Heather Mason is the founder of the Minded Institute an organization that both trains professionals and develops, implements, and researches innovative methods for mental health treatment based on the fusion of yoga therapy, mindfulness techniques, neuroscience, and psychotherapy. The Minded Institute offers a renowned 500 hr yoga therapy training program in the UK for professionals who are specifically interested in using yoga therapy to work with clinical mental health populations, runs regular CPDS, and creates mind-body interventions for stress and mental health disorders.
Heather possesses a robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies and an ongoing MSc in Neuroscience. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. In addition to forming the Minded Institute and supporting its various activities, Heather created and taught an elective at the Boston University School of Medicine for first and second year medical students, focusing on the neural correlates and clinical applications of yoga She also lectured on Harvard’s Mind-Body Medicine Class alongside the world’s leaders in mind-body medicine research in 2014. Previously, Heather has lectured on the neurobiology of PTSD neurological mechanisms of yoga and mindfulness as relevant interventions for the world-renowned Boston Trauma Center yoga training and she developed a program for those with PTSD at the Maudsley Hospital in London, the main psychiatric hospital of the UK. Heather is a seasoned lecturer and recently organized a conference in London, “Yoga and the Brain and Mental Health” where she offered a keynote address alongside some of the most respected researchers in the field of yoga therapy. Paralleling this chapter she is organizing a conference entitled “Yoga Therapy and Medicine” April 2014. Heather has also been commissioned to write to the first book specifically devoted to how mindfulness and yoga can be used to initiate neuroplasticity.
Heather’s main interest in the field of yoga therapy is breathing. Last year she published “Cardiovascular and respiratory effect of yogic slow breathing in the yoga beginner: what is the best approach?” finding slow breathing an important method of increasing baroreflex sensitivity. This research, as well as an invitation to the United Nations Summit on Gross National Happiness, has inspired to work towards the development of national breath awareness day in the UK, to inform the public of the profound physiological and psychological changes that accrue by reducing breath rate.
Past and Current Confer Events
Yoga: A Key to Mental Health?Psychological and physiological mechanisms for emotional regulation
Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 March 2015
Therapy in Motion:
The journey of therapy through the language of the body
Friday 27 and Saturday 28 March 2015
Yoga and Health: Research and Practice – An international conference
3, 4, 5 and 6 April 2014
Yoga & Mental Health
A 3-day conference-workshop exploring its role in emotional healing, affective regulation and neurobiology
2 – 4 November 20012