health and personal development. She wanted to incorporate the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs into her degree because she really enjoyed attending the group practice on campus.

For her senior project, she completed two months of full-time research in consciousness, systematically documenting the effects of sleep and diet on her meditation. “It was the most wonderful and healing experience that I could ever have,” said Heather. “It was life-changing. I believe that now, in this chaotic world, having a tool to center yourself can shift your entire life experience.”

Heather has completed her courses and is graduating this summer. She has returned to work at a SmartStyle hair salon in Spencer, Iowa, where she was recently promoted to territory manager. She wants to use the knowledge she gained through her degree to develop and empower the employees of the three salons she oversees. “I would like to be able to keep my stylists healthy, and my goal is to bring my boss to MIU,” she said.

While she cannot give health recommendations in the salon, she often shares her own experiences of Ayurveda and MIU with her clients and co-workers. In her massage practice, she is now using the pulse reading technique to assess her clients’ well-being.


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