Mindful Yoga-Based Group Therapy

Timothy (right) assists in Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

        Mindful Yoga-Based Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (MYACT) is a new approach to group psychotherapy that combines both the practices and benefits of yoga and cognitive behavioural group psychotherapy.

The purpose of my research is to show how each (yoga and therapy) compliment the other, and how yoga can be used as a mental health intervention. My training as both a social worker and yoga teacher have allowed me to introduce Mindful Yoga-Based Acceptance & Commitment Therapy groups for inpatients and outpatients at hospitals, public health clinics, and private counselling agencies. This group is empirically validated to help with stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, ADHD, and many other mental health related concerns.

Some important information about this group:
  • Groups are small, composed of 5 participants only
  • Groups are once a week for 8 weeks
  • Home practice worksheets and CD's/mp3's are provided free of charge to participants
  • Separate groups run for children and for adults

Visit this page to learn more about what yoga is.

I firmly believe yoga practices should be modified to make it a comfortable practice for everyone.

        The mind plays a big role in my understanding of yoga and how I bring the practice of yoga to clients. In the spring of 2012 an article I authored entitled Theorizing Yoga as a Mindfulness Skill was published. In this article I talk about how contemporary psychology has identified the benefits of using mindfulness meditation in counselling and psychotherapy. I argue that psychology has overlooked the application of yoga as a mindfulness skill and honour yoga's place in the therapeutic practice. Yoga is a great way to bridge the mind-body-spirit gap in therapy and is an excellent way to practice mindfulness. Workshops that I teach introduce yoga skills into these therapeutic practices, using yoga as a modality of therapeutic care for healthcare professionals.

Timothy (right) assists in Modified Single Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana)

There is a temptation to regard yoga as hokey or nonsense, I understand this and acknowledge it as a legitimate response from participants and readers; I had the same feeling years ago when I first tried yoga. My first yoga teacher went way over my head with spiritual ideas that weren't right for me at the time. I continued the practice (after finding the right yoga teacher for me) and felt the profoundly positive effect of yoga on my life.

Timothy Gordon, MSW, RSW
Hamilton, Ontario