Mindful Yoga is an innovative 8-week course that can help in managing stress and in living life more fruitfully. Participants who have completed this course (formerly called “Yoga of Awareness”) in recent studies at Duke Medical Center and Oregon Health & Sciences University have reported:
- Decreases in symptoms such as fatigue, pain, insomnia, hot flashes, and negative mood
- Increases in their energy level, and their abilities to relax and to face stressful situations
Yoga, which means “union” (“yoked”) – the union of mind and body in awareness – has been practiced for its mental and physical benefits for thousands of years. Far more than a mere exercise program, true yoga teaches the art of living skillfully, of finding our balance and keeping our poise amidst the tumult of life’s ever-changing challenges.
Living skillfully in this way depends on mindful awareness. Mindfulness is the key to doing anything well in life, whether it be working, playing, talking, or eating.
In Mindful Yoga we learn to connect more fully with our inner resources – our deep down goodness and wholeness – as well as our daily life circumstances, so that we can experience greater well being and less suffering.
As a complement to ongoing medical treatments, Mindful Yoga may help with a variety of symptoms by promoting a sense of soothing bodily relaxation, refreshed vitality, and a greater ability to tolerate symptoms. For people who are feeling well physically but otherwise facing challenges, Mindful Yoga can assist in relieving general stress, and for dealing with issues such as how to maintain healthy relationships
This course incorporates experience gained by teachers with extensive training in traditional schools of yoga. Each class includes instruction and practice of:
- gentle physical stretching exercises
- meditation techniques
- breathing exercises
Teachers adapt the yoga exercises and instructions during the course to individual needs and limitations. The course also covers important topics such as mind/body stress reactivity, and the value of awareness and skillful action in the midst of one’s daily life. During the course participants are encouraged to practice at home guided by recordings and illustrated handouts.