4 Pillar Plan book review

book cover

People often say "what are you doing for Christmas?" and I will reply: "eating, sleeping, relaxing and doing some exercise". That may sound indulgent or frivolous, but it's genuinely true. By December I find most people, including me, are feeling worn out and a bit frazzled and taking time out to restore our balance is … Continue reading 4 Pillar Plan book review

Understanding persistent pain

Teddy bears leaning against a tree

I recently participated in two workshops for therapists about understanding pain, particularly long-term (chronic) pain, and how to help people with such pain to improve their situation. The sessions were very intense with a huge amount of information and were led by a local therapist, Hedd Piper, who, although is a chiropractor by training, is … Continue reading Understanding persistent pain

Study shows different types of meditation have different effects on brain

A new study explores how the type of meditation practices could have different impacts on your brain, leading to varied social, cognitive, or behavioural effects. The research study with healthy human adults in Germany explored three different types of meditation practices: awareness meditation (e.g. mindful breathing, body scans), compassionate meditations (e.g. loving kindness), and perspective … Continue reading Study shows different types of meditation have different effects on brain

Research evidence on yoga and health

For those of you who are interested in modern science's interpretations of the benefits of yoga, I've just come across a recently published collection of evidence reviews on yoga and a range of health issues from back pain, asthma, heart issues, falls by older people, cancer and mental health. This collection of links to research … Continue reading Research evidence on yoga and health

Difference in nose or mouth inhalation on emotion, fear and memory

Side profile of nose

New research from America has found that there is a difference in response to fear and emotions depending on if we breathe in through our nose or mouth. They also found that we seem to be able to remember things better during the inhale compared with the exhale, if that is done through the nose. … Continue reading Difference in nose or mouth inhalation on emotion, fear and memory

Yoga survey results on impact of yoga asana practice

Graph showing healing benefits of yoga

Recently, a large international yoga survey was undertaken by yoga teacher David Keil to assess the impact of yoga asana practice on physical health and injury. He explains that this was partly in response to the rather sensational article in the New York Times by William Broad about his book (The Science of yoga: the … Continue reading Yoga survey results on impact of yoga asana practice

Women, yoga history and new understandings

Stone statue of woman goddess

We probably think we know what the history of women in yoga is. My assumptions were that yoga was originally, and until about 100+ years ago, a male-dominated (or even male only) tradition. This is what most books and articles say. However, recent research on the history of yoga e.g. Norman Sjoman's book on the … Continue reading Women, yoga history and new understandings

Mindfulness and meditation audio tracks

Model of owl sitting with laptop and headphones

It seems that almost every week another study is published which shows that meditation and mindfulness are helpful to us for a number of reasons e.g. research showing that meditation can slow aging, or that mindfulness is being taken up by various groups e.g. some schools in Wales. As a result, many people know about … Continue reading Mindfulness and meditation audio tracks

Loving kindness is not just for Valentine’s Day

Heart shape from stones on beach

I'm not one for being told to send love to one person on a particular day, so I won't be marking Valentine's Day on 14th February next week. But before you think I'm a grumpy grouch, there is another way you can send love, compassion and kindness to all, and, it has scientifically proven benefits! … Continue reading Loving kindness is not just for Valentine’s Day

The Mindful Nation UK report

Winter sun on sea

It can take years, decades even, for ideas to become accepted widely in society, and it seems that meditation in the Western world has taken about 40 years to go from relative obscurity ('hippy') to mainstream, and even to McMindfulness and a backlash. The evidence for this acceptance is the recently published Mindful Nation UK report produced by … Continue reading The Mindful Nation UK report