Heather Mason

Founder-The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is the founder of The Minded Institute. The Institute is a culmination of Heather's personal and professional work.

In 2003, she moved to the UK to undertake an MA in Buddhist Studies at SOAS University London followed by an MA in Buddhism-Based psychotherapy. Whilst studying, Heather
realised she was more interested in using mind-body therapies practices and took a sabbatical from her MA to study yoga therapy. Soon after she developed an eight-week course for depression, anxiety, and stress, combining the insights of therapeutic yoga, mindfulness, and psychotherapy. She was the first person in the UK to train people to teach trauma-sensitive yoga under the guidance of the Boston Trauma Center.

In addition to leading the Minded Institutes 500 professional yoga therapy training,
she specialises in using mind-body techniques in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, and teaches professionals how to use physiological assessment to determine appropriate yoga therapeutic practices for clients.

In the past Heather has created and taught a class at the Boston University School of Medicine on mind-body medicine to first and second year medical students, developed and delivered the mind-body science course for the first Masters of Science degree in yoga therapy in the USA (at Harvard), and has lectured on neuroscience and PTSD with the Boston Trauma Center -- as well as for organisations throughout the world.

On occasion, Heather also conducts yoga research with
a focus on the effect of breathing of physiological measures.
Currently, Heather is focused on forging a the bridge between yoga and health care previously she worked with the APPG on Indian Traditional Sciences and now is working with various partners to try to try to open the flood gates for yoga to be able throughout the NHS both at the top down level and from the bottom up. To this end, she created a social enterprise known as the Yoga in Health Care Alliance (YIHA) and works in conjunction with many experts to drive this action forward.

She is excited to be working closely with Kalwant Sahota, a commissioner in the West London CCG to evaluate a 10-week yoga social prescribing pilot. Designed by various leading yoga teachers and therapists the
programme will target patients who have prediabetes are at risk of cardiovascular disease or have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety. She is also working with various other organisations throughout the NHS.

This weekend, Heather is thrilled to be speaking at the Sweatlifeeventorganised by Lululemon on how yoga changes brain functioning and thereby supports mental health