Changing Lives

At The Minded Institute we are committed to helping people find peace and ease and training others to help people to do the same. Below are the accounts of people who we have worked with and people who have trained with us.

Our heart’s are moved by what people have to say, we hope yours is too.

Add your own experience

“It is said that when you are ready, your teacher will appear. A simple statement but powerful in its profound truth. Penetrating deeply into a student’s consciousness is only possible if you yourself have gone deep. I am fortunate to have worked with extraordinary teachers, and as Heather Mason has just appeared in the turn of my neck and lift of my shoulder this morning (hello deltoids, pectoralis major, sternoclernomastoids!) as I embark from London to Berlin, I know I am blessed to have found a teacher who has gone deep.
We are immersed together: this group of 31 beings, Heather, her group of trusted colleagues and myself in these extraordinarily beautiful teachings. I am grateful for new directions – for example I am longing to read the Abhidhamma, which although I have practised Buddhism for the last 17 years, I have never encountered. I have a new long list of books to buy, of teachers to explore, of new practises to practise. Not to mention an intense relationship with my muscles and tendons that I have not experienced before despite 25 years of yoga practise. Plus – thanks to the Camden location of the Happiness Museum where we meet – a growing spatial awareness of Camden with all its difficulties, and happinesses.
I find a finesse in my practise which feels like another home, or perhaps a peeling away of another layer, a going further towards a truth which is never reached, but the journey is good, and the perspective I am gaining as we reach our quarter point of the course, is empowering me to become a better teacher. I am leaving something behind; which is painful: but growth always is in some ways full of some pain. There is a spaciousness in this course which allows for the knowledge to land, and an integration to occur. Just as in the best yoga experience there is an allowance for human fragility; I can feel an allowance here for our own individual problems.
The Minded Institute are offering a great service in the truest sense – in the U.K. reaching into the depths of the NHS and offering in the way that somehow only the Americans know best (!) a wise way of presenting these teachings that truly do enable people who need the information and wisdom, to empower their lives. This is not easy, for the preliminary work to prepare for this must have been done very thoroughly by the teacher to enable the student or patient to benefit.
And there is a joy in the preparation I am finding with the Minded Institute, an ease and perhaps a refusal to take oneself too seriously. I always found it to be both annoying and helpful to realise that the apotheosis of Buddhist practise is to be able to be a fool! To embody lightness.
One of the challenges of this age is to focus, to tune into aspects of our selves that tend to be ignored in the constant distractions of family, friends, work, social media. To like the self is indeed in itself a practise. And according (again, sorry!) to Buddhist wisdom to know the self, is one of the highest achievements of practise. A constant challenge. I have started to feel affection for many new aspects of myself (this is very helpful at the advanced age of 50+) Recently I came to feel very fond of my polymorphonuclear neutrophils. a little immune system patroller, that a few months ago I had no idea existed. I like my telomeres a lot these days, and I do what I can to support them. I have notes around my house which say bizarre things like “befriend the cytokines!!” I am very grateful for this opportunity to go deeper into knowing my self. Thanks Heather! Thanks Minded teachers. Happy holidays!”
Jenny Tonge

I’m a psychologist and yoga teacher.  For years I’ve been looking ways to integrate the two approaches, then I met Heather Mason and too her professional training course for yoga therapy and mindfulness for PTSD  with the Minded Institute. I then took the full yoga therapy certification.  All I can say is Minded is a truly inspiring organisation, they share cutting edge information about how to help other people and their founder, Heather comes from a place of deep personal experience in her teaching.

She’s a academic, but first and foremost she is serious practitioner who is sharing insights from her own very long journey towards healing.  She shares from a place of deep honesty and experience.  Many of the lecturers and trained Minded therapists  are also in the same boat, myself included. I’m so grateful to be part of this community and I so excited for the work they are now doing towards bringing yoga into the National Health Service.


Professional Training

I’m 38 now.  I’ve been in therapy since I was 20 yrs old with what is known as complex PTSD.  I’ve been on medication, I’ve done holistic therapy, nothing was really helping in a meaningful way.  My life was just lots of suffering.  A friend suggested I contact Heather Mason.  She’s an expert in trauma and she has personal experience of it.  I worked with her for a year and a half.  Have all my problems melted away…no.  However, I feel better able to face my life, myself.  Memories don’t pop up as often and I find myself enjoying life.  I never ever thought I could do anything but grin and bare it.  These practices, this work, has changed my life.  I’m tearful.

Minded Yoga Practice

I have been teaching Kundalini Yoga for the past seven years, and I am pleased to say that the evidence-based practices, and medical language have not only enhanced my teaching, but have also helped me understand my Kundalini practice in a deeper way. I no longer have to rely on one set of teaching to reach out to my clients, as The Minded Institute has taught me a huge range of yoga and mindfulness practices to work with.

I also have a language I can approach the medical profession with, and as TMI is constantly tracking the progress of cutting- edge research, I’m on top of the game where evidence-based knowledge is concerned.”

Professional Training

I have suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life.  Over a period of 30 years I tried almost everything, medication, various types of therapy and holistic healing.  Some things helped a little but nothing really stuck.  Before coming to Minded I tried yoga a few times and found it helped a little.

Three years ago  I decided to try the Minded 8 week course and than began private yoga therapy sessions with Heather Mason.   My life is utterly transformed.  The combination of skills I learned to incorporate into my daily life, the information about how to shift the way my brain works, and the support given to me have been life changing.

I’m not saying I’m always relaxed, but I sleep better, I can manage my sadness better—and I have developed better relationships with other people.  I even find that sort of like my own company.  I hope that anyone reading this knows they are aren’t alone, that even when you think nothing can work—-you are wrong. We are all different, but I really believe in what the Minded Institute offers, I’m living proof.

Minded Yoga Practice

Yoga brings the wisdom of the body into the consulting room and allows the mind-body to experience the strength of true connection in the quest for healing and freedom in discovering and honouring individual authenticity and potential.

Dr. Lesley Perman-Kerr, CPsychol, AFBPsS
Professional Training

There are many training courses out there.  There are so many yoga workshops left, right and centre….then there is a the Minded Institute.  I’ve done three different CPDs with them as their approach is scientific, clear, and really really works.  If you are trying to decide where to go for more training, you don’t need to look further

Professional Training

I went to one of the Minded Institute’s free taster day’s for the professional training.  To be honest, I really didn’t expect to join the course.  I thought, maybe later, maybe just get some free info.  I’ve been teaching yoga for 10 yrs and was relatively satisfied.  Heather and the other team members were so engaging I went home and couldn’t stop thinking about the course.  It gave me this buzz I hadn’t felt in years.  A week later I applied and was excepted.  The course was by no means easy, its was personally and academically challenging, but it was also everything I hoped it would be.  Now I run the 8 week course, see private clients and am working with people who have neurological disorders.  My life is richer and so are other people’s because I did this training.

Professional Training

I wasn’t ready to do a yoga class.  I was diagnosed with ME and I know that there are yoga classes for people with ME.  I just couldn’t attend.  I needed personal attention and I was scared I wouldn’t have the energy.  After 6 months of working with Heather I can leave my house, do errands again, have lunch with friends, and have returned to work 2 days a week.  I also have a new perspective on life.  I’m eternally grateful.

Minded Yoga Practice

As a yoga teacher and trauma survivor this is the group I have most wanted to work with for many years.  I did another training in the USA.  It was useful, but I thought I needed more.  Heather’s 5 day PTSD course beyond met my expectations.  It was an amazing course and most importantly I see its teaching changing the lives of people I work with.

Professional Training

I just wanted to say that I’ve been keeping up the yoga, and the effect in me is genuinely beyond words. If I HAD to put it into words, crudely and without any craft or desire to be clever, I would say that I have felt on a more balanced, positive, light, and HAPPY keel than I have ever felt in my entire life. I have made it part of my working day, doing an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon, and… there’s a massive change in me.

i know it’s early days, but things are opening up to me in a way I never thought possible. I feel like I must sound mad writing this to you, but I can’t be the first person to effusively describe the effect your teaching has had on them. But it is such a big deal it makes me want to laugh and cry the whole time. I feel more in touch with myself than I ever have, work is going well because I have enough peace of mind to do it – I actually hit my first deadline ever for a script because the yoga stopped me freaking out and gave me objectivity. It’s like a big spiritual, physical and mental reset button.  I feel calmer, sleep better, dreams, which used to be like a lo-res horror/snuff movie every night, have calmed down, I wake earlier, I feel healthier… I hoped life could be like this, and I think it can be you’ve just got to really sweat for it. I’m not even a yogic rookie yet, but the rewards are already very great. And it’s not like everything is particularly brilliant, there’s nothing to wave a flag about, but I just feel like… myself.

Minded Yoga Practice

For me the Minded Institute’s 500hrs professional training has been an extraordinary opportunity to deepen my knowledge and understanding of how yogic practices can be tailored for therapeutic use. The course offers a comprehensive and insightful way in: combining ancient eastern wisdom with cutting edge science. As a nearly newly qualified yoga therapist I now have great confidence in working with very many physical and mental health conditions both in a one to one and group setting.  I also feel I have a new vocabulary in which to communicate the value of this work within both the caring and medical sectors.  It has been a challenging but deeply rewarding journey of self discovery and intellectual and spiritual learning for which I am eternally grateful.

As the founder and director of Edinburgh Community Yoga Outreach (a not for profit social enterprise specializing in taking yogic practices to unreached populations and vulnerable people) this course has been invaluable in helping to ensure we are meeting the needs of the people we serve.  We run 8-week Minded Addiction Recovery classes for people in recovery for substance misuse and addictions in four services across Edinburgh. Classes for people living with long term health conditions, trauma sensitive classes for woman, various classes for in-patients in mental health provisions around Scotland, stress reduction classes and workshops for staff working within NHS hospitals and also offer training to yoga teachers interested in outreach work.  Once fully qualified as a yoga therapist I also plan to offer one to one yoga therapy sessions and to run the 8 week minded yoga course for anxiety and depression.  We are currently working to develop a kids and family division and are hoping to offer yoga and mindfulness in schools.

Laura Wilson
500 hour Professional Certificate in Yoga Therapy

A truly inspirational course! A journey of learning, growth and empowerment with leading experts who are passionate about their work and the benefits of yoga to support wellbeing. Through the unique blend of neuroscience, yoga principles, physiology, anatomy and therapeutic principles I have been able to reach out and help many people in a genuinely remarkable way which has truly complimented my yoga teaching. On a personal note I have met many amazing friends during the course and enjoyed the family style Sangha. I didn’t want it to end!

Louisa Caine
500 hour Professional Certificate in Yoga Therapy