Yoga for the Mind Course Description

These courses are 8 weeks long and meet once a week for 2 hours.

Stress, anxiety and depression are mental health conditions that are becoming common place and affect many of us during our lifetime.

The Yoga for the Mind course for stress, anxiety and depression offers an holistic strategy for improving mental health, helping us to recover from and develop resilience to these conditions.

It is a complete investigation and journey into the mind and body, drawing on both ancient yogic principles and mindfulness meditation techniques, which form the foundation of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), one of the fastest growing new therapies for depression in the UK.

New scientific research continues to affirm that these mental health conditions are best treated by addressing both their physiological and psychological dimensions. Through a combination of yoga postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and mindfulness (self-awareness) practices, this course provides structure and guidance for exploration of both mind and body, in order to better understand how healing can take place.

Each week of the course follows a specific theme which is woven into the yoga practice and has a particular relevance to improving mental health. As the weeks progress we learn how to understand and regulate our moods and emotions through the breath, awareness of the body and observation of the mind. With each segment of the course we build cumulative knowledge and skills to help us become aware of and make beneficial changes in the overall mind-body system.

Whilst the theme of each session varies, the sequence of poses used in the course remains consistent throughout the weeks. This is because these poses have been selected for their specific physiological and psychological benefits and have been sequenced in a particular way to rebalance and retrain the nervous system to better manage stress.

By moving quickly between poses that speed up the heartbeat and those that demand controlled breathing, we re-create the same sort of physiological conditions that occur during times of emotional stress and in this controlled environment we learn effective new ways to manage our stress response.

The environment is one in which self-exploration is encouraged and supported. Throughout the course students are invited to explore mental patterns, perceptions, and habits that keep them stuck in unfulfilling life experiences. Students are provided with a framework, a strong foundation and the necessary space and support to safely investigate their personal processes and experiences, with all their ups and downs. 

With a deep understanding of how yoga and mindfulness can be integrated into daily life, students are empowered to create and maintain positive mental health enabling them to carry on with their lives without being held back by stress, anxiety and depression.

Students are given reading material such as scientific information, articles and inspirational pieces and practical homework to help them assimilate the teachings and integrate yoga and mindfulness into their daily lives.

With a maximum number of 12 students per course, each person will receive individual attention and instructions, to enable them to feel safe and supported on their unique healing journey.

Each weekly 2 hour session is structured as follows:

  • Asana Practice (physical yoga practice) with focused awareness: 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Pranayama Practice (breathing): 15-20 minutes.
  • Activity: 15 minutes.
    The activity serves to highlight the theme of the week and comes from either the mindfulness or yoga tradition.
    Many of the activities form part of the weekly homework.
  • Group Discussion: 15 minutes.
    This is an opportunity to share insights, discuss how to integrate what we have learnt into daily life, ask questions related to yoga and mindfulness, listen to others or choose to be silent. Everyone gets an opportunity to speak in an organized fashion.

To support your home practice you will receive:

  • A comprehensive manual of all the practices covered and reading material.
  • Yoga Therapy and Mindfulness CDs to support your daily practice.