A Creative Holistic Centre in NW London

Mindfulness in Yoga and Pilates Practices part 2 by Marcela Wakeham

marcela yellow pic

Mindfulness in Yoga and Pilates Practices part 2 by Marcela Wakeham

How the mind-body works, our physiology.


Transformation involves unlearning old patterns and learning new ones. Embodiment of direct experience is the key, in this way we change on a cellular level. In neuroscience this called neuroplasticity. The modern understanding of the brain is that, rather than being a static structure, this organ is constantly remodelling itself. Repeated thoughts and actions can rewire the brain, creating new neural pathways, thus creating new experiences. Learning to regain awareness, sensation, and motor control of muscles is an educational process that can only be achieved through movement.

Below is a paragraph I took form The International Association of Yoga Therapists Magazine. It is an interview with one of my teachers, Bo Forbs, Psy D, Yoga Therapist healer, and founder of Integrative Yoga Therapeutics in Boston.

“There are two types of embodied insight: We experience the first kind when mental insight or understanding “trickles down” into the body and becomes integrated on almost a cellular level. The second is a more visceral, body-based insight or gnosis, which can “trickle up” to the conscious mind, but may not necessarily do so, and it’s fine if the mind never comprehends what’s happened.  Embodied insight, to me signals that the neural and even the “pranic” wiring in our mind-body network has changed. This kind of change is utterly life transforming. The two states (mental understanding and embodied insight) are markedly different and sometimes mutually exclusive”.

In my classes I truly give space for this embodied insight to start to trickle up and down to your body and mind so it can be understood holistically. Slow somatic exercises will mark the path so you will know what is going on as we progress in the practice and understand the nature of your body-mind.

Working inside out like this is absolutely the only way we can experience true insight, becoming fluid systems with a capacity to adapt to life challenges.

As we practice mindfulness of the body-mind simultaneously, this insight will start to filter through our ordinary states of consciousness which will ripple out into how we live ordinary moments.

Marcela Wakeham is one of our fabulous yoga teachers here at The Yard, leading ‘Body & Mind‘ and ‘Stretch & Strength‘ classes.

Author Info

Kirsty Slattery