Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

If you have been depressed, anxious, or if you struggle with difficult emotions due to mental health issues mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help you:

1. Step out of “automatic pilot” and live more fully in the present moment instead of dwelling on past regreets and worries about the future.

2. Develop an attitude of patience, self-compassion, open-mindedness, curiosity

3. Cultivate mindfulness of mind, body, thoughts, and emotions

4. Get in touch with the full range of your inner and outer resources for learning, growing and healing

What is Yoga Therapy for Mental Health and Psychological Well Being?

Yoga therapy is not merely a therapy of diseases of the body and mind but a therapy of consciousness.” – Yogacharya B. K. S. Iyengar

When Yoga is used to heal it is known as “Yoga chikitsa,” or Yogic therapy. The use of Yoga to heal is distinct from its practice for liberation or enlightenment, which is known as “Yoga sadhana.” Yoga Psychology is best thought of as a collection of lifestyle practices that helps to calm the mind and body.  Yoga can work in conjunction with traditional mental health care, to create the back-drop of self-care that assists the individual in returning to their natural state of equanimity.

Two Ways of Treatment:

Purification and Pacification

“The techniques of Yoga are methods of purifying the nervous system so that it can reflect a greater degree of consciousness and our lives can become an increasingly positive force in the world” –  Alistair Shearer

Yoga therapy includes two ways of treatment. The first is called sodhanavidhi, the method of purification, and the second is called samanavidhi, the method of pacification. Though asana-pranayama therapy falls mainly under the method of pacification, it plays both roles. Some of the practices that are included in treatment are as follows:

1. Breathing exercise (various forms) with appropriate application (Pranayama)

2. Gentle Postures such as restorative poses with the use of props  and assistance by therapist (Asana)

3. Self-inquiry with loving attention by therapist that facilitates increased self-awareness that we are more than our stories

4. Ayurvedic-based energy point work by therapist (Marma therapy)

5.  Mindfulness building exercises and focusing of attention such as candle gazing (dharana)

6. Hand position with affirmation (Mudra-a spiritual hand pose)

7. Appropriately assigned chants (various forms) and listening to vibratory sound (Mantra)

8. Visualizations with goal of creating attitude shifts (Bhavana)

9. Client-created authentic sankalpa (setting intention, attitude or resolve)

10. Body-scanning exercises that allow a safe recovery of body sensation (Yoga Nidra)

As the consciousness gets involved in yogic practices, change in the biochemical substance of the body takes place through proper blood circulation and metabolism. That is how Yoga works as a natural medicine. Through yogic practices, the prana (life force energy) within the body is vitalized for dynamic psychological growth. Hence we create the correct internal environment for the combination of yogic practices and yoga psychotherapy to facilitate the evolution of consciousness.

A Commitment to Health

The process of healing always begins with a commitment to maintaining health. As the Western medical model undergoes major shifts, many of us are realizing that we must take responsibility for maintaining our own health and well being as much as possible. We must find within ourselves, the motivation it takes to prioritize sustainable wellness practices as well as preventive care.

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