Mind Mantra Yoga is...
Mind Mantra Yoga is an innovative and transformative approach to healing from physical and mental illness that empowers practitioners with the scientific knowledge, emotional support, and consciousness-based spirituality to free themselves from the limiting beliefs that have been formed by past trauma and false information.
Mind Mantra Yoga is about Recovery. Recovery can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but at its core, Recovery is freedom from thought patterns and habits that are not only not helpful to us, but often actively hurting our ability to realize our full potential.
There is a story behind Mind Mantra Yoga, as there is a story behind everyone and everything. It is a story about me, about you, and about us all. A story about the worst and the best of humanity — about overwhelming failure and incredible perseverance. Mind Mantra Yoga is the result of over a decade of experience with high-functioning mental illness, it is the result of working with disabled Veterans, with homeless individuals diagnosed with mental illness, with women battling eating disorders, with youth experiencing debilitating anxiety & depression, with the elderly feeling extreme loneliness and isolation, and with the poor—the class of people most effected by STRESS.
Mind Mantra Yoga is also about discovery, and challenging preconceived notions of what is possible in health and wellness. In ancient times, before the scientific renaissance that resulted in our modern medical society, all illnesses were attributed to defects of the spirit. It didn’t matter whether it was your lung, your leg, or your heart that was affected—the treatment was prayer and religious ceremony. Thankfully, society advanced from that primitive perspective, with the help of the evolving sciences of biology and disease pathology. But something went wrong. The pendulum swung too far to one side, and all non-physical elements and variables were discounted entirely, in favor of a purely material, physical approach to reality.
If everything is physical and material, then all addiction, depression, anxiety, and mental illnesses are essentially nothing more than examples of the brain gone “haywire,” in a way that simply requires moderation and control through chemical regulation, i.e. psychotropic medications. In this model, mental illness is just like physical illness, it can be treated with the right medication and modality.
There’s just one problem: we know from experience that this is not entirely accurate.
There are people who bounce from medication to medication, dosage to dosage, with no real, substantive progress. Just as there are penicillin-resistant infections, there exists treatment-resistant depression and anxiety. Not to mention the treatment-resistance of conditions such as PTSD, Bipolar 1 & 2, Schizophrenia, and various mood & behavioral disorders such as Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Some studies have even shown common anti-depressants such as Prozac to be equal in effectiveness to a placebo. What is going on within the mind and bodies of those who do not respond to medication alone?
Here’s another question: Have you ever experienced or heard about something miraculous?
Take some time to truly reflect on your life, and remember the stories that have stayed with you. Did you ever have the feeling that something bad was going to happen, a feeling you couldn’t explain, that turned out to be right? What about dreams that bring messages from recently departed loved ones, when there is no logical explanation for the coincidence of the dream with the person’s actual death? Or perhaps an incredible account of a near-death experience, in which an individual can recount information they should not be able to have known? Maybe you know of someone like my grandmother, who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 75 years and lived happily and healthfully into their 90s; or someone who beat the odds against an incurable or terminal illness with their positive attitude or faith in something beyond themselves.
The fact is, most people have stories of personal participation in occurrences that are at once extraordinary instances of non-local consciousness and common moments of epiphany to the human experience. We already know that how you think about the world shapes your behavior in it, and that the way you perceive things alters your future perceptions and your responses.
A common misconception in society in relation to illnesses of both the mind and body is that everything is essentially caused by an imbalance, and that the cure lies in simply finding that perfect chemical combination that corrects the imbalance. This is not entirely untrue, but it ignores the reality of neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to change itself through the formation of new neural connections throughout life.
Ancient traditions such as the Indian Upanishads & Vedas, the Chinese practice of Qigong, and many Indigenous ceremonial practices, reveal that human civilization has known the benefits of breathing exercises for many thousands of years. However, modern science has only recently proven that the practice of turning one’s attention towards their breathing and inner sensations actually changes the way your brain functions. Yes, studies have shown that breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques change your brain activity in a tangible, measurable way. Neural pathways are altered, and chemical & hormone levels are effected.
Mind Mantra Yoga is the realization that you can alter your physical body and your behavior with your inner monologue—that your thoughts and words are incredibly powerful, more powerful than you know. YOU are more powerful than you know, because your consciousness contains infinitely more power than you have been led to believe.