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The Yoga Therapy for the Mind 8 Week Course for Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Overview

The Yoga Therapy for the Mind 8 Week Course for Stress, Anxiety and Depression is an evidence based program developed by Heather Mason as a therapeutic treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress. The course is a thorough investigation and journey into the body and the mind drawing on ancient yoga principles and mindfulness meditation techniques that are the foundation of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) one of the fastest growing new therapies for depression.

Combining asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breath-work), and restorative properties of mindfulness with psychotherapeutic holding this course addresses the physiological and psychological dimensions of depression, stress, and anxiety. New scientific research continues to affirm that depression, anxiety, and stress are best treated with a method that addresses both of these aspects. The Minded Institute translates yogic and mindfulness practice in a scientific and therapeutic way for the maximum benefit to the mind and body. The 8 Week Course is organised in such a way to allow students to deeply understand how these practices can work for them in the short term to provide immediate relief and in the long term to create and maintain positive mental health.

The yoga practice is specifically designed to rebalance the nervous system and to teach you how to regulate mood and emotions. You’ll be taught which postures are useful for energising and which are useful for bringing calm to your system. Additionally through the poses you will learn how to coexist equally with both comfortable and uncomfortable physical sensations through relaxation and working with the breath. By learning how to be with the variety of sensations in the body you simultaneously develop the ability to be with challenging emotions in a more grounded and gentle way. The course will visit new themes each week enabling you to explore your yoga practice through different perspectives, encouraging the exploration of mental patterns, perceptions, and habits that may keep you stuck in unfulfilling experiences of life.

Weekly Themes

In the first two weeks of the course you will be taught how to regulate and understand your mood through breath. Just as is the case with yoga posture, there are breath practices (pranayama) that are useful for energising whilst others are more helpful for quietening your nervous system and you will be taught when are the appropriate times to engage in these different practises. In Week 3, we start to move into the body – Weeks 3 to 5 focus on how to understand emotional health through your body. Finally, in Weeks 6 to 8, through the strength and resilience that has developed during the course, we are ready to begin to work with the mind, engaging in practices that enable you to view and adapt your mental patterns in new and helpful ways. Each segment of the course offers cumulative skills with each week’s theme building upon and developing the previous week’s learning. At the close of each session there is a discussion period for you to talk about your experiences during class and how to use what you learn when facing the challenges of daily living.

Homework Practice

Whilst it’s helpful to be part of a group in a class, building community and learning together, homework practise is vital to your healing – this really is when the shifts start to take place. You’ll be given homework at the end of each class to practise daily along with reading material to support your learning. Homework practise is an important way of integrating yoga and mindfulness practice into your daily life.

Course Materials

The yoga course also includes:

  1. A comprehensive manual
  2. A Yoga therapy and Mindfulness CD to support daily practice

Session Structure

Each class broadly follows the same structure every week:

  • Asana practise with awareness 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Pranayama 15-20 minutes
  • Group Activity 15 minutes. The group activity serves to highlight the teaching related to that week. Activities come from either the mindfulness or yoga tradition
  • Group Discussion 15 minutes. During the discussion students can ask questions related to yoga and mindfulness, share insights, listen to others or choose to be silent. Everyone gets an opportunity to speak in an organised fashion.
  • Explanation of daily home yoga therapy and mindfulness practice

Teacher Support

During the course every student receives individual attention so you’ll feel safe and supported throughout. Additionally there is opportunity before and after sessions for private discussion with the course teacher.

Previous Yoga and Mindfulness Practise

All levels of yoga and meditation are welcome – you need not worry if you haven’t practised either before.

Research Findings

Recently, Veena Ugargol conducted research on the efficacy of the TMI 8-week course. Ugargol found marked improvement in anxiety and mild depression in a group that participated in the TMI course in comparison to a group that did not (a wait-list control group).

How to join a course or find out more

Details of when and where courses are running can be found here. To join a course please fill in the booking form and send it to the relevant teacher for the course that you would like to join (listed on the Upcoming Courses page). Alternatively if you would like more information before you decide you can contact us via the contact us page.

Cost - Around £200 (sometimes more, depending on the teacher and location) for each 8 Week Course (including manual and CDs)

The Minded Institute :: at the cutting edge of mental health

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I know it's early days, but things are opening up to me in a way I never thought possible. I can't be the first person to effusively describe the effect The Minded Institute has had on them. But it is such a big deal it makes me want to laugh and cry the whole time. I feel more in touch with myself than I ever have, work is going well because I have enough peace of mind to do it - I actually hit my first deadline ever for a script because the yoga stopped me freaking out and gave me objectivity. It's like a big spiritual, physical and mental reset button. I feel calmer, sleep better, have calmed down, I wake earlier, I feel healthier... I hoped life could be like this, and I think it can be…I just feel like... myself.
Paul
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