Our invited speakers at Instill 2016 conference include experts from education, research and healthcare. These included the Shadow Schools Minister, Nic Dakin MP, Christopher Ruane, Welsh Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for the Vale of Clwyd from 1997 to 2015. Dr. Iroise Dumontheil, Research Fellow in the Neuroscience of Mindfulness at UCL and Birkbeck and Dr Ingunn Hagen, Professor of Psychology at the University of Trondheim, Norway, as well as Dr Sat Bir Khalsa, from the Harvard Medical School. Dr Lisa Kaley- Isley, Heather Mason of the Mindful Institute, and Jo Manuel from Special Yoga also spoke. As did Micheline Flak, the President and Founder of Research on YogaEducation (RYE) and an International Consultant in Educational Sciences.
We also looked at case studies such as that of Hebden Bridge School, Yorks, which is a school which has yoga integrated into the curriculum, the lead teacher Anil Sarna spoke. Dr Ramkumar Kutty the director of the Vaidyagrama Ayurvedic Healing village in Coimbatore, India spoke about Ayurveda for young people.
Charlotta Martinus, Director of TeenYoga also presented activities.
Nic Dakin has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Scunthorpe since 2010. Thanks to his extensive experience in education, he became Shadow Schools Minister under Jeremy Corbyn in 2015. Before his career as an MP began, he was the Principal of John Leggott College Scunthorpe. He was the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council from 1997–2003. After leaving university he taught English at Greatfield High School in Hull (his parliamentary predecessor had also taught at this school). He then taught English in Gävle in eastern Sweden then came to teach English at John Leggott College.
Christopher Ruane is a Welsh Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for the Vale of Clwyd from 1997 to 2015. He spearheaded the All Party Parliamentary Group of Mindfulness and it’s his initiative that has driven this forward nationally. He was a primary school teacher from 1982–97, and a deputy head from 1991-7.
Dr Iroise Dumontheil, Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London. Her research focuses on the typical development of social cognition and cognitive control during adolescence and their functioning in adulthood. Her studies combine a variety of methods to study brain and cognitive development including functional and structural neuroimaging, cognitive and behavioural assessments, and genetics. She is interested in the impact of cognitive training, from computerised games to mindfulness meditation practice, on adolescent cognition, as well as the potential implications of neuroscience research for education.
Dr Khalsa has been fully engaged in basic and clinical research on the effectiveness of yoga and meditation practices in improving physical and psychological health since 2001. He has also practiced a yoga lifestyle since 1973 and is a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor. He is the Director of Research for the Kundalini Research Institute and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
He has conducted clinical research trials evaluating yoga treatments for insomnia, addiction, back pain, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic stress and a yoga program in public schools to determine benefits in mental health in adolescents. Dr. Khalsa actively works with the International Association of Yoga Therapists to promote research on yoga therapy and collaborates with yoga researchers internationally.
For the past 8 years he has also been teaching an elective course at Harvard Medical School in Mind-Body Medicine and is the author of the Harvard Medical School ebook ‘Your Brain on Yoga’.
Dr. Ingunn Hagen is a Professor in Psychology at the Department of Psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway. Her main research interests include topics related to media and communication psychology, such the role of media and ICT in children and young people’s lives. Currently she is involved in a research project on «Young adults’ use and mastery of digital communication media: The role of «new» media technology in the lives of students».
Professor Hagen is also interested in research on human contemplative practices, like Mindfulness, yoga and wellbeing. Recently, she has led research projects on topics like human happiness, and also on young people’s experiences related to practicing yoga. At the moment Hagen is involved in a study exploring the experiences of young pupils and also teachers related to interventions of yoga and mindfulness in school, by means of an online website.
In areas of teaching, Hagen’s expertise include: Media Audiences, Media and Communication Psychology, Organizational Communication, Qualitative Methodologies, and Mindfulness, Coaching and Existential Psychological Approaches to Conversations in Life and Work Life.
Micheline Flak is the President and Founder of Research on Yoga in Education (RYE) and an International Consultant in Educational Sciences. She has been working in the field of Education and Yoga for 30 years. Over the past twenty years the RYE association has been working with educators around the world developing techniques and skills that enhance the learning environment within the classroom for both teachers and students.
Anil Sarna is a Spanish and Italian teacher, yoga and meditation instructor and shiatsu therapist. He is currently leading a project to set up Hebden Bridge School in West Yorkshire which will be democratically run by teachers and students, offering daily meditation and yoga. The curriculum is delivered through cross-subject learning with a strong emphasis on experiential learning and creativity. He has been involved in international educational projects for more than 15 years and leads a project currently building a primary school for 300 children in the village of Bhandarjhud near Rishikesh in India. He has launched and directed two languages schools in Spain and in the UK. Talking about “Setting up a new secondary school with yoga and meditation at its heart.”
Charlotta is a mother of two teenage boys. After work as a language teacher, she spent ten years working for the BBC as a documentary producer before becoming a Senior Yoga Teacher. She has worked teaching yoga to teenagers for ten years, and is a specialist in teen yoga. She currently runs a teen yoga teacher training course in the UK, France, UAE, Spain and the Bahamas.
She also collaborates with the University of Leeds on research into the benefits of yoga for young people and is a yoga therapist for mental health within the NHS. She is a regular contributor to the BBC, Elephant Journal and Om Magazine and is currently finishing a book about teens and yoga.
Dr. Nick Kearney has been working in teacher training and educational management and leadership for over 20 years, with extensive involvement in the development of new learning approaches in a wide range of educational and training contexts. He has participated in a large number of EU and nationally financed projects, and worked as an expert for the European Commission since 2002. He is also a yoga teacher and a founder of the TEEN YOGA FOUNDATION, a charity that aims to increase the well-being of young people through yoga. He has also participated in voluntary work in Mexico, working to help fund a group of “escuelas populares” (community organised schools in disadvantaged areas) and latterly as a founding director of SAHUARO AC, which focuses on sustainable development in indigenous communities.
Heather Mason is the founder of the Minded Institute an organization that both trains professionals and develops, implements, and researches innovative methods for mental health treatment based on the fusion of yoga therapy, mindfulness techniques, neuroscience, and psychotherapy. The Minded Institute offers a renowned 500 hr yoga therapy training program in the UK for professionals who are specifically interested in using yoga therapy to work with clinical mental health populations, runs regular CPDS, and creates mind-body interventions for stress and mental health disorders.
Heather possesses a robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies an MS in Medical Physiology and a background in Neuroscience. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. In addition to forming the Minded Institute and supporting its various activities Heather is involved in creating mind-body curriculum for medical schools, lobbying for yoga’s inclusion in the NHS in the UK and lecturing internationally on the bridge between yoga and healthcare.
Jo Manuel, Founder of The Special Yoga Foundation CIO, was captivated by her first yoga class at aged 17 and has been practising ever since. She started teaching yoga in 1992 and has been the UK’s leading practitioner and teacher trainer in the therapeutic applications for therapeutic yoga for children with special needs since 2001.
Jo founded Special Yoga as a charity in 2004 to give a nurturing and inclusive home to families of children with special needs. Her aim is to develop and implement therapeutic yoga programmes that allow all children to receive its significant benefits and help reach their fullest potential.
She offers therapeutic yoga and mindfulness training in orphanages, yoga centres, special schools and organisations around the world as well as an extensive programme from Special Yoga headquarters in the UK. Special Yoga now has therapeutic yoga and mindfulness programmes running for children with special needs in Russia, Ireland, Spain, Sri Lanka and India. Later this year she will open the work in Peru and Australia.
Lisa Kaley-Isley, PhD is a Clinical Psychologist, Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist. In the UK Lisa provides yoga therapy that is informed by her clinical experience. She leads workshops for yoga practitioners and teachers empowering them to adapt yoga practices to reduce and transform symptoms of anxiety and depression. Lisa is a Board member, supervisor, and tutor on the Yoga Campus Yoga Therapy Diploma course, and she is the Director of the Yoga Therapy Clinic at The Life Centre, Islington. Prior to moving to the UK Lisa was Chief of Psychology and Director of Psychology Training at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She co-founded the Paediatric Integrative Medicine and Anxiety Disorders clinics at CHC. Lisa was the Principle Investigator on a series of research trials evaluating the effectiveness of yoga to assist teenagers struggling with anxiety, depression, and somatisation disorders. She has presented her findings at national and international conferences and she is the author of several published articles on adapting yoga for adolescents. Lisa has previously worked as a school psychologist with early teen adolescents and she currently teaches a weekly Yoga Just for Teens class at The Life Centre.
These are the slides used by the speakers at Instill 2016.