Yoga is a practice of connecting the mind and body. It utilizes a series of postures (asanas) to create a moving meditation by linking breath with movement. The physical aspect of yoga helps to challenge the body, focus the mind, and encourage emotional and spiritual growth. It creates a safe place to push physical and mental limitations, overcome doubts and fears, and cultivate mindfulness.
“Yoga is ultimately a journey into truth: truth about who you really are, what you are capable of, how you affect your life.” Baron Baptiste, Journey Into Power
Yoga is one of many avenues to explore meditation. The purpose of meditation is to increase awareness of your own life experience. It’s the process of focusing your mind to experience the world fully, as it is in this moment, rather than drift off into ruminating thoughts about the past or future.
“We train ourselves to see reality exactly as it is, and we call this special mode of perception mindfulness.” Bhante Gunaratana, Mindfulness In Plain English
Yoga and meditation have been shown to:
According to Mental Health America, “studies have shown that yoga can have positive benefits for people with several types of mental health conditions, including depression, ADHD, anxiety, schizophrenia and PTSD.” When coupled with traditional therapeutic approaches, yoga has been identified to be an effective treatment.
Meditation can make significant changes to gray matter in the brain. Gray matter plays an important role in mental health, as well as behavioral and cognitive functions. Areas of the brain most targeted by the increase of gray matter are associated with attention, self-control, compassion, and bodily awareness.
Studies report that participants who engage in yoga or meditation sessions twice a week for 8-10 weeks have had a significant decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression. David Emerson, founder of trauma-sensitive yoga, states that when taught from a trauma-informed perspective, yoga also helps to support healing and emotional regulation in individuals who have experienced trauma.
You will meet with a certified yoga instructor in a one-on-one setting to explore different styles of meditation and yoga. Your preferences and experience will be taken into consideration to develop an individualized plan. Duration and frequency will vary from person to person. Ideally, you will meet with your instructor once per week for 8 weeks as well as practice at home to start incorporating skills in everyday life. Initial session will be 75 minutes consisting of a discussion relating to: what yoga and meditation mean to you, past experience (if any), and a short practice. Subsequent sessions will be 60 minutes.