Embodied Mindful Yoga
"It's also very helpful to realise that this very body that we have, that's sitting right here, right now, with all it's aches and it's pleasures, is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive." Pema Chodron
Both Yoga and Mindfulness cultivate body-mind integration, promoting the innate healing resources of the body to restore the proper functioning of the various bodily systems. I apply yoga specifically to Mental Health and Wellness. I may, when appropriate, include specialised breath-work, gentle yoga postures and mindfulness meditation within a session to reconnect clients with their bodies' innate capacity to heal and restore balance. My experience provides me with an understanding of modern psychotherapeutic approaches to treating mental health issues and the application of yoga to these issues, specifically depression, anxiety, PTSD and other stress related conditions.
The reason I trained in Yoga Therapy was because of the changes I noticed in myself over a prolonged period of time as a practising yogi. I noticed physical changes such as increased strength, endurance and agility and I also began to realise that my connection to myself and others had incrementally changed as had my ability to relax, to concentrate and feel grounded. As I studied, I learnt that the relaxation and sense of connection to my body that I experienced through gentle yoga and mindfulness, when my body was at rest, and my mind was awake and relatively alert, actually encourages a state of being called "Constructive Internal Reflection", in which the space to think and feel expands both internally and externally. This can mean that there seems to be more time and space from which to make choices to respond rather than react. Being more connected and in tune increases the ability to 'self regulate' or bring body and mind into a more balanced, alert or relaxed state. Neuroscience, Psychology and Psychotherapy research is increasingly finding that this (self-regulation) is key to a healthier, happier, more productive and more stable sense of self. Yoga and Mindfulness enable people to get back in touch with an innate knowledge of their own capacity for resilience and self efficacy.
I am grateful to my many teachers who have supported and guided me. In particular I wholeheartedly thank Sean Corne, Deepak Chopra, Hala Kouri, Dr David Simon, Claire Diab, Jo Manuel, John Stirk, Heather Mason, Bo Forbes, Roger Cole, Sonia Sumar and Jonathan Monks. I am especially indebted to Mrs Varija Bhatt whose wisdom, deeply embodied knowledge, humility, patience and wicked sense of humour has been my inspiration.