Heather Mason is the founder of Minded. The Institute is a culmination of Heather’s personal and professional work. After years of deep depression and anxiety Heather moved to South East Asia to begin intensive meditation practice in Buddhist monasteries, where she spent 3 years developing and transforming her mind. During this time she also trained as a 500 hr yoga teacher and shared her yoga teaching with nuns in various meditation centres.
In 2003 she moved to the UK to undertake an MA in Buddhist Studies at SOAS University London followed by an MA in Buddhist-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 8-week course for depression, anxiety, and stress, combining the insights of therapeutic yoga, mindfulness, and psychotherapy. Heather also did extensive study in neuroscience and completed an MSc in Medical Physiology, allowing her to take a systemic view of yoga’s efficacy in health.
She was the first person in the UK to train to teach trauma sensitive yoga under the guidance of the Boston Trauma Center. In addition to leading Minded’s 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, taught on the mind-body medicine course at Harvard, and has lectured on neuroscience and PTSD with the Boston Trauma Center, as well as for organisations throughout the world. On occasion she also conducts yoga research with a focus of the effect of breathing of physiological measures.
Heather is also the director of another company, the Yoga and Healthcare Alliance (YIHA). This company is a social enterprise devoted to integrating yoga into the NHS. In conjunction with this organisation Heather and a collection of other leaders within the yoga world, leading yoga researchers and leaders within the NHS convene at Parliament to work in conjunction with central government towards this end. Heather is now the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Yoga in Society.